057: Using Your Personality Type to Your Advantage | Tanya Dalton Skip to the content
February 13, 2018   |   Episode #:

057: Using Your Personality Type to Your Advantage

In This Episode:

Knowing your personality type can help you to understand yourself better and improve how you interact with others. Today, I’m focusing on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and how that introspective questionnaire will help you to set goals, eliminate procrastination, grow your creativity and work more effectively. I’ll share my own personality type and how it’s helped me to appreciate others, and how you too can work with everyone’s strengths as a team at home, work or in personal life.

Show Transcript:

The Big Idea

Understanding your personality allows us to be more productive and happier.

Questions I Answer

  • How does taking a personality test help me be more productive?
  • What’s my personality profile?
  • What are the different kind of personalities?

Actions to Take

  • Take the MBTI personality types test now and see which of the 16 personality types you fall into. Then use this information going forward to think about how you understand yourself, how you interact with others, how you set goals or procrastinate, and more.
  • Use this information to understand yourself and your interactions others better at work, home and in your personal life.

Key Topics in the Show

  • 5 ways of knowing your personality can help you understand yourself and others better.

  • How to appreciate different personality types and work with others’ strengths instead of having conflicts.

  • Using your personality type to find your career and passions.

  • About the MBTI test and how it can help you set goals, stop your procrastination, understand how you interact with others and more.

Show Transcript

Welcome to Productivity Paradox from inkWELL Press, a podcast focused on finding  success and happiness through the power of productivity. Each season, Tanya focuses  on specific strategies to help you discover your own priorities and purpose. Season  five is all about investing in you. You can also join Tanya for more interaction and  support in her free Facebook group at inkwellpress.com/group. And now here’s your  host, Tanya Dalton.  

Hello, hello everyone. Welcome to Productivity Paradox. I’m your host, Tanya Dalton,  owner of inkWELL Press, and this is episode 57. Today’s episode is brought to you by  Trunk Club, and I’ll be sharing later in this episode how I use Trunk Club to make my  life easier.  

 But first, I want to dive in to talking about understanding your personality type.  And I feel like this is such an important thing for us to really know and acknowledge  about ourselves because we all have preferences for how we work and how we get  things done, and really understanding these preferences allows us to be our most  effective and our most comfortable.  

 Really knowing what these boundaries of preference are can improve your  productivity, so it’s important to know your preferences. When you know your  personality better, you have some choices on whether to accept or push back on that  trait.  

 In general, you can gather some information about your personality through  some introspection, but we’re better at identifying how we feel during certain  situations, then identifying specific traits. We can always understand our personality a  little bit better by asking others, although that information is not always neutral or  unbiased.  

 Let’s be honest, we are not neutral or unbiased, either when it comes to  looking at ourselves. We’re often times so much harsher on ourselves than we are on  others. So it really helps to take the time to test out and understand what your  personality type is. And there’s really five ways that I believe knowing your  personality can help you.  

 First of all, you can learn about all the different personality types, not just your  own. Taking an assessment from a reputable source should also give you access to  descriptions of other types of personalities and their preferences. Understanding not  only your own personality but also the spectrum of other people’s preferences, might  help explain the behaviors of other people in your life, which can help with things like  communication style.  

 We all struggle from time to time to communicate well with others, and I think  I’m not alone in saying we’ve all had those times where we’ve said something to  someone and it was received in a way that we did not intend.  

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 An in-depth personality test can teach you more about your communication  style and how you can communicate better with others. Perhaps instead of taking  something personally from a person with a different personality style, if you know or  understand the different personalities, it might help you determine if the other  person’s behavior is based on something that you did, or if it’s just their way of  expressing things.  

 When you begin to understand this, you can begin to predict how they’ll react  in other situations, which really facilitates cooperation. And it works well in vice versa.  Knowing your personality type can help you understand how others perceive you and  what you’re saying. If your personality type shows that others can find you to be  abrupt, you can actively work to soften your tone. You could say, “I know this may  come across rude at times, but that’s not my intention. If I do that, please know to not  take it personally.” So it really can help for you to understand the different personality  types.  

 The second thing I think it helps with is you get confirmation that you’re not  alone, and there’s so much power and strength in that. If you grew up around people  or you work with others of types that are very different from yours, you might feel  like your natural behaviors and tendencies are wrong. This can happen especially with  children who have strong flexible preferences, who grew up in a family with strong  organized preferences. These children might be told they are too scattered or flaky as  they get older, and they might continue to think that, or that they’re odd, as they  continue through life.  

 The personality type report assures that you’re not alone and that there are  others out there. And not just others, but millions who think similarly to you because  they have the same personality type. This can really help you gain some confidence.  

 Personality tests remind you some of the things that you might think are  different or odd are really strengths, and they’re the ways that you work best, which  can be a great confidence booster.  

 The third way that it can help is it can give you an objective framework for  typing others in your life. This can make working with other people with an opposite  personality trait work much smoother. If you can think of anyone you work with that  nitpicks every new idea, or at first says why it won’t work, they may have a strong  sensing part of their personality, and they’re not actually trying to shoot down your  ideas. They just want to be reassured that the direction you’ve suggested has a solid  foundation that they can trust.  

 You can recognize and be aware of how your personality type interacts with  others, and it gives you an appreciation for the diversity of personality types on your  team, and they can help you understand how to work best and even how each of  your strengths can work together to build you into a solid foundation.  

 When you understand personality types, it can deescalate conflicts before they  even arise. For example, if you tend to have a knee-jerk reaction to problems, you can  adjust that behavior accordingly. So it really is great in creating that objective  framework.  

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 The fourth way it helps is you can start to understand what activities drain and  energize you. And this has a lot to do with your extrovert or introvert tendency.  Maybe you find yourself depleted after working alone at your desk, but you find that  going out with friends leaves you energized. Or maybe vice versa.  

 Really beginning to understand what activities do to your energy levels can  really improve your happiness. It allows you to stay in touch with yourself and who  you are at your core, which can be difficult at times but it’s so necessary for long term happiness.  

 Taking the time for self-discovery can help us get back in touch with who we  are, and help us refocus on what’s most important in life, and it can really help with  improving that decision-making. Decision-making is based on personality. Knowing if  you’re more reliant on external factors or gut instinct can help you be aware if you’re  not assessing enough factors, or if you’re completely over-analyzing, so you can  really begin to understand who you are as a whole.  

 And the fifth thing that I believe you can really benefit from from personality  typing is understanding your strengths. Go through the assessment results and find  the traits that give you that spark of recognition of, “Oh, this is funny. I was just  complimented on this trait last week,” or, “People are always saying this about me.”  List those traits along with examples from your own life that relate to your natural  talent or trait. And you can begin to work this into a strength statement that you can  weave into job interviews, networking events, talks with your manager or your boss.  So this can help lead you to having a reputation for excelling at things that you  actually enjoy doing.  

 Your personality type can be extremely helpful in figuring out what you should  be doing ideally with your life, and it can help put you in the right situations. Like, if  you like taking risks or being independent, you might want to look into  entrepreneurship. People who are very organized and orderly may pursue a career in  accounting.  

 Here’s the difference. It helps you choose a career instead of just a job,  because we want to play to the strengths, and we want to play to those weaknesses.  We want to have some say in where we’re going, and understanding ourselves can  really help.  

 Here’s what I do want you to keep in mind though when it comes to  personality typing. Personality is just one of many factors that guides our behavior.  We’re also influenced by our environment, our experiences, our individual goals. Even  people who share the same personality type can have significant differences.  

 Personality types are really meant to inspire personal growth, and help you  better understand yourself and your relationships with others. It’s not supposed to be  taken as the full and complete truth of who you are.  

 So with that in mind, I do want to talk to you about one of the more popular  personality tests, the MBTI. But before I do, I want to take a quick moment to talk to  you about Trunk Club.  

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 If you aren’t familiar with Trunk Club, it’s like having your own personal stylist  who handpicks outfits just for you based off your preferences, based off of what you  have going on in your life, based off of you and who you are. And then, they create a  complete collection that’s designed to work together and mix-and-match for your  lifestyle. And because you use the same stylist again and again, you begin to develop  a relationship with them, and they begin to understand your unique needs and your  styles.  

 I’ve been using Trunk Club for some time now, and I love it. I really want to feel  like I’m up-to-date on the latest trends, but I don’t really have time to go do the  shopping. I jump on a call, or I chat directly with my stylist, and I tell her what I have  going on. And then I choose the budget, and she pulls together the collection for me.  

 And what’s great is there’s no charge for the stylist if you purchase anything in  your collection. Because it works through Nordstrom’s, returns and shipping is a  breeze. I love that. Want to use my own personal stylist? You can connect with her.  Just go to inkwellpress.com/trunkclub, and I’ll give you the introduction.  

 Okay. I want to go back to talking to you about personality types, and I really  feel like I’d be remiss if I didn’t discuss the biggest one out there, which is the MBTI,  which stands for Myers-Brigg Type Indicator.  

 Now, the theory of psychological types was first introduced by Doctor Carl  Jung, which led to the development of the MBTI tool in the 1940s. The indicator was  first published in the 1960s. Now, Myers-Briggs Foundation says that in its essence,  the theory of Myers-Brigg Type Indicator is that seemingly random variations in  behavior are actually consistent. And this is due to the differences in perception and  judgment, basically the different lenses we all see the world through.  

 So there’s perception, which is the way we become aware of things, the  people, the happenings, and the ideas, and there’s judgment, the way we come to  conclusions about what is perceived. And the differences in perception and judgment  show corresponding differences in our interests, our reactions, our values,  motivations, and our skills.  

 The use of the MBTI should be considered as a starting point for self-discovery,  not the finish line. And it shouldn’t be used to judge or stereotype anyone. Instead, it  shows an average experience of each type. At the minimum, the test help point out  that people behave differently, largely because they view and interact with the world  differently.  

 And this seems like a basic self-explanatory point, but we tend to assume that  most people think and view the world like us. So it can be good to bring awareness to  the fact that we all don’t think alike.  

 Now, the MBTI uses four parts to define people. You may have heard people  describe themselves as an ESTJ, or an INFP, or like me, I’m an ENFJ. Each of those  letters indicates where your personality falls within those four dichotomies.  

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 Let’s go through each one of these quickly. This is not meant to be a full and  comprehensive explanation of who you are. If you take the test and I’ll provide a few  links in the show notes to some resources to take the test for free, you’ll find that  most do a great job of explaining what your personality type means. For the sake of  examples, I’m going to talk about these in the terms of goal-setting, just to keep it  consistent. Sound good? Okay.  

 The four parts of the MBTI. The first part is your favorite world. Is there more  focus on the outer world, or the inner world? And this indicates extroversion or  introversion. Extroverts, which is signified by the E, like busier spaces and working  with others, especially on teams, while introverts who are designated with the I, like  working in calm, quiet spaces, independently or in small groups.  

 So for goal-setting, if you’re an extrovert, goal-setting is done best by talking  through it, especially in a group experience. Thinking out loud can be really helpful  with their goal-setting, so they might want to consider enlisting a coach, or a partner,  or a mentor, someone to have a conversation with.  

 If you’re an introvert, goal-setting might want to be done in a quiet, reflective  manner, allowing time to think and reflect on the goals. If you have a boss or a  partner that’s extroverted, make sure they understand that you need time to process  goals, and make it clear you’ll meet and finalize your goals once you have this time.  

 The second parts of MBTI is information. So this basically asks the question, do  you focus just on the information? Do you take it in, or do you go deeper into  interpreting and adding meaning to it? So this is either sensing, which is designated  by an S, or intuition, which is an N.  

 Sensers like working with concrete things like data, people, machines, while  intuitives like working more abstractly with ideas, possibilities and theories. So when  we’re talking about goal-setting, sensors tend to be practical and realistic, so they  need simple, practical and attainable goals. There should be enough challenge to  motivate and inspire, but not so much that the goal seems absurd.  

 Sensers need tangible evidence that the goal’s been achieved, and they need  to know exactly what is going to be achieved before the goal is set. Intuitive, which is  designated by the N, they generally find the nitty-gritty of goal-setting can be very  dull, because they’re people who like to gather information more theoretically  because intuitives tend to trust their gut instinct, so their goals need to be more  inspirational and challenging, to find a broad idea that will lift their goals to a higher  level. Goals that are too simple or clear are seen as obvious and something that  doesn’t need to be planned. So the purpose of goal-setting for an intuitive is that it  needs to go above and beyond what is already being done.  

 The third part of MBTI is decisions. When making decisions, do you first  consider logic and consistency, or people and circumstances? This indicates whether  you are a T, a thinker, or F, a feeler. Thinkers prefer work that lets them use their  intelligence to excel, while feelers prefer work that reflect their values and work to  help others.  

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 When we’re talking about goal-setting, thinkers approach decision-making in  an objective and firm minded manner. A goal must be a result of an exhaustive  thought process and figuring out what the best things you can achieve would be. So  I’d you’re a thinker, you want to build in time for this thinking process.  

 Thinkers are driven by the what and the how of what can be accomplished,  what good will come from it, versus the feelers, whose goals tend to reflect a concern  for others. Feelers have to be careful not to set goals for other people, or to set goals  just because someone else wants you to do something.  

 The fourth part of the MBTI framework is structure. When you’re dealing with  the outside world, do you prefer to make decisions or stay open to new options and  information? And this indicates whether you are J, judging, or P, perceiving.  

 Judgers like organization and structure within an orderly workspace, while  perceivers prefer flexibility and freedom, and they don’t mind a little bit of chaos. So  for goal-setting, judgers, because they’re very structured and scheduled, goal-setting  feels very natural and they may not feel like they need a formal process for setting  their goals. They would probably benefit from it, but they don’t feel like they need it  quite as much. And their goals are best set when they are explicitly defined, so  everyone involved can agree to them and begin tackling them.  

 If you’re a perceiver, the methodology for reaching goals is very different from  a judger, because, well, perceivers are more flexible, they’re more spontaneous and  adaptive. Goal-setting is a continual process for perceivers, as goals are always  emerging. So you’ll want to make sure you keep yourself from procrastinating by  enlisting an accountability partner and reviewing your goals on a regular basis if you  are a perceiver.  

 Did you maybe recognize yourself in some of those parts? I know that knowing  that I’m an INFJ and I read those descriptions of what each of those letters stands for  and what it means, I see so much of myself in that. And if you notice some of these  things about yourself, I want you to keep this in mind. All types are equal. There is no  best types or worst types. It’s just a tool to help understand the differences between  people. It doesn’t measure trait your ability or the character of who you are.  

 And I gave some examples with goal-setting, but understanding your  personality goes so much further than that. I really want to encourage you to head  over to inkwellpress.com/podcast, and click one of the links under episode 57, to  go and take a personality test. They don’t take too long. Set aside a little bit of time  to take the test, and then dive in and read a little bit about what those personality  indicators say about you.  

 You might find that it really helps you understand not just who you are, but  how you interact with others. I think understanding your personality type is such an  investment in yourself, so take the time to give yourself that gift of understanding  who you are.  

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 Now, next week in our episode, I’m going to be talking about defining your  core values, and I’m really excited because I have a great download for next week to  really help you figure out what the core values are that are unique to you.  

 In my mini episode of the weekender coming up in a few days, I’m going to be  sharing my best kept secret for how I invest in myself, and I think you might be  surprised by what I do. So I hope you’ll tune in for that.  

 If you like the exercises and activities that we talk about on the podcast,  especially the free downloads, I would really encourage you to go to  inkwellpress.com/podcastemail and sign up to get on our list, because with the next  week’s episode with our free download, that will be sent automatically to you.  

 I try to make the newsletters as impactful as possible. We do challenges, we  talk about the podcast episodes. I’d love for you to join the list because I think it’s a  great way to keep yourself accountable every single week. All right. Until next time,  happy planning.  

Thanks for listening to Productivity Paradox from inkWELL Press. To join Tanya’s free  group, simply go to inkWELLpress.com/group.