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This content is taken from the Coventry University's online course, International Career Development: Pursuing A Career Abroad. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 3 seconds My name is John Sinton and I work at Coventry University online. The business has developed a number of strategies to enable team development, leadership skills, effective communication and in some cases conflict resolution. MBTI is a psychological tool we use for individual and team development. It enables us to consider how a person perceives the world around them and how they interact with others. When we experience competing goals, we are required to cooperate with individuals and groups that are from different cultures and business functions. This can lead to conflict and disagreement when a party wants to impose their views on others without appropriate understanding and appreciation of others.

Skip to 0 minutes and 39 seconds The situation quickly becomes emotional or personal and the parties become entrenched in their own views. So, I feel like organisations that train their staff in MBTI empower their staff and take responsibility to consider a personal preference type. EI classifying extroverts and introverts, SN for sensing and intuition, DF for those drawn to thinking or feeling and JP for managing judgement on or perceiving situations. This framework also gives the individual the opportunity to understand more about themselves and how they work best with others. A strong example of this is the introversion and extroversion classification many people are aware of these characteristics but most assume that introversion is a negative quality and extroversion is a positive. That’s not the case.

Skip to 1 minute and 31 seconds Within the MBTI framework both attributes are positive and promote best working practices within each classification. It is essential for each individual to understand their place but within the matrix to make the best use of their characteristics. MBTI results tell us a lot about each member of our respective teams. This tool is useful in aligning staff to work with each other and that they are likely to work effectively and collaboratively and their personality types don’t clash with each other and that strengths and weaknesses compliment each other. So, when I think about the cultural dimensions I understand that people’s differences is something that enables teams to deal with issues and potential dilemmas.

Skip to 2 minutes and 10 seconds The benefits to the business are clear to see, the way staff conduct themselves with others in the workplace in meetings, online or face to face works extremely well. Individuals are given understanding and respect for their personality and character. This gives staff confidence and the space to have their voice heard. The use of the MBTI tool enables leaders within your organisation to become more self-aware and to allow self- reflection and development. This can empower an individual’s influence of culture within the business to have a better appreciation of the personality type within your team greatly improves the quality and actions with your communications.

Understanding your personality

The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) tool has been used widely in the business world to help individuals better understand themselves and how they interact with others.

In the video, we introduce you to John Sinton – a Senior Producer at Coventry University Online (CUOL). John explains what the MBTI tool is and how it has been used in the business to develop teamwork, leadership and effective communication skills.

The MBTI tool groups personalities into 16 types based on the combination of preferences highlighted in the video. The 16 types are explained on the Myers & Briggs Foundation website.

It’s important to stress here that this is not a fool-proof method for assessing your personality.

The tool has attracted criticism from both those that have used the tool and by academic researchers. It is not within the scope of this course to detail these criticisms – or indeed to detail its validity – but you may want to explore these in further detail by searching online and academic databases.

Nonetheless, the MBTI tool is widely used and, even if you do not agree with the results it generates for you, the most important aspect of using this and other tools is to engage in the process of critically evaluating how you think, feel and behave in a range of situations.

Your task

Have a go at the 16 Personalities Test, which should take approximately 12 minutes to complete. This will generate your personality type based on the MBTI classification of personality types.

Once you have read through your results, reflect on your personality type and share your responses to the following questions:

  • To what extent do you agree or disagree with your personality type result?
  • Why do you agree/disagree with your personality type result?
  • Having reflected on your personality, what might you do differently when interacting with your friends and work colleagues in the future?

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This video is from the free online course:

International Career Development: Pursuing A Career Abroad

Coventry University