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A few months ago, my co-workers and I were all subjected to the Myers Briggs Personality Type Indicator Test. I am quite certain most of you are familiar, but in short, it asks you several questions about your personality and your “method of operation” if you will, and spits our your type. Quick, go here and read about the types!

Anybody care to guess what I am?

Don’t worry, I was wrong too.

There are 16 types, and the 4 letters making up that type include a dominant, auxiliary, tertiary, and inferior function, so it’s just about 0% likely that anyone is exactly one type to the T. For example, even though I answered honestly, I received ESTJ – dominant function being Extroverted, but my 10 colleagues all picked me as Introverted. I refused to believe it until I sat back and thought about it. They probably do see me as introverted, because I am really focused at work and don’t generally speak out of turn, and mostly speak when spoken to, which is definitely NOT the case outside of work. (Mom? Kevin? Mo? Tracy? you can all attest to this!)

The ISTJ stands for Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging. Before you go judging me, here’s a little about my type:

quiet and reserved people; loyal, faithful, dependable, very detail oriented, generally follow the rules and procedures, has little use for theory or abstract thinking, have tremendous respect for the facts, hard workers, generally do not give themselves credit for achievements, have an excellent ability to take any task and define it, organize it, plan it and implement it through to completion and many times fall into catastrophe mode under pressure. 

Much of this is true: I do consider myself to be loyal, faithful and dependable. I am definitely responsible. I am the epitome of detail oriented – I am not a “big picture” person, I’m all about getting there – I do generally follow rules although I also find loopholes (just saying). I am highly organized, to the point some would call ANAL. In my closet, my clothes on hangers MUST all be facing the same direction. I can immediately tell when someone has been in my closet (yeah Kristie) and it annoys me. I don’t really credit myself too much, and sometimes I am actually really, really hard on myself. And crack under pressure? Occasionally.

See most of this I couldn’t even try to argue with, because if you know me at all, you’d immediately see at least 2 of those traits. But I was still on the fence about the extrovert/introvert thing. But actually, after further reading and a one-on-one with a consultant, I started to sway toward ISTJ. Then the consultant said to me, “have you ever coached a sports team?” and when I said yes, he said something along the lines of “that makes perfect sense. Many times quiet and introspective people make great leaders when they are truly in their element.” Makes sense, right? Is this starting to sound more like me?

Anyway, my reason for posting about this is that I have become more aware of personality types. Not the point of trying to guess peoples’ types, but more that I would like to effectively communicate and work well with others, and with understanding of their thought process, this becomes much easier, and certainly more clear. It has made it easier to work with others now that I know how they operate. It makes it easier to solve a problem when you can step back and consider their type for a minute, and realize that we can all solve the problem together because we balance each other out.

So, do you think I am truly an ISTJ? What are you?


2 Responses

  1. I’m most certainly an ISTP. There was no question in my mind at all. But then again, that is just from looking at the website you linked, not from actually having the test administered to me. So who knows, really?

  2. […] “ISTJ Catastrophe” – What?! Are you mocking my personality type? […]

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