November 2001
Vol. 31, No. 11, pp 14–22.
Starting the Process

Table of Contents

Myers–Briggs type indicator
The MBTI (1–3) gives people insights into their natural behavior and attitudes by identifying 16 possible patterns of 4 pairs of preferences that follow the theory of Carl Jung.
  • Extroverts and introverts (“E” and “I” on the MBTI grid). Introverts enjoy privacy and quiet time and tend to prefer fully developed ideas. Extroverts are action-oriented and impulsive, like to think out loud, and tend to present “rough drafts”. They are more outgoing and sociable.
  • Sensers and intuitives. Sensing (“S”) is the term for perceiving concrete things by using the senses. Sensing types want to start with what is known and real, relying on actual experience and proven results, not theory. They approach change slowly, carefully, incrementally, and critically. Intuitives (“N”) perceive abstract things meanings, relationships, and possibilities through insight. Intuitive types like complexity, theoretical relationships, and connections between things. They have the ability to see future possibilities, often unusual and abstract ones, using imagination and theory.
  • Thinkers and feelers. Thinking (“T”) is the term used for the process of logical and impersonal decision-making. Thinking types apply logical analysis to weigh facts and examine consequences objectively. Feeling (“F”) is the term used for arriving at conclusions through a process of appreciation with a system of subjective personal values. Feeling types develop personal values and standards and typically exhibit a warm understanding of people, compassion, empathy, and a need for harmony.
  • Judgers and perceivers. Judging (“J”) and perceiving (“P”) are ways of applying the sensing–intuition and thinking–feeling preferences. Judging is convergent, driving toward closure and results. Organization, schedules, plans, and priorities are important. A perceiving temperament is divergent, open, flexible, and unconstrained. This person tries to keep things open for new possibilities as long as possible and does not want to miss anything.

The preferences can be summarized as follows:

    Extroversion E I Introversion
    Sensing S N Intuition
    Thinking T

    F Feeling

    Judging J P Perceiving




They in turn create 16 possible combinations of temperament types. This summary of the MBTI tool was adapted from The 7 Levels of Change by Rolf Smith (3).

Back to article