Friday, 31 January 2014

Week 1: ENTJ

At a Board development session earlier this week we discussed the results of recent Myers Briggs personality type tests we had all taken.  The purpose of this was for us to gain more insight into ourselves as individuals, the Board collectively and how we relate and interact together.  We want to work more effectively as a collective Board through being aware our strengths and where there may be gaps or less prevalent personality types we need to accommodate for.  Before you get too excited, this blog isn’t going to be a tell-all story of what my fellow Board members’ personality type results are; I’ll leave them to decide whether to share this information in public or not!

For anyone not familiar with Myers Briggs, essentially it is a way of identifying your preferred personal style in four dimensions, which defines how you perceive the world and make decisions.  A simple survey is completed by an individual, then scored resulting in a four-letter description of your ‘type’ from the four different dichotomy scales, as shown below:

Extraversion (E)
(I) Introversion
Sensing (S)
(N) Intuition
Thinking (T)
(F) Feeling
Judging (J)
(P) Perception

From the above dichotomies there are 16 different personality types (shown below).  This doesn’t mean any individual is restricted to behaving in a particular way, but the scored ‘type’ just defines their preference for how they perceive the world and make decisions.

From the scoring, my type came out as ENTJ, which means I have a preference for Extroversion, Intuition, Thinking and Perception.  This doesn’t mean I can’t practice and use skills or attributes associated with Introversion, Sensing, Feeling or Judging, only that these aren’t my preferred styles.

This outcome for me was no surprise and is consistent with the three times I have done this before in the last 15 years.  The most interesting thing for me to reflect on now is how this applies in my current role and how I relate to colleagues internally and externally.  I also want to take time to think through how using knowledge of my preference can help me to be more effective.

As an ENTJ most of my weaker characteristics stem from my dominant Extraverted Thinking, the E and T in my type.  These can overtake my personality, stifling the natural expression and balancing value of the other personality functions.  Because of this I am aware that I may:

·         Find it hard to understand other people's needs where these differ from my own.
·         Become so engrossed in a plan or ambition that personal needs and the needs of others are forgotten.
·         Take every decision not made in agreement with my rational beliefs as a personal rejection.

I am aware of this, which is a start, and will make efforts to try to counter these perceptions and how they influence my behaviours and decisions where I can.  I’ll be doing a similar exercise in the near future with my direct team to help us work better together.


  1. And I am an ESTJ. It probably says more about me and my age that this is the 14th time I have done Myers Briggs but it may also say something about the gravy train Myers Briggs cash be for consultants. I have found my results changed a bit across my career with S replacing N sometimes.

    Its a useful tool though as long as kept in perspective and not used to oversimplify people and put into boxes. If it just helps Boards consider the impacts we have on others and recognise and respect diversity of views it is time well spent

  2. Absolutely Gary, we mustn't pigeon-hole people based on type. We need to accommodate different styles and also recognise where we are missing or short on preference-types in any team.