Social influence occurs when one’s emotions, opinions, or behaviors are affected by others. To understand why social influence matters, I took a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test. In this post, I will explain how my MBTI type will play a role in my work and in my leadership development. My results came out according to my expectation: my MBTI type is ENTP.
The Sixteen Types sheet above describes my leadership style as “one exciting challenge”; my personality type “tests the limits, argues both sides of a point to learn, tirelessly raises the bar, and is most inventive.” This description aligns with my leadership experience in that I enjoy volunteering in classes and in groups, I like to debate, and I am running a startup company. Knowing that 2.5 million people take the MBTI each year, I have a good idea of how I can get the most out of knowing my test results.
I feel that the MBTI is valuable to me because it allows me to re-examine my answers; knowing the outcome makes it easy to analyze why I chose the answer option that I chose. For example, I answered that I would prefer to “introduce people to others” instead of “be introduced by others.” Three out of four of my results (Extroversion, Intuition and Perception) help explain this. My extroversion allows me to speak freely with strangers; my intuition guides my conversations; and my perception allows me to communicate with my audience on the level of body language. All of these are great interpersonal skills to have. While I did not know why I was being asked this question when I was answering it, looking back at it helps me understand the big picture of how the MBTI test pinpoints psychological preferences.
My MBTI type, ENTP (Champion), did not surprise me. It would have perfectly matched my expectations had I known what the options were. Unfortunately I did not get a chance to make a prediction. I knew that this was some sort of a leadership personality test, but I did not know how the results worked. I wish I had a chance to take a look at the possible results, and contemplate about what my MBTI results would show. However, the results that I received make perfect sense to me: I am extroverted, I am intuitive, I am a thinker, and I have a sensitive perception to the outside world. It is important to realize that the MBTI test shows my inclination of choosing one over the other, and is not a clear-cut determinant of what I am at all times. It is imperative to understand that I am free to adjust my leadership style for individual situations. Nonetheless, I like the MBTI test: it is quick, it is accurate, and it gives you valuable, actionable results.
Knowing my MBTI type will help me in roles I currently hold, because I will be able to better understand my ways of thinking. As an owner of a company, this psychological preference test will help me run my company better. I look at the MBTI test as an asset in my marketing arsenal. While everyone has opinions, and certain ways of doing things, I have a competitive edge: I can analyze why I make those decisions. One specific example of where I will benefit from knowing my MBTI type is my involvement with Greek life here on campus. I am a brother at Theta Chi, an international fraternity that was founded in 1856. Our chapter has been in College Park for almost 100 years, and it is an opportunity to take on a leadership role. At this very moment, I serve on a Fund-raising cabinet. My job is to help our chapter raise money. After finding out my MBTI type, I took action towards starting a sales program with Papa Johns. This program will allow our chapter to raise $2,000 when executed properly. I knew of this opportunity for a long time, but the Myers-Briggs leadership style test gave me the motivation I needed to get started. I look ahead to tackling this fund raising program, getting our chapter some money, and renovating the basement using those funds.
I have learned two interesting things from the MBTI test. I learned what the pairs of opposing personality traits are, and what I can do to be more like one than the other. First, I learned that for some people, I may be better off giving clear, precise instructions on how to reach a goal. For others, I may be better off giving minimal supervision. Just because my type is ENTP does not mean I cannot be INFJ, or ISTJ, or ESFP. All I have to do is adjust my way of thinking, and adjust the way I act, and all of a sudden I made an impromptu shift in my leadership style. I realize that such changes might not always be needed on the spot, but I know from experience that oftentimes, leadership is needed almost out of nowhere. A problem arises, and someone needs to step up to the plate, and accept the challenge. I think that any personality type can tackle a challenge, but how they execute the solution may vary. Knowing my MBTI type will allow me to tackle more challenges in life, and increase my chance of success.
Looking ahead, I think it would be a good idea to memorize what the pairs of types are, because it would allow me to analyze people that I meet, without having to have them fill out an MBTI. If you think of your best friend, I bet you could predict their MBTI results fairly accurately. If I memorize the type pairs, it would be easier to get along with people; it would allow me to change up my leadership style “on the fly” as I learn more about a particular person. In a nutshell, it becomes a sales tool. As an entrepreneur, that is important to me.
Most importantly, knowing my MBTI score will allow me to manage people better. For example, if my employee is aggressive about getting things done, I might just leave them with an idea, and they will make it happen; another employee who is laid back would need more direction. I think the MBTI is a great way to learn about yourself, and people around you. It will always remain a valuable tool for me to learn about people’s types, and to continue re-evaluating myself.