In our last post, we described the basic tenet of The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and its relevance to our personal and professional lives. In this post we’ll delve into the first pairing – Extroversion vs. Introversion.
First, it is important to note that these are not absolute scales. All of us differ on where we fall in the spectrum depending on the situation. However the measurement of our preferred style is what counts.
The Extrovert on the MBTI is the person who gets his energy from interaction with others. He likes to be active and involved in group events. He likes to make things happen, and enjoys solving problems through discussion with others.
The Extrovert can also tend to be impulsive, not thinking through a decision. He may find goal-setting and follow-through a challenge, and so would function best in the workplace when paired with someone whose talents make up for these perceived shortcomings.
The Introvert, on the other hand, gets his energy from within, and usually prefers solitary activities or those with one or two friends. He is imaginative, intuitive, and reflective. Not necessarily shy, he finds being in groups draining.
The Introvert can also tend to be slow to take action, so situations which require prompt decisions may not benefit by the Introvert’s participation. He may also be so wrapped up in his inner world that he mis-perceives the responses of others.
Understanding the energy focus in the classroom or workplace can greatly enhance learning and productivity.
We begin to understand that the fidgety coworker may be someone who can’t stay in his office is not disruptive or interfering but is instead seeking interaction with others.
We stop labeling the introspective child as a daydreamer or antisocial, and instead understand that she has a need for solitude and quiet after a taxing exam.
When you understand your spouse’s MBTI, you can better understand why he or she loves to party and you prefer a quiet evening at home, and find ways to compromise.
There are many applications for these understandings in our daily lives. In our next blog post, we will continue the study by examining the type scale of Sensing vs. Intuition.