Debra Swersky
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Opt-in for weekly journal, not blog, posts.


I find the question “What is your MBTI personality?” to be a very personal question. MBTI stands for Myers Briggs Type Indicator. Occasionally you’ll find someone’s four letter results on their LinkedIn profile, but it’s rare. The results are personal, they indicate how you see the world. They reflect how you’re likely to process information and on what spectrum you’ll respond. Since I’m not certified to dive deeper into a review of the assessment, I’ll stop there. You should know, though, I toe the line and often ask: “Have you ever taken the Myers Briggs assessment?”

Yes, I recognize the straightforwardness of this question. I ask it, without qualms, just like I ask people, “What is your salary?” ::gasp:: (I know, that’s a personal question too.) I ask these questions because the answers are good things to have out in the open, understand, and discuss. Now that I’ve stated my controversial stance on salary transparency, I’ll get to the point. 

I took my MBTI assessment on a family weekend while sitting on a loveseat next to the love of my life and while trying not to distract my brother-in-law from his work. I failed on two accounts: taking the assessment and trying not to distract my brother-in-law. Throughout the 90-something questions I debated my responses… out loud. It was hard not to garner a little bit of audience participation. Oops! Even with a few of my crowdsourced responses, I think the results were telling. 

That next week I reviewed the assessment with my (amazing) career counselor at Babson and then went to the office to participate in the MBTI banter with the team. As a team building event we shared our results and my whole world came into focus. I understood why I was hired, why I was struggling, and what the source of the problem was. Stunning. 

My MBTI has come in handy since that day and has led me down the path of self-discovery: speedreading MBTI’s to understand how I play with others, StrengthsFinders for natural talents, Predictive Index for workplace behaviors and environmental cues, and, of course, Fascination Advantage for how the world sees me. I use them all in a wide variety of situations and often call on my own results. 

I had to call on my results for the, “hey watch out for that tendency”… which is always a good paragraph (or two) to read twice. Through my journal I’ve talked about my fascination with addiction of varying sorts, my heartbreaking reality, and my wholehearted attempt to involve as many people in my decision-making as possible. The tendency to watch out for: becoming overly detail-oriented. 

Since I’m inherently a data-driven person, and have a tendency to become overly detail-oriented, when you put an application driven by data in front of me I will detail-orient the you-know-what out of it… and obsess… and drive myself further down the rabbit hole. It’s unnecessary. (Reference my StrengthsFinders results.)

When it comes to my personal health and wellbeing, as long as I recognize this fun fact about myself, I can safely request outside assistance from those whose input and opinions I value… or so says my MBTI results.

Debra Swersky