Monday, January 16, 2012

MBTI... We're More Similar Than You Think

Finally, after months of meaning to write this post, I have finally finished it. I am taking today off to recover from the marathon yesterday (read about it here) and I'm catching up on posts apparently as I relax. :-)

The COP L48 SWE group (translation - the ConocoPhillips Lower 48 Business Unit Society of Women Engineers) listened to podcasts on personality type. We took the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator and looked at statistics for women in general, engineers, and women engineers. It was very interesting to see the comparisons.

I've taken the Meyers-Briggs test before and am always unhappy with the results. I come out as ESFJ, but reading the descriptions think that I sound more like ESTJ. One of the meetings we had, we invited our ConocoPhillips specialist Dave to speak and he mentioned that he could do a short discussion to try and verify your type as well as offer you the more in-depth test that breaks down your type into more specific facets under each letter and shows you the scale of how in-preference or out-of-preference you are for each facet.

This sounded intriguing and I setup a meeting with him. We had a great discussion and 45 min later he said he had no idea which letter I was - T or F. Reassurance that I wasn't crazy! He recommended that I take the more in-depth test and I asked if Jason could also take it because I thought it would be interesting to see what we both were.

Well, back in October Jason and I had lunch to go over our test results - it was very eye-opening. Dave had emailed us that morning to confirm lunch and said that he enjoyed reading the results, say some very interesting things in them, and was anxious to meet with Jason and I.

He did a short introduction conversation with Jason asking him to read different characteristics under each of the letters (I-E, S-N, T-F, J-P) and say which letter sounded more like him. Jason chose I, N, but said that he fit all the description except pressure-prompted (meaning he works better under pressure rather than a self-imposed schedule before a deadline), T, and J.

Curious about our results? How did we stack up? I've attached them below, side-by-side so you can see them. (Jason is on the left, I am on the right. Sorry they are a little hard to read - if you click on them, the picture gets bigger.)

Here's our overall personality and how strong a preference we are towards each letter:

See how I am in the midzone for T-F?!? That explains my previous test results and struggle on which letter I am!

Here are the facets under each of the letters. This basically means if you are an E - you would be in-preference for each of those facets under E unless you were out-of-preference on one or more of them.

Here is the facet breakdown for Jason and I under the E-I. I don't think there's any doubt that I am an extrovert and Jason is an introvert...

Now the S-N breakdown. We are very similar!

And now for T-F:

My results totally make sense and shed light on being in the midzone! And then there's Jason. A T except he's accomodating and accepting. Below these graphs on our full reports are descriptions for each facet. Here's the decription for Jason's... pay particular attention to the last bullet on the Accomodating facet...

WILL SUPPORT A SEEMINGLY IRRATIONAL BEHAVIOR TO ACCOMMODATE SOMEONE WHO IS IMPORTANT TO YOU?!?!? I tried to come up with an argument when I saw this. Jason and Dave just laughed at me. Proof that Jason gives me my way just to keep the peace. Stupid test. ;-)

And apparently neither of us is "tender" so our future kids better respond well to "tough" love!

And finally the J-P facets:

No wonder Jason and I live through Excel, schedule everything (including relaxing time and vacations), and are always busy! We are both planful and scheduled! (I emailed Dave before we met in response to his email and said as long as he didn't tell us we were too anal retentive to be together, we'd appreciate the stats. He refrained from commenting via email. Instead he told us at lunch that we were both anal retentive - me just slightly more.)

And remember how Jason said he was more like J except for working better under pressure? He was extremely clear out-of-preference in the facet!!

And this was my Systematic facet that Jason and I laughed about!

I HATE surprises! And apparently like to "work within a superstructure of efficiency". ;-)

We listened to Dave tell us how he and his wife have learned a lot about how they interact with themselves, with others, and with their kids once they knew their personality preferences. Our tests give us suggestions on how to communicate with other types and a lot more information that two nerdy (and apparently anal retentive!) engineers like Jason and I appreciated!

*Side note - most engineers are ISTJ. Guess Jason chose the right profession! ESTJ can be engineers, accountants (something I debated studying) so I seem to have chosen well too!

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