Victoria, British Columbia, Phone: 250-744-1731

MBTI ® tool: When it does, and doesn’t, work well

MBTI ® tool: When it does, and doesn’t, work well

By Donna Dunning

I was recently asked by a student to share the strengths and flaws of the MBTI® tool. My short answer is that the MBTI® tool is a great tool if and when it is used appropriately. The MBTI® tool doesn’t work well when it is misused.

Type works well:

• as a powerful tool for exploring an individual’s natural tendencies and preferred ways of processing information and dealing with situations.

• as a positive language for understanding healthy, normal differences between people.

• when people are interested in learning about, appreciating, and accommodating others.

• as a platform for exploring strengths and challenges.

• when focusing on personal and professional developmental paths and possibilities.

Type doesn’t work well:

• if preferences are misinterpreted as traits. This leads to “measuring” and “predicting” behavior, which is inappropriate.

• when type preferences are stereotyped.

• if people equate preferences with skills.

• when people don’t understand that everyone needs to use all of the preferences some of the time.

• when preferences are used to blame, explain, justify, or otherwise excuse negative behavior or place people in boxes.

These points are more completely explored in many of my other blogs including:
Don’t Box Me In
Challenging Your Assumptions about Personality Type
Type Snobbery
The Difference Between Skills and Preferences
Type vs Trait
Misuses of Personality Type


This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 at 9:43 am and is filed under Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

MBTI, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and Introduction to Type are registered trademarks of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Trust in the United States and other countries.