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MBTI : Useful or Time Waste ?

Myer-Briggs Type Indicator or MBTI is a tool developed by the mother-daughter team of Katherine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers to determine the traits in an individual to understand how she performs in a situation. The tool developed during the Second World War has gained immense popularity among the companies during the years, improving with the years for devising the training and development programs.

MBTI is widely used in business enterprises as it provides an insight into human nature, if done properly. It inspires the individuals to understand the inner traits that control her movements and decisions. The tool enjoys a number of advantages.

Comprehension of the individual traits helps the management in formulating its training programs. Introverts can be guided to open up to make them powerful leaders to get results from the subordinates. Similarly the type of trait inhabiting within the individual determines the decision making capability of the person. Decisions can be based on the proper analysis of the past, current and the future trends and factors governing them, or traditional methods. The method used varies with the individual. A well drafted MBTI can assist in identifying the type of decision making capability that is hidden within the individual. The study states that the decision may be made by the way the individual “feels” or “thinks”. Intuition plays a major role in decision making in many instances. Though it might work in certain circumstances it may fail if the situation calls for the practicalities of the situation. Based on the tool, the decision making capabilities can be widened to incorporate the best of all ways depending on the situation.

An identification of the individual traits, both active and dormant, aids in having a perception of individual behaviour in a group. Recognition of the individual attributes can be utilised to improve better team relationship. It also minimises the chances for conflicts among the team members, the team members and the company, the company and the trade union. A good purport with the customer can be assured of, resulting in wealth maximisation.

The tool can be used to make efficient leaders. People with the key potentials can be identified easily and measures to enhance the skills can be undertaken. The communication skills of the team members can be augmented to persuade the people to give the desired results.

People are generally resistant to changes. Identification of a person’s preferences aids in ensuring better support for the changes in the management. This tool can be used to identify how a person reacts to a change and measures to guarantee their acceptance to the change can be made.

Moreover, self analysis encourages one to take measures to augment the existing skills and nullify the negative skills. Understanding who you are is a major influencing factor in career planning. A well planned career, reducing work stress through the identification and improvement of key skills and the required skills guarantees improved productivity and thereby individual growth.

However, this tool has its own demerits. As the human minds are complicated, the tool may fail to understand the intricacies of the human mind. Human behaviour is also situational. People behave differently under various circumstances, making it difficult to judge a person on the basis of a single situation. An actual situation and a simulation result in various outcomes making it impossible to judge a human being. In spite of the demerits, MBTI if conducted by a professional can assist an organisation in having a better relationship with the workforce and drafting policies to enhance, improve or nullify the inner traits and direct them to right channels guaranteeing productivity.

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