Understanding My MBTI® Results

Learning about your personality type begins by taking the MBTI® assessment, followed by an interpretive feedback session to verify your best-fit type, where you may experience an 'aha' moment or discover a key insight into your personality. But it should not end here! As your interest and knowledge grows, you can then explore your personality more deeply.

With self-understanding, you can begin to understand others and appreciate personality differences. Beyond that, you can learn how to apply type awareness to understand and enhance your natural communication and problem-solving styles, along with learning how to better manage conflict, change, and stress in your life. You may even discover a career that interests and satisfies you.

Tips For Understanding and Using Your Basic MBTI Feedback

During a basic MBTI feedback session, you will receive a profile or interpretive report of your MBTI results. There are many different reports (career, team, decision-making, personal impact, and more), which vary in size, design, and topic, but all give you the basics of your MBTI profile. In addition to the profile report, you should also receive descriptions of the 16 types so that you may verify your best-fit type.

MBTI reports provide your preference for each of the four preference pairs based on how you responded to the assessment:

  • Extraversion or Introversion (E–I)
  • Sensing or Intuition (S–N)
  • Thinking or Feeling (T–F)
  • Judging or Perceiving (J–P)

These results are based on how you answered the MBTI items on the day you took the assessment. The scores represent the consistency of your responses, not the strength of your preference or how well you use it. As with any self-report questionnaire, your responses reflect your mindset when you took the assessment.

The four preferences together make up your whole type. There are 16 MBTI personality types.

When you receive your MBTI results, you might not agree with it. Only you can decide which personality type fits you best. We find that over 90% of people agree with at least three out of the four preferences in their whole type.

So, why might you choose a different type than your MBTI results?

Reasons You May Choose a Different Preference or Type

All self-report assessments are impacted by the mindset we are in when we take them, including the MBTI instrument. The MBTI tool is designed to identify your innate preferences, but your results will depend on your mindset when you take the assessment.

Sometimes circumstances in your life influence how you answer the items on the MBTI instrument. If your mindset was focused on work, for example, you may have answered as your "work" self rather than who you are innately. We all wear different "hats" and take on multiple roles in life.

Perhaps you felt pressure to respond in a certain way for fear of losing your job, or maybe you answered according to who you think you should be or want to be. Working with a certified MBTI professional can help you sort through these environmental influences in your life.

How the Results Can Assist You

Knowledge of your personality type preferences can be used in many ways—career, self-growth, relationships, and learning, to name a few. Learn more about using Type in My Life.

How Do I Talk about My Type with Other People?

First and foremost, your results are confidential. You get to choose who to share your type preferences with. Of course, sharing your personality type with others, especially people who know their preferences, too, leads to a greater understanding and appreciation for differences, which is invaluable personally and professionally. You can learn from each other!

Your Type is One Part of You

Remember that you are so much more than 4-letters. People are complex and multifaceted. Your personality type represents some of who you are, not all.

You are not your type; type is not a label. Your personality type represents your innate preference in four areas of personality. Therefore, once you verify your type preferences, for example INTP, rather than say "I am an INTP," say instead, "I prefer INTP."

It is the same thing when you talk about your individual preferences. Preferences are not nouns. In other words:

  • I prefer Introversion; I am not an Introvert.
  • I prefer Extraversion; I am not an Extravert.
  • I prefer Sensing; I am not a Sensor.
  • I prefer Intuition; I am not an Intuitive.
  • I prefer Thinking; I am not a Thinker.
  • I prefer Feeling; I am not a Feeler.
  • I prefer Judging; I am not a Judger.
  • I prefer Perceiving; I am not a Perceiver.

Remember, we use all the preferences!

In Summary

Your results from taking the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® assessment provide a reported type, based on how you answered the self-report questionnaire on the day you took it. To get to verified type, an interactive feedback session is necessary.

For those of us who grew up in homes or a culture that did not support our natural preferences, getting to a verified type can be harder. This is where a professional can really help you to distinguish between that which is natural from that which was learned or developed due to other factors. The MBTI Step II instrument is helpful in this regard.

Because our upbringing, culture, or work environment impacts all of us on such a deep level, there is the potential that you will be unable to verify a best-fit type. And that is okay! Learning about personality type is about self-awareness and understanding, not just getting four letters.

Knowing your personality type, but also type in general, can help you to know yourself better, then you can begin to understand others too. Personality type is a system to help people understand themselves and others better!

Personality type is not a destination; it is a journey of self-discovery.