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Business tips & techniques: personality types

Myers-Briggs personality types

‘Personality’ is a relevant topic in the Business English classroom: it affects choice of jobs, individual skills and competencies, and general attitude to teamwork/decision-making/planning/etc. ‘Personality types’ is also very much a discussion topic for HR people.

Perhaps the most widely used and most trusted instrument for analyzing personality is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). There are several good, free online tests to find out your type, and other sites where you can get more information on the characteristics of each type. There is a lot of vocabulary for describing personality along the way.

For interest, I personally tend to be either ISTJ or INTJ when I do the tests.

If you want to find out more about the MBTI, this website has more info, although you can just go straight to the activity if you don’t need more background.

1 First, get students to find out their Myers-Briggs ‘type’. There are several free online questionnaires for them to do this. Have a look at these (perhaps try them yourself), and choose one:
Human Metrics

Kisa Personality Test
Team Technology Personality Test

With 1:1 or very small groups you can do the questionnaire in class with them, for larger groups they will have to do the questionnaire at home.

2 Now let the students read about their ‘type’. Again, there are many sites for this. Have a look at these:
Myers Briggs MBTI Personality Type Personality Types Careers

3 Discuss! Obvious areas are:

How accurate is the profile of my ‘type’?
In what way does the profile make me suitable for my job function?
In what way does the profile indicate my personal strengths and weaknesses?
Are personal characteristics fixed or can they be changed?
Is personality profiling a useful activity in business (eg for recruitment and selection)?

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Paul Emmerson

1 Comment

  • This is a great blog post I really think you gave great insight and will reach a lot of people. If anyone is interested in taking a test like this you should try this one I found. I know there is a cost but it was really affective and I learned a lot about myself and the types of careers that may be best suited for me. Take a look. Thanks again and I hope you enjoy.

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