Myers Briggs and Me

Occasionally, a pattern will emerge from the chaos in my head. Sometimes it happens slowly, and sometimes I can hear the POP as ideas converge.

I was reading the braidy testers’ posts on Myers Briggs, and it reminded me of when I took a MB test as part of a sort-of-touchy-feely management course a few years ago. The management course ended up being not so bad, but I found the MB study far more interesting than I anticipated.

For those unfamiliar with Myers Briggs, it’s a personality type test that tells you what you’re like and how you like to work. In the big picture, it also helps you recognize that different people work in different ways (due to their personality types), and that you need to keep this in mind as you work together. You can take a short test online (several sites do this), or, you can do as I did and fill out a long (!) questionnaire, which is probably sent to a hermit in Manitoba to evaluate.

So – I get my “results” back, and I’m an INTP. To which my response, of course, is WTF does INTP mean? Of course, the answer wasn’t far behind, they gave me a book called Working Together that described all of the different personality types. Basically, there’s a state table where you can be:

Extroverted or Introverted
Sensing or INtuitive
Feeling or Thinking
Judging or Perceiving

So, basically, I’m introverted, intuitive, thinking, and perceiving – and I’m NOT extroverted, sensing, feeling, or judging. Hey – that actually isn’t so far off…

I read more about myself in the book mentioned above and got one of those creepy eery feelings you get when you find out that the calls are coming from inside the house. In fact, if you don’t know me that well, you could read about me in this little green book.

Here are some tidbits about INTPs:

INTPs abhor  redundancy and hesitate to state the obvious, so their communications are frequently terse.

INTPs are frequently impatient with errors, snarled messes, covering ground already covered and other signs of inefficiency

INTPS trust logical reasoning above all else.

The basic attitude of INTPs is one of skepticism. While they are open to new ideas, they are skeptical of their validity until logically proven otherwise.

They hunger for problems to solve – especially complicated ones

There are dozens of other quotes about INTPs that describe me well, but I’ll leave the list short for now. Some of the items above could be shortcomings – and in many cases have been in the past for me, so I work through them – learning to act a little non-INTP-ish from time to time in order to work more successfully with others. I’d love to point to some of these attributes and say that they are what makes me a good tester, but I’ve known plenty of good testers with much different MB types, so it probably wouldn’t be a fair statement.

But at least my post mentions testing now.



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