For this post, Ailsa puts Whitewall on the couch and asks about our parents. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but other times it’s a terrible reminder of that time a clown came to school…
A team that works and collaborates effectively is the ideal, but differences in personality, opinion and experience can affect performance and motivation. Identifying and understanding personality traits can help to improve team dynamics through understanding individual working styles.
Everyone loves a personality test, so a few of us recently measured our personalities using the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), an instrument which determines personality type by evaluating behavioural factors. The test is based on Jung’s theory of psychological types which proposes that personality can be measured by four dimensions on a scale of preference, and results in an acronym which reveals dominant characteristics.
It’s well known that one of the downsides of self-administered personality tests is that you can easily pick the answers to portray yourself in a more favourable light. With phrases such as, “You’re introverted?” and “I did NOT think you’d be one of those!” being bandied about the office, it occurred to me that it might be fun to take it a bit further and see what traits would be revealed from the blogs on our website. After a bit of digging about, I found an online test called Typealyzer which analyses pieces of writing for personality traits. The pen may be mightier than the sword, but is it mightier than the MBTI?
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Self-evaluation revealed this blogger to be an ESFP type – one of life’s performers. An enviable personality type, they’re well-regarded, spontaneous, energetic and enthusiastic, and it’s hard to be bored around them. They’re a positive influence around the office and can be relied upon to be the life and soul of the party. Typealyzer only differed in one dimension, suggesting this blogger is more introverted with an appreciation of art and beauty. Taking both results together would perhaps suggest this person is likely to be an extravert with introverted tendencies or vice versa. Whatever way round, he’s definitely both an entertainer and an artist.
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The MBTI revealed a Teacher (ENFJ) with the ability to mesmerize listeners, so this blogger couldn’t be more different from the subjects of her blog! Charismatic and inspiring, protagonists are crafty with words and know how to use them – sounds about right. However, traits revealed by her blog suggested she’s an ESFP – someone who lives in the here and now, surrounded by bright colours and material comforts who likes to find creative ways to live life. Have to say both of these sound quite accurate, and the dominant traits of Extraversion and Feeling definitely shine through.
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Typealyzer’s result suggests the author of “A warm welcome” is an ESTP – a Dynamo who is dramatic and debonair, active and playful. This person’s words suggest he likes to engage in physical outdoor activities, and is at his happiest undertaking action-filled work with an inability to sit still and concentrate. We’re more used to his MBTI persona – that of “the architect” (INTP), an innovative inventor with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Does this mean he’s been very honest in his self-assessment, or does he have a secret desire to conquer mountains and build more than websites? (No to the latter – Ed)
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The MBTI revealed this blogger to be an INTJ – an imaginative and strategic Mastermind with a plan for everything. The Typealyzer result was again fairly close with only one trait differing (INTP). It did, however, suggest this person may prefer a more exciting career such as an F1 driver or a skydiver. The balance between Judging and Perception styles of thinking is probably pretty key to this person’s personality, meaning they’re able to make informed and rational decisions without losing sight of how they affect others.
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According to the MBTI results, this “Champion” (ENFP) is an enthusiastic, creative and sociable free spirit who can always find a reason to smile – a useful trait to have on a miserable Monday morning. Typealyzer suggested he’s introverted (INFP), and more logical, practical and fact-loving than he admits to! Considering the techie jobs he likes to do in the office, this does seem to suggest he’s near the middle of the intro to extraversion scale.
And what of this blog? MBTI results revealed an INFP personality type – an imaginative idealist who is sensitive and compassionate. The only difference Typealyzer found was on the Thinking/Feeling scale, suggesting both logic and emotion can be applied to thought processes.
On the whole, it seems like the Typealyzer tool did pull out some traits which are evident to others if not to ourselves, so perhaps plugs the gap created by self-evaluation. All personality tests are subjective, and this blog is therefore not to be taken as a definite indicator of personality of anyone within the Whitewall team.
To take the tests, go to http://www.truity.com/test/type-finder-research-edition and http://www.typealyzer.com/