You may well be familiar with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. It’s one of the most recognised and used personality tests in the world. It is based on the psychological theory of Carl Jung along with Katherine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers.
In this week’s podcast I chat with Bo Miller, who is an author, blogger, podcaster, introvert, and certified Myers-Briggs practitioner.
He helps people identify and maximise their unique gifts through his website, iSpeakPeople. It’s a site for INFJs (a Myers-Briggs personality type). However, Bo publishes great stuff for introverts of all colours. You can download his free ebook, The INFJ Personality Guide, which is a fantastically in depth look at life as an INFJ.
Criticisms of The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
I loved talking to Bo about the MBTI, and its use in our lives. Over the years of working with introverts and sensitive types I have come across various critics of the test. It was lovely to talk with Bo though, who recognises that while it is not perfect, it carries a huge amount of value. It helps us better understand ourselves, others, and maximise our own impact on the world.
Escaping Tribalism and Reductionistic Language
Conversations about introversion can be deterministic; a pre-determined set of characteristics and values. Introverts have no control over what they are capable of…and what they are incapable of.
We are good at building walls around ourselves, using labels to justify the behaviours and attitudes we want to get away with.
But this is not helpful, necessary, or healthy.
What I love about Bo Miller’s approach to this topic is that he sees the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator as a tool we can use to free ourselves. It’s not a tool to label and thus restrict our self-understanding, but one to help us better understand who we are and how we can create conditions in our lives for the best way of being.
It’s important for all of us to embrace this approach. To enjoy the validation of recognising ourselves in a certain personality profile, whether that’s as an INFJ. But then to use it as a way to understand ourselves within the context of the richly spiced variety of humanity, of which we are but one small speck.
In the interview you will learn:
- Why the MBTI is still relevant today
- What it helps us understand about ourselves and other people
- Why Bo wanted to be a licensed practitioner
- Bo’s favourite kind of resources to create (as a podcaster, writer, YouTube creator etc)
- What advice Bo would impart to his younger self if he could
- How Bo balances family, work and business life, without burning out
Over to You
What did you enjoy about this interview? Has it changed anything in your understanding of yourself as an introvert? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.