Myers-Briggs: Build a Team That Works for Your Business


When expanding your enterprise, it can be tempting to hire only the five personality types who are statistically more likely to succeed in business.

According to Sage, these personalities all exhibit a preference for evidence-based decisions, outcomes which benefit the business, and making unpopular but necessary decisions.

Yet, while these personality types might achieve career success, it doesn’t mean hiring only this type will benefit your business. Instead, your recruitment teams should seek a balance of personalities, so teams better complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

The most popular personality test used by businesses around the world, including 89 of the Fortune 100, is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The MBTI distinguishes a person’s preferences in four categories of dichotomised outcomes: Extravert/Introvert; Sensing/Intuition; Thinking/Feeling; and Judging/Perceiving. These outcomes them combine to form one of sixteen well-defined profiles.

While it is not the most reliable personality test available, the MBTI has gained popularity for being able to categorise people quickly and easily, with each of the sixteen profile types describing a person’s preferences, motivations and stressors: useful information for recruiters seeking a specific type of person to perform a particular role.

Why balance is important

Hiring competitive, hard-working and natural leaders is essential for keeping teams organised and pushing them to achieve innovative and challenging objectives. The reason the top five personality types in business share these traits is because they are all thinking-types and, so, are more prone to putting facts and long-term goals ahead of the feelings of their co-workers.

However, too many strong and stubborn temperaments in one team is also likely to cause upsets to productivity when they cannot agree on a solution, while anyone who doesn’t fit this category of personality is likely to feel undervalued or bullied.

So, while business-driven leaders and innovators are necessary, it is equally important to hire other types. For example, ISFJs are exceptionally responsible and loyal workers, determined to create a harmonious work environment while carrying out their duties to the highest standard. They may not be the idea people, but the work simply won’t get done without them.

Educating to optimise team efficiency

Importantly, these clashes between types aren’t deliberate, but the result of misinterpretation of others’ motivations. For instance, extraverts often believe introverts are lacking self-confidence or take too long to make decisions, while introverts view extraverts as being too brash or loud.

In reality, it is just how these different types prefer to approach problems – but misunderstanding can create disharmony, which impacts business efficiency.

Finally, while the above advice is a great way to create a workforce that will drive your business forward, while simultaneously creating an inspired work environment, it is also a good idea to educate the employees themselves.

Host workshops to explain the different personality types, so employees become aware of what motivates and frustrates their colleagues, and how they can approach each other in more amenable and productive ways.

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