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Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
  • A Brief Introduction to the MBTI


  • The MBTI was developed by a mother-daughter team, Isabel Briggs Myers and Katharine Briggs, using the personality type dimensions outlined by Carl G. Jung. Research on the MBTI has been ongoing from the 1940s, first through the Educational Testing Service in Princeton, NJ, and currently through the Center for Application of Psychological Types.

    The MBTI is a self-report inventory that generates 16 personality types, which also break down into four temperaments. The Myers Briggs Type Indicator has proved enormously useful as a tool in
    • couples counseling
    • communication in all venues
    • team development
    • career coaching
    • conflict resolution
    • therapy for business


    Understanding yourself and others is the basis for high self-esteem and success in life. As a life coach and counselor, Jean Eva uses the Myers Briggs Type Indicator to help her clients identify their strengths and to improve those areas which need rebalancing.
    Differences in communication styles are at the heart of many misunderstandings. And here is where the MBTI enters into couples counseling and team development to bridge the following striking differences in communication!

    The simple question, "How are you doing today!" will be understood by the four temperaments as follows:

    • SJ temperament:"What are you accomplishing today?"
    • SP temperament:"What's fun and exciting for you today? "
    • NT temperament: "What innovative ideas are you coming up with today?"
    • NF temperament: "What are you feeling enthusiastic about today? "


    The MBTI as a Resource to Renew your Relationship and as an Integral Part of Life and Career Coaching

    In the Appendix to Gifts Differing by Isabel Briggs Myers and Peter Myers, Peter writes, "The onset of World War II made it dramatically clear to Isabel Myers the extent to which human differences can cause misunderstandings -- even to the point of threatening an entire civilization. She wanted to find a way for people to understand rather than to destroy each other.” 
    How timely this message is for us today! The Myers Briggs Type Indicator continues to be a tool which can improve communication and team development and lead to a more effective relationship or organization. Because of its many diverse applications, the MBTI is an excellent choice to foster understanding between individuals, couples and teams.

    Today there are computer-scored versions of the MBTI and expanded portraits that yield subtraits of each of the major categories. There are hundreds of books written on various applications of the MBTI, as well as training manuals for use in business, industry, and educational facilities. You may have taken the MBTI as part of your college or university career, yet there are still many amazing things you can learn about

    1. yourself
    2. your relationships
    3. team development
    4. how to deal with stress
    5. how you can apply the principles of conflict resolution to your situation, and
    6. how to practice effective communication in every relationship


    At Beyond the Horizons Consulting, our principal, Jean Eva Thumm, is a trained MBTI administrator who has done couples counseling and team development for decades. Check out our Testimonials for citations of Jean Eva's MBTI seminars.

    Kudos for the MBTI from other Professionals

    A Chase Education trainer wrote about the use of MBTI at Chase: “All these instruments are such a hodge podge. I’d like to see the MBTI as the instrument – in sales, teambuilding, leadership, everything. We wouldn’t have to start over with each group and could just add to people’s knowledge as they learned different applications.”

    Lisa Geller of the Organizational Development Group says, “We see if the issues – typically things like conflict and communications – are related to type. They usually are … Once people experience type, they see it’s worth the time. In fact, the MBTI is most often used when the manager has experienced its value first hand and wants to use it with the work unit.”

    Christine Chatigny of the Education Department at Chase Manhattan Corporation: “People like the MBTI’s reliability and validity figures. Bankers like facts and numbers; they feel safe buying into it.”

    Major General John Cowings, Commandant of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at National Defense University, believes the military uses the MBTI heavily because “soldiers depend upon each other for their lives. To do that, they have to understand others as well as possible and respect them. … The real message,” he adds, “is that we’re not dealing here with winners and losers. We’re dealing with a whole bunch of different winners. The MBTI tells people that it’s OK to be different – you don’t need to be brought into the mainstream.”

    Jean Eva, your Life Coach





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