Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

It takes quite a leap to move from the Carl Jung legacy to contemporary sales management. Jung’s thinking wasn’t meant to analyze or predict sales success. Taking those early psychological theories literally and applying them to 21st-century business relationships is a stretch. However, Jung’s theories grew into outcomes that can be very useful.

So, repIGNITE.com would like to continue our examination of the heritage that has led to the correlation between psychology, technology, and sales management. For example, to understand what tools like Insights® Discovery, Benziger Brain Types, Marston’s DISC® Model, and other psychometrics might bring to your sales department, we have to consider what Myers-Briggs insights mean to your sales success.

The “mother” of personality theory

Katherine Cook Briggs stood deep in the shadow of her own daughter’s work in personality theory. However, between early age homeschooling and a college degree, she became a well-educated woman in a Victorian Age leery of learned women. Passionate interests in childhood education, she homeschooled her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers.

A dedicated reader and writer, she dreamt of writing successful fiction. This drove her to read deeply in the early geniuses in psychoanalysis – James, Freud, and Jung – to help her create realistic and compelling characters and motivation. A correspondence with Carl Jung led to meetings until “she abandoned her own attempts at creating a theory of personality in favor of studying Jung’s work.” 

Like mother, like daughter

As early as 1917, Katherine Briggs had typed personalities as social, thoughtful, executive, and spontaneous. In those days, research was often word-of-mouth and apocryphal. All those early thinkers lacked the resources that big data would provide. So, Katherine and others struggled to structure legitimate studies or identify informing commonalities. But, Katherine Briggs would educate her daughter well.

Isabel Briggs Myers was Swarthmore College educated. She was a focused observer of human experience and devoted to making practical use of personality typing. Her research and writings joined the interests of others in a climate headed towards standardized testing for a number of applications in education, economics, sociology, marketing, and the military. Many great mines were thinking along the same lines at about the same time.

Isabel thought that she could start with some profiled standards in her own experience:

What are the things desired?

Self-respect

To be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Love

To love the humans who mean the most to me and contribute to their lives if I can.

Peace of Mind

To avoid mistakes that make me regret the past of fear the future.

Involvement

To be tremendously interested always.

Understanding

To incorporate the things, people, and ideas that happen to me into a coherent concept of the world.

Freedom

To work at what interests me most, with minimum expenditure of time and energy on non-essentials.

http://www.capt.org/mbti-assessment/isabel-myers.htm

Throughout 20 years, she worked with her mother and husband on the psychological “math” that would lend itself to an easy use metric. She worked on forms of analysis, terminology for motivation, and manuals to universalize the method. She tested family, friends, and students. And, as the database expanded, the reputation of the methodology spread. But, her research published in the 1960’s finally launched what would become the MBRI® Instrument evaluator, the ubiquitous tool in use to categorize human behavior inclinations with the hopes of matching type and need.

Myers-Briggs insights – The resulting MBTI® Instrument

All this history led to the formation of a questionnaire, available in several formats and lengths. Although the testing has been imitated and the scoring proprietary, the MBTI® profile questionnaire has remained “the gold standard.” We are not interested here in the modifications and variations refined for application sectors. But, we can summarize the outcomes.

The MBTI Indicator tests for four character components.

PREFERENCES

How You Direct Your Energy

I – Introversion

Get energy from thinking and meditating

E  – Extraversion

Get energy from outside world

How You Process Information

N – Intuition

Trust input from others and ideas that cannot be tested

S – Sensing

Trust facts that can be tested by physical senses

How You Make Decisions

F – Feeling

Seek balance between decisions and others involved

T – Thinking

Use reason, common sense, natural order, and cause and effect

How You Organize Your Life

J – Judging

Reports the use of Thinking and Feeling to deal with the outside world

P – Perceiving

Reports the use of Sensing and Intuition to deal with the outside world

Myers-Briggs insights – What you get out of it

The MBTI® Instrument will produce a “score” that will combine four of the eight bold initials above. Your outcome may categorize you are an ISTJ, ENFP, or any of the 16 possibilities. The position of the letters in the acronyms represents dominant and auxiliary preferences, too complicated for this report.

Our interest is more inclined towards the practical advantages and disadvantages of the Myers-Briggs insights model to your sales recruiting, sales team management, and customer relationship building. Our interest is in what Myers-Briggs insights mean to your sales success.

Image courtesy of iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tomek Jordan

advisory board member at Repignite
Interested in Sales Performance Management, Sales Incentive Management.