Developed by psychologist Carl G. Jung, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test is used to determine individual communication preference. MBTI exercises are used in the workplace to distinguish personality types to facilitate teamwork and make organizations more effective. Test results indicate personal preference in four areas: extroversion/introversion, sensing/intuition, thinking/feeling and judging/perceiving. A total of 16 personality types are possible based on the combination of these results.
Steve Myers, author of "Influencing People Using Myers Briggs," describes an indoor Myers Briggs Type Indicator exercise using six ropes. These ropes are laid on the floor to form several sections of a large circle. Business team members are asked to stand in a particular section based on their MBTI test personality preference results. Once all team members are in the proper quadrant, opposite personalities will end up on opposite sides of the circle. Teams can then determine which strengths each member brings to the group and whether or not they are complementary.
Myers Briggs Type Indicator exercises that feature role playing help determine the style in which individuals deal with conflict and/or uncomfortable situations. For example, team members can be challenged to each act out a scenario in which they must fire another employee. Ultimately, some team members might take a sympathetic approach to the firing or have a difficult time delivering the news, while other members will complete the task quickly, leaving emotion out of the equation. Another role-playing exercise forces work teams to brainstorm on how to reach an imaginary business goal. This can help identify individual strengths and weaknesses.
Fun MBTI Exercises
Other MBTI exercises center around perception and communication style. Place a single object on a table, something as simple as a stapler, and ask team members to write a description of the item. The detail of the description, the language used to explain the item and any other feelings expressed in the writing will point out various preferences that can be useful when planning a team project. Or ask group members to write down which of the five senses they would prefer to live without and why. This will give insight into each individual's preferred method of communication.
Another fun MBTI exercise involves blindfolding a team member and having another member verbally guide him through an obstacle course. This exercise will demonstrate how well team members strategize with each other when faced with a challenge.
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