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This topic is adapted from the PursueGOD Video YouTube channel.

All people come from unique backgrounds that affect their beliefs and behaviors. The Myers-Briggs temperament test is a popular method of categorizing and understanding how different types of people perceive and interact with the world around them. Many businesses and even churches use the Myers-Briggs test to ensure that the right people are doing the right jobs. Myers-Briggs tests have helped friends, spouses, and families understand and interact with one another well.

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The Myers-Briggs temperament test is a way to help understand your personality. It is based on four categories that, taken together, yield sixteen unique personality types. Some of these categories have overlapping traits while others are different from one another.

E/I:  Extroversion/Introversion

It describes how a person perceives the world around them. More specifically, it helps show how people are energized. Some people are energized by being with others – talking with groups of friends, spending one-on-one time with others, or working in a fast-paced, team-centered environment. Typically, these people would be considered “extroverts.” Other people are energized by getting alone time – being away from others to read, meditate, think, or work by themselves. This is not at an indicator of whether or not a person likes being with others. It is instead an indicator of what either energizes/inspires them versus what tires them.

N/S: Intuiting/Sensing

It describes how a person gathers data from the world around them. People who tend toward viewing the the world in black/white or true/false categories tend to be “sensors.” Sensors appreciate clear, sequential presentation of information and might tend to think of themselves as “objective” and that their views are based on facts rather than feelings. People who internalize their experiences tend to be “intuiters.” Strong “N’s” tend to “intuitively” understand patterns out of bodies of information and are often viewed by others as wise or highly perceptive. S’s tend to value and excel in observation whereas N’s tend to value and excel in insight.

F/T: Feeling/Thinking

It describes how a person makes decisions. “Thinkers” tend to make decisions on the basis of facts and are often viewed as logical decision-makers. “Feelers” tend to decide on the basis of their feelings – they tend to follow their “hearts” or their “guts” and are often aware not only of how they are feeling about a decision, but how others are feeling about it. This is not to say that Thinkers don’t feel and Feelers don’t think! This category describes a person’s preference or natural inclination in their decision-making process.

J/P: Judging/Perceiving

It describes how a person orients his or herself toward life. “Judgers” tend to seek organization, structure, routine, and clarity. “Perceivers” tend to seek flexibility, adventure, possibility, and unexplored things. They are okay with things being open-ended. J’s might tend to view P’s as disorganized or noncommittal while P’s might tend to view J’s as inflexible and boring.

No personality type is “better” than another. The Myers-Briggs continuum is about understanding different personality types rather than rating which is superior. It is best to understand that different people thrive in different situations, and the Myers-Briggs continuum is a good way to understand who works well, where, why, and how.

[Related: Training Leaders Like Jesus Did]

Written content for this topic by Daniel Martin.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
  2. What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
  3. Have you ever taken a personality test, either a Myers-Briggs test or another test? What results did you get? Explain what you learned from the experience.
  4. Why is it important to understand your own personality or the personalities of your family members, co-workers, or close friends?
  5. Generally, which tires you more: being around other people or being away from people? Give some real examples of what this looks like in your life.
  6. Do you consider yourself more of a “sensor” or more of an “intuiter?” Explain.
  7. Do you make decisions primarily on the basis of your feelings or primarily on the basis of a logical thought process? Explain.
  8. Do you consider yourself to be more of a “judger” or more of a “perceiver?” Explain.
  9. Which of the categories in this video jumped out at you the most? Why?
  10. Have you ever been around a person who seems to view and interact with the world in a vastly different way than you? Did you find this intriguing, difficult, or maybe a little bit of both? Explain.
  11. Does your profession or field of study seem to be consistent with what you know about your personality and how you operate as a person? Explain.
  12. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

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