Monday, April 13, 2009

The Inspirer

I think I've mentioned this, but to be sure, I'm doing a graduate business degree right now. A special one, for geeks, rather than an MBA. The business school career center has a lot of cool services and one of them is letting you do a free Myers-Briggs personality type testing.

I took the test, looked at the results (ENFP or The Inspirer) and thought, huh, another thing that says I'm an extrovert. And those who know me will say "duh!" and that of course I am an extrovert - no question. When I do other personality type testing, like or the DiSC, I get profiles saying I'm persuasive, I'm a promoter, and I'm high on Woo (talking people into things) and Influence (self explanatory, no?). I have the gift of the gab, that's for sure.

I wouldn't argue with any of the above - except for the extrovert. I've never felt completely comfortable with that, because I've read that the big Es are energized by being around other people, which I am, but only to a point. After awhile, I really need some by myself time to rest and regroup, and I draw energy from this regrouping as well. This is a sign of an Introvert, so I was always puzzled about which one I am.

I was reading a fresh blog post from the wonderful Penelope Trunk on a largely unrelated topic (go read it! this post is about feeling ambiguous about some parts of parenting), where she links to an overview of the 16 personality types, according to the Myers-Briggs folks. I remembered that I test as an ENFP, so I drilled down to this particular personality type for more thoughts on what we're like. In the description, it says:
Unlike other Extroverted types, ENFPs need time alone to center themselves, and make sure they are moving in a direction which is in sync with their values. ENFPs who remain centered will usually be quite successful at their endeavors.
Oh! I said to myself. That explains it. I'm an introverted extrovert.

I like what it says near the end about what it's like being a child of an ENFP. I think I might be a bit like that as a supervisor: best friend alternating with authoritarian, but sticking with the core values.


Ryan said...

I can't believe I remember this, but I am an INTJ. Apparently, you and I should never be friends. :) But seriously, I love taking these types of surveys! Every few years or so, I read up about it all over again, and rediscover the fact that my personality type is uniquely suited to becoming a doctor, engineer, lawyer, or four-star general.

CaroLyn said...

Yer so funny! That's hilarious. Actually the way I read your profile is that we'd make an excellent team, complementing each other in lots of ways. Or killing each other, yeah, that could happen too. Four star general: yes, that's you. ;)