Last week I went through our corporate Discovery Insights training. My MBTI preference is ISTP so I was curious what the difference would be after my Insights assessment given both instruments are based on Jungian Theory.

MBTI

My type is ISTP = Introvert, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving. In a nutshell, my preference is introverted thinking which means I take data in though my senses and internalize before responding. I’m open to change and have little need for details and closed-ended outcomes. Again, this is a preference, not a stereotype or rule. There are 16 types.

My temperament, according to David Keirsey’s temperaments is SP or Artisan. Artisan’s are fun loving, creative and unconventional according to Keirsey. I suppose that’s why I did the moonwalk at the enterprise standup today to wake up the monday morning zombies. Seriously, it was awesome. There are 4 temperaments.

I’ve done the MBTI assessment 3 times over the last 5 years and it’s been the same every time.

Insights

Much like DISC, Insights is another interpretation of Jungian Theory. It’s based on separating the introvert/extrovert preference and the thinking/feeling preference into colours. My Insights preference is Yellow (extroverted feeling), Red (extroverted thinking), Green (introverted feeling), Blue (introverted thinking). That makes me “sunshine yellow”! On a side note, my dad’s nickname at work was Grumps. “Grumps” was written on the front of his hard hat. He worked as a boilermaker from the day he graduated high school to the day he retried and yes, he can be one grumpy sumbitch. I have inherited some of that grumpiness so needless to say, I was surprised to see “sunshine yellow” as my preference.

The “yellow-red” combination shows an extroverted preference and very much aligns with the SP temperament. The “blue”, being my fourth colour, aligns with the J/P of MBTI. I’m not big on details, like open-ended scenarios and generally tune out when there is too much detail.

That said, I like having fun at work, sometimes too much fun and I do wear my heart on my sleeve. It was a riot when we broke into type-like groups which magnified the differences.

The difference between MBTI and Insights, for me, was that my MBTI preference and dominant function was introverted thinking whereas “yellow” from Insights is extroverted feeling. Quite different. Again, this is preference, not stereotyping or a rule. Both instruments use core Jungian Theory as far as Attitude ( extrovert/introvert), Functions (sensing/intuition for information processing, thinking/feeling for response) and Lifestyle (perceiving/judging).

Both my MBTI profile and my Insights profile were bang on except that my insights profile mentioned I have a large circle of friends and acquaintances which isn’t the case. I prefer alone time to big group time unless I know everyone in the group!

I’m not anti-social, I simply like ‘me’ time and I think extroversion is something I’ve actively developed given the type of work I do. Put me in a party and I b-line for people I know, unless it’s my wife’s Zumba party in which case I get jiggy wit it.

Now that I’ve been assessed with both instruments, I find that Insights is easier to grok. Colours are easier to remember, although I’ve been studying MBTI as a hobby for a few years so I have a pretty good understanding of it.

I liked Insights because we went into details about how each colour reacts under stress. We talked about good days, bad days and how to figure out which “colour preference” others have so you can understand them better. Again, the same as MBTI, it’s not an instrument to label people. The delivery of the Insights material is easier to understand, especially for people like me with less than stellar attention to detail. Colour good. Details bad.

The same things that stress out an Artisan also stress out a “sunshine yellow” preference. Forced structure, rules, severe constraints and incompetence. My biggest confusion was the drastic difference in introverted vs extroverted preference. I’m sure that since my MBTI preference resulted in a preference for introversion, I developed a bias towards it, after all, many people are surprised when I tell them I’m an introvert. Maybe I’m not?

Ok, I’m rambling now, which is a trait of “sunshine yellow”. We tend to think by talking (an extroverted trait) and we tend to be noisy listeners which is why I often don’t shut up sometimes. We also tend to write smiley faces on stuff and cross out the word “resources” with “people” on sticky notes.

I firmly believe understanding whichever Jungian Theory you like best is a key to managing responses to change. All this ‘doing vs being Agile’ crap is just that. Crap. Culture is a collection of the behaviours of the people in the organization and people have natural preferences. Telling people to adopt a mindset that is at odds with their core preference is not likely to work. After all, I am a control freak and its taken years to tone that down. I still have lots of work to do on that front.

I doubt I’ll find an organization that will optimize their work to the level I want to, but as an Inspirer (sunshine yellow) success for me is when I inspire people see that there is a better way to work and they find a way to change their crappy organization or change their crappy organization.

Do I inspire you?