Many of us have taken the Myers-Briggs personality test, either in school or on the job. One of the core principles is that there are no bad personality types. Taking the test is supposed to help you know yourself better, understanding your natural inclinations. That way, when you are under stress, not only will you be able to predict how you are likely to react to different situations, you may be able to alter your reaction to reach a desired result.
As a group of professionals that are constantly working under pressure from suppliers, executives, and internal stakeholders (not to mention suppliers that participate in the bid process but don’t get an award…) the results of the test can be both illuminating and empowering – but only if we use them.
I took the test in graduate school. I won’t say there were any big surprises in the results, but the process was fascinating. In all honesty, I find people and their choices fascinating in general. I’ve decided to take up the topic of the Myers-Briggs personality type indicator and its relevance to procurement in a series of posts on the eSourcing Forum. We kicked off the series a couple of months ago, and have returned to the theme each month to address another pair of dichotomies.
The Myers-Briggs dichotomies are:
In a couple of weeks I will publish my post on Thinking v. Feeling, the ‘judging’ functions. Considering your preference of the two will help you understand how you make decisions based on available information – and what information you prefer to rely on. This dichotomy is at a crossroads in procurement. Realized savings is just as important a performance metric for CPOs and their teams as it has ever been, but we are also being asked to take on amorphous efforts like collaborating with suppliers to create value.
Each post in the series looks at the circumstances under which your type is most likely to be successful. Remembering that there are no bad types, each of us needs to recognize where we excel and position ourselves to leverage that.
I’ve committed that at the end of the series I will share my whole type, made up of one each of the four dichotomies. If you have taken the test, I encourage you to follow the series and consider how your personality comes into play on a daily basis and what changes you might make to take your performance to the next level. No inkblot tests will be given – I promise.
If you’d like to get caught up on the series, here are the links to my previous posts: