A fellow psychologist recently forwarded me this link to the Myers Briggs site since it’s the 70th anniversary of the MBTI tool. Like many, I first experienced this tool as part of a team building exercise about 15 years ago and have thought of myself as an ISTJ ever since (see picture above).
We would argue that while there is nothing wrong with MBTI, it and other profiling tools based on the traditional 5 dimensions of personality, are well past their sell-by date, particularly for sales teams. This is because:
a) they present a “fixed” view of personality rather than a “growth” view – increasingly, the science suggests suggests we can grow. I have certainly grown outside the ISTJ box above
b) they look at “trait” rather than “state” – all the best science on sales performance suggests that optimism and explanatory style are more important than traits as predictors of sales success
c) these profiles are often used to measure extroversion in sales recruits on the assumption that extroverts make great sales people. To see this assumption blown apart, read “To Sell is Human”, the latest excellent book on sales by Dan Pink, author of “Drive”