DSM Fellows Find Opportunities to Reflect Through Myers Briggs Assessment
The Myers Briggs assessment was developed by Isabel Myers and Katharine Briggs as an application of Carl Jung’s theory of personality types. This theory suggests that we have opposite ways of directing and receiving energy (Extraversion or Introversion), taking in information (Sensing or Intuition), deciding or coming to conclusions about that information (Thinking or Feeling), and approaching the outside world (Judging or Perceiving). This assessment’s job does not measure skills or abilities in any way but rather increases awareness and better understanding surrounding the eight selections you prefer over the other, because at some point everyone uses all eight. You are assigned a personality type based on the first letter of each of the above in bold.
So what does my warning label of ESFP mean for me?
An ESFP Personality
People with this personality type are often the first to help someone talk out a challenging problem, happy to provide emotional support and practical advice. However, if they are a part of the problem or conflict, they are more likely to avoid it all together. This is due to a tendency to say and do what’s needed to get out of such situations, partly because they may be unsure of themselves or selfishly want to escape to something more fun. Woof … that’s a tough pill to swallow, but I find it more like the truth than not. Understanding the ESFP personality was the start of understanding why I am more consumed by my weaknesses than I am about my strengths. Understanding why I am sensitive, conflict-averse, easily bored, unfocused and a poor long-term planner has oftentimes consumed my thoughts and made me unsure of myself. I am confident in many areas of my life but when any of these characteristics is challenged, I tend to lose that confidence. But you know what? All of these traits are okay to have, as long as you accept and try your best to work on them.
Accepting Weaknesses to Accomplish Growth
There might be things you initially struggle with, but over time, you gain experience in order to excel at them. This is something I, along with the other Fellows within the DSM Fellowship Program, learned during a recent breakout session. Having a healthy definition of strengths and weaknesses keeps us from a fatalistic mindset. Accepting your weaknesses and understanding them better helps you to overcome them. If there is something you want to accomplish, identify what makes you feel strong and seek to accomplish it along that path. There is tremendous growth for those who concentrate on their strengths to overcome weakness. And I have also found there are legitimate areas of weakness that tend to still weigh you down. You learn how to navigate around them and find different ways to leverage strengths to work alongside your weaknesses.
Learning our personalities is only the beginning of a lifelong journey for our group of Fellows. Having this opportunity to reflect helped all of us appreciate the helpful ways that people differ from one another and how these differences will enhance our teamwork going forward. We are all born with different qualities and equally valid preferences. The earlier we understand these differences the more successful our working relationships will be.
The DSM Fellowship program is the preeminent professional development initiative attracting, developing and retaining a diverse community of top-tier graduates to Greater Des Moines (DSM).