Decoding behavioral patterns:Brief Introduction to Psychological types.

“The way my mind works is very different than number of other people”. 

Dr. Carl Jung’s model helps us understand this in a rational way.

“The essence of the theory is that, much seemingly random variation in the behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent, being due to basic differences in the ways individual prefers to use their perception and judgment.”  (

Carl Jung, along with his clinical practice and by looking at the available data, he found patterns in which human behavior can be arranged. Even though he initially used this finding in his clinical work, later in 1921 he published Psychological Types which laid the foundation to what followed. Myers and Katherine- mother daughter team took this worker further in mid-1940s and created MBTI, Myers Briggs Type indicator, and this led to the explosion of interest in type.

What is real is, your understanding of your own personality type at different point of life may be different. But the basic impulse of type you feel is always there. Some reflection of life should give more clarity on how you have developed over period of time.

We adjust and modify our behavior from time to time, but the core of our behavior remains the same. In terms of what stimulates us, how we gather, process information and make decisions remains pretty constant across life. This pattern of perception (gathering data) – becoming aware of people, things, ideas, happenings and the pattern of judging (making decisions)is the foundation on which this model is built. While these two processes are quite orderly in following a pattern, the difference may be based on their interest, knowledge, skills, motives and values. One could develop a range of behavior that might look like other type pattern, but the core type pattern of which you are hardly ever changes.

“There are times when I alter my behavior to be more effective in given situation,                                          but that doesn’t mean my core self has changed”.

The natural impulse responses are always there and that’s the core of what personality type is. Left with our own devices we will return to our core, but the context and situation may bring us to an act out of our preference.

It takes a lot of energy to consistently behave outside our preferred pattern. Like, if you are an introvert and doing an extroverted job, you could do that with lot of energy and you should make sure you have lot of time for renewal during the day, where you could get back to your world and reflect. Similarly if you are an extrovert and if your work demands you to be away from people throughout the day, you need opportunity to network in order to get energized.

The four dichotomies as per Myers Briggs Personality type;                                 The four letter type of one’s personality is not the final depiction, but an invitation to explore the system. Each type has its own special gifts, strengths and blind spots -its own areas of development.

Extraversion (E) and Introversion (I): The very basic way on how one get psychological energy renewed.

People with an extraversion preference usually need external stimulus, visual and verbal experiences to renew themselves. Whereas, a person with an introverted preference may get renewed by having time to reflect on their experiences and mentally playing with information. In short, those with extraversion preference consistently show an interest for external stimulation and those with Introversion preference does not show interest for external stimulation for same level of activity or performance.

Sensing and intuition: Patterns of perception -Gathering data.

Sensing is about an individual preferring to hands-on, concrete sensory details of everyday life where as individuals preferring Intuition is more likely to be attracted to a pattern, making association of the information that’s available for you, naturally looking at what  the pattern is, how it fits in to the larger picture, the possibility. In short, sensing is about data collection by senses from concrete sources whereas intuition is seeking to imagine how the information points to a bigger picture.

Thinking and feeling: Patterns about Judgment – Making decisions.

Individuals preferring thinking usually line up their options, look at pros and cons, evaluate by giving weightage to different things and come to a logical conclusion by objective verification. Whereas, a person with feeling preference usually makes decisions based on some ideals, usually involving how it impacts others, values and arriving at a conclusion rising from within the group. Whether or not there is some logical analysis first, it’s important to move in a direction what we think is an ideal situation.

Perceiving and Judging: Orientation to the external world.

Myers introduced this dichotomy. An individual who prefer Judging tend to orient to world by structure, order, system and act in a methodical way, whereas one who prefer Perceiving tend to be emergent, spontaneous, go with the flow and get excited by that.

These four letters in combination is more than sum of its parts. All these letters are an invitation to see the system- the psychological system. All extroverts are not the same and the same applies to all introverts. When we start looking at the whole patters, Type dynamics is an advanced system that helps us understand letters in combination.

Knowing your type:                                                                                                             There are multiple ways that can help one understand his or her type. There are different types of assessment tools which generate reports. There are millions of people who have done the assessment and the vast amount of data is available today. However, not all tools available in market are created equal. A certified MBTI practitioner can guide any individual with a suitable tool.  The individual himself is best qualified to judge the accuracy of the type description that results from his self-reported type.

Applications of type knowledge:                                                                                        The knowledge of personality type stimulates energy, optimism and better cooperation among individuals. Understanding type knowledge is a releasing experience and helps an individual find his own natural preference and potential area for growth. Few key areas of application in business world includes, but not limited to, Personality and Career, Profession, Personal development, Team Development, Conflict Management, Communication, Learning, Relationships, Leadership development, Executive Coaching and Change Management.

He who knows others is wise; He who know himself is enlightened-  Lao-tzu, The Way of Lao-tzu; Chinese philosopher (604 BC – 531 BC)

Krishnan Unni , Certified MBTI Professional and  Strength Strategist.


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Yes, I belong here ! Carving a Strengths-Path.

“ A person can perform only from strength. One cannot build performance on weaknesses, let alone on something one cannot do at all. Throughout history, people had little need to know their strengths. A person was born into a position and a line of work: The peasant’s son would also be a peasant; the artisan’s daughter, an artisan’s wife; and so on. But now people have choices. We need to know our strengths in order to know where we belong.” – Classic Drucker: Essential Wisdom of Peter Drucker from the Pages of Harvard Business Review. Managing oneself :

Research proves that improving one’s own strengths is the path to excellence. Building skills and knowledge according to your natural talent and having a choice to do more and more of what you are good at yields peak performance.

In a recent visit to IMD Switzerland, Usain Bolt explained how he focused on his strengths rather than his weaknesses, especially in the 100 meters where the start is normally seen as crucial.

“I was always a bad starter. I’m still not great,” he said, to laughter from the audience. “My coach Glen Mills told me the last 50 meters is the best part of my race, so I should just concentrate on getting to top speed.” Secrets of success from Usain Bolt

A number of experts contributed to such thinking. Many published their ideas on the subject in books, such as Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi , Soar With Your Strengths by Don Clifton. Martin Seligman reinforced the idea through positive psychology in books such as Authentic Happiness and Flourish. Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman wrote what great managers do differently in their book First Break all the rules.

Most of the time, we see people being sent for training to improve their weaknesses, “ You need to improve your communication skills – Find one and get trained” says a manager. Training may yield improvement in areas of weaknesses but it may yield better results if the same effort is spend on developing the natural talents. Imagine you send a good communicator for sharpening his skills and knowledge in communication, yes the magic happens!

Today you see finding fault and pointing weaknesses at all levels. Someone who is highly organized and structured (as per Judging type of MBTI)  can easily notice that another person is disorganized.  They completely overlook his or her natural strengths. Someone who is an extrovert (as per Dr.Jung’s personality type) may find an introvert to be incompetent and so on. But Great Managers understand that those who are unlike them are not to be labelled incompetent. They possess different strengths which should be tapped in for team performance.

Managers should be trained to identify, focus and build on strengths.( This is what coach Glen Mills did for Bolt). This helps managers to build strength based teams right from selection and provide opportunities for individuals to become a fulfilled version of themselves.

There is a need for a paradigm shift in the mindset of managers to move the needle from trying to improve the weaknesses to accelerating and multiplying strengths.

And finally Managers with natural talent to motivate and drive people to a higher cause will find this kind of learning highly valuable. Those who are task oriented individual performers will still feel there is a lot of hard work each team member needs to put in.

Krishnan Unni , Certified MBTI Professional and  Strength Strategist.


Classic Drucker: Essential Wisdom of Peter Drucker from the Pages of Harvard Business Review. Managing oneself :

Secrets of success from Usain Bolt                               

MBTI® Basics                                                                             


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