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Find the Authentic Indicator

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There are lots of personality indicator knock offs out there. If you want the benefits of accurate and valid results, you need to take the authentic Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

The authentic indicator is not published in a book, nor is it offered free, online. The authentic online versions are administered by credentialed professionals. Check the links listed below to find a certified practitioner who can offer you either the online or paper and pencil version of the MBTI.

Where to Get the Authentic MBTI

The Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT)
The Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT) offers the MBTI online with a full hour of feedback from a highly credentialed professional.
The MBTI Master Practitioner website
The MBTI Master Practitioner website will match you with a certified practitioner to deliver and feedback your indicator.

Completion of the MBTI is Always Voluntary

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One of the main ethical tenets of the Myers-Briggs is that completion is voluntary. It's about more than respecting your individual rights, it's a matter of accuracy.

The MBTI is a self report instrument. There are no tricks; there's no "lie" scale. When you complete the Myers-Briggs, you're reporting on your personal preferences.

If you've been coerced or pressured into taking the indicator, you may not feel at ease and your results may be adversely affected because of your discomfort. Likewise, if you are required to take the indicator as, say a pre-employment exam, you may try to answer in a way you think the employer wants you to answer, again resulting in an inaccurate outcome.

Professional practitioners will make certain that you know completion is voluntary and that your choice to decline is kept confidential. In my workshops, those who choose not to take the indicator receive a results folder along with everyone else. Only they know the type section is blank.

Feedback is Always Professionally Delivered

One sure way to know you're not taking the authentic Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is if your results are delivered electronically or you're just handed a print out. Ethical use of the MBTI requires that you be provided with interactive feedback by a certified professional.

The feedback may be in a workshop or one-on-one. The feedback session should be scheduled for no less than an hour and you should have ample time to ask questions. The professional will make sure you understand the terms and descriptions associated with the MBTI and should help you confirm the validity of your results.

If you aren't offered feedback as part of completing the Myers-Briggs, run fast, run far.

MBTI Results are Always Confidential

Confidentiality is another major tenet of ethical use of the Myers-Briggs. The decision to share your results and type are yours and yours alone. No matter who pays for the indicator's administration, your type is not to be disclosed to employers, others in a consulting company, your partner or spouse, or anyone else.

In my team building workshops, it's obviously useful to know the type make up of the entire team. However, unless every single individual agrees to share his or her type, we use dots on the type table rather than names. Participants are allowed time to consider whether or not they want to share and can make that decision known, privately, so there is no retribution.

If you are required to disclose your type or if the indicator's administrator shares your type without your permission, you may want to consider discussing the infraction with an authority in your organization. You may also report the practitioner to the MBTI's publisher, Consulting Psychologists Press (CPP).

You Decide if the Results are Valid

Remember what we said about the Myers-Briggs being a self report indicator? It only makes sense that you and only you can say if the report got it right or not.

Terms and type theory should be completely explained in your feedback. You should be given an opportunity to read about your type and similar types and to consider whether or not your results are valid. Your type can be considered a "working hypothesis" for as long as you want -- maybe even forever, if that's what you'd like.

Many people find their reported results to be surprisingly accurate. And, most people enjoy sharing their type results and talking with others about type. Your choice is always up to you.

Type is an Explanation, Not an Excuse, and Never a Stereotype

The Myers-Briggs sorts type into one of 16 sets of preferences. We all know we humans are far more unique and complex than that!

The 16 types are a first step in understanding. They provide a framework. But type should not be used to include or exclude. Type is not the basis for hiring decisions or team composition. I've heard more than one manager say, "but we need more of those," as though he or she were ordering office supplies.

We all can (and will) use all the preferences in our lives. The more we work with type, the more we can see the infinite variety of behavior associated within each of the 16 types. It's unfair to our own understanding and to the other person to decide they are capable or incapable of something because of type.

Your feedback session or workshop needs to foster that sort of understanding. The certified professional will help managers (and others) in the example above see how to make the most of the team by capitalizing on the gifts already right under his or her nose!

More Resources are Available

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As part of the feedback (or workshop), you should be provided resources to continue you exploration of type. One of the wonderful things about the Myers-Briggs is the easy availability of the theory. A multitude of reliable, professionally written books are accessible at your library, bookstore, or online provider.

I've listed a few books in the section below. An online search will turn up plenty on type and the Myers-Briggs, as well.

Favorite Myers-Briggs Books

These are some of my favorite books featuring the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). I use many of them in my workshops and have recommended them to clients.

Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type

Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type

by Isabel Briggs Myers

You can't do better than the book by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator's author, Isabel Briggs Myers.

Introduction to Type

Introduction to Type

by Katharine D. Myers, Linda K. Kirby, Isabel Briggs Myers

I use this booklet in my workshops. There's a full description of each type along with understandable details on type theory.

Please Understand Me: Character and Temperament Types

Please Understand Me: Character and Temperament Types

by David Keirsey, Marilyn Bates

I know I said you won't find the authentic MBTI in a book, but there is a well regarded alternative at the back of this book.

Manual: A Guide to the Development and Use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Manual: A Guide to the Development and Use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

by Isabel Briggs Myers, Mary H. McCaulley

If you're serious about understanding the research behind the Myers-Briggs, this is the text for you. This book is required reading for all professionals seeking certification.

Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type

Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type

by Paul D. Tieger, Barbara Barron-Tieger

The Myers-Briggs has been a respected tool in career counseling for decades. Harness that insight with this book!


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