ISTJ

Are Personality Tests Valuable? By Christina Stewart

We think so.  But there is a catch… The Results Must Always Be Used For Good!  Let me explain…

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Personality tests, such as the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI for those in the biz,) can give folks a super strong sense of who they are and why they behave the way they do. They can also give employers a strong sense of who the employee is, where they may naturally be adept and show the ways that someone may contribute to the team. The problem lies in taking the results at face value, and using those results as a basis for either hiring or not, because there is always more under the surface.  

A great example is with the MBTI.  I am an ISTJ – and I am an ISTJ – I like structure and order and I’m also incredibly reliable.  The risk comes in when, let’s say, an employer may be interested in hiring me to facilitate training. They may see the ISTJ, and assume that I’m too introverted to speak up and move on to another candidate who shows a stronger preference for extroversion.  But what you don’t know about me by only seeing the “I” or the Introvert in ISTJ, is that I actually love public speaking. I adore standing up in front of a group of people and sharing knowledge and having great conversations.  ISTJs can actually be extremely adept at delivering training sessions because they are always incredibly prepared and they’re also information junkies – both attributes would be positive assets to an employer’s training department.

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The lesson here is to use personality assessments to prove what you already and know about someone “Look there is an ISTJ – I knew she seemed like he would be reliable,” and to use it as a way to allow a person a vaster contribution once you do hire someone.  They can provide tremendous value for self-discovery, team building, coaching, enhancing communication, and numerous other developmental applications. But due to limited predictive validity (does this test show how an employer will perform in the future?), low test-retest reliability (will this person answer the test exactly the same each and every time?), lack of norming (can this test be held up against another person’s and show the truth?) and an internal consistency (lie detector) measure, etc., they are not ideal for use in hiring.

Employers with a role to fill who only look at a certain type of person take a big risk in missing out on someone who would be outstanding in a particular role.  Personality Tests can be very valuable when used for good – to build people up, but not to exclude potential employees from their workforce.  They may just miss out on a shining star.

Dull & Dreary? Perhaps; but Still Desirable - ISTJ By Christina Stewart

ISTJ

How they gain energy: Introverted

How they take in information: Sensor

How they make decisions: Thinker

How they deal with the outer world: Judger

On the surface ISTJ’s can seem pretty boring.  They follow the rules (heck, they even make the rules) they think logically, they behave practically, they assess new information based on facts and tangible experiences.  They mull everything over and weigh out their words before even speaking. They organize for fun (yes, for fun!) and they are the epitome of reliable.  Sounds pretty dry to me.

But dig a bit below the surface and you’ll find a dynamic Thinker (T), an excellent friend and a leader who runs calm under fire.  These Introverts (I) carefully plan out what to say and how to say it so when they do speak you know it’s been refined and is likely important.  The most loyal of the personality types these are the folks you can call at 3am without fear of reprisal.  And they are one of the more common leadership types for a reason, they are trustworthy and practical – both ideal traits in your boss.

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But more important than just a friend you can disturb in the wee hours, these Sensors (S) make the world go round.  With nicknames like The Auditor, The Logistician, and The Examiner these are the types that run the infrastructure of economics, accounting, and technology.  These are the systems administrators, the office managers and the probation officers of the world.  These are the guys and gals that make sure the world is spinning as it should – essentially they are taking care of all stuff that you don’t want to.

ISTJ’s dedication to getting it right and following through can lead to some grave consequences for their own sanity.  Their sense of duty and obligation is so strong that they’ll continue to take things on even when they perhaps shouldn’t.  Shifty co-workers and passive partners will gladly flip their responsibilities over to these Judgers (J) and the ISTJ will continue to bear the larger load because for them the work has to get done one way or another. But be careful, eventually they’ll flip, dig in their heels and show those freeloaders just how stubborn they can be. (As an ISTJ myself – let me tell you, I can be stubborn.)

So, yeah, ISTJ’s can be pretty dry, but you still need us and love us – and for very good practical reasons.