photo credit: Nessa Land
One of the first things they teach you about marketing is that you must know your own strengths and weaknesses in addition to those of your nearest competitor. For most of us, picking out the strengths and weaknesses of another is a piece of cake, but examining ourselves is a whole different story. Taking a peek under the hood of our own engine is a scary thought, perhaps even impossible for some.
One of our life-mottoes here at Blue Duck is that relationships matter. In fact, we believe life is all about relationships, everything else is just fluff or icing on the cake. That doesn’t make us relationship experts, or even mean that we get it right all the time. It just means that we expend considerable energy on improving and maintaining personal and professional relationships.
For those who don’t already know, I’m in the process of getting my Master’s Degree in Psychology in my spare time. In my studies, we took a look at Carl Jung and his theory on personality development, and I wanted to share that experience with you.
In my former life as an RN, I was responsible for providing a monthly inservice for employees, and I often chose to present an overview of differing personality types. When reading about Jung’s theories, I was instantly intrigued by the similarities and differences in Jung’s views when compared to what I had taught. So, I took the Carl Jung and Isabel Myers-Briggs typology test to see how I would score according to Jung’s categories. I was shocked to see such an accurate depiction of my complex personality. (Less than one percent of the population has the same personality type as I do.)
All too often, we tend to view the world strictly through the rose colored glasses of our own thoughts and experiences and fail to infuse our relational interactions with a modest amount of empathy. We are often incapable of seeing things from another’s point of view.
In order to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, you must 1) get to know that person beyond the veneer of social fronts, 2) understand the motivating forces directing that person’s behavior, and 3) often take into consideration the major life events that helped shape that person’s view of the world.
Empathy is a powerful tool, in both personal and professional relationships. It can help you analyze your own strengths and weaknesses (as well as those of your competition) and strengthen the quality of your relationships. Empathy can help diffuse a confrontational situation, provide a connection to a new acquaintance, and produce insight into the behaviors of those around you. It is a crucial component of healthy relationships.
One tool that can help you increase your level of empathy is personality typing, like the one provided by Jung. You can take your own personality test for free here: Carl Jung and Isabel Myers-Briggs typology.
Understanding your own personality is often the first step in personal growth and professional achievement. It’s one of those little nuggets of truth in life that should be taught universally, at least in my opinion. If you would like to learn more about personality types, a popular view is the Four Temperaments. And for those of you familiar with Jung’s theories, I am not supporting all of his views. As with many of the major personality theorists that shape our modern view of psychology, he produced some insightful elements and some wonky ones. If you would like to read more about Jung’s personality theory relevant to the MBTI scoring, PeopleMaps has a decent post about the subject.
If you are interested, I scored as an INTP. My personality is that of a Rational Architect. If you’d like to comment on your own MBTI results, feel free to drop me an email or start a discussion below. You may be shocked at what your test results reveal. 😀