How My Personality Type Makes Me a Better Designer
I first discovered the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (or MBTI for short) about a decade ago as I was browsing the interwebs in the wee hours of the morning.
At first, I thought it was some kind of gimmick but when I read the description for the INTJ personality type, something clicked. No typing tool can encompass the whole of a someone’s personality but it gave me the words to describe how my brain works to people whose brains work differently.
In case you’re not familiar with Myers-Briggs, it’s a personality theory based on Jung’s theory of cognitive functions and developed by the mother-daughter duo Katherine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers in the mid 20th century.
The theory posits that there are 16 personality types made up of four dichotomies.
E or I - Extrovert or Introvert
S or N - Sensor or Intuitive
F or T - Feeler or Thinker
J or P - Judger or Perceiver
You can read more about the four dichotomies and what they mean here.
Each personality type is unique and no personality type is inherently better than any the others. And that’s the beauty of the system. It can help you identify your individual strengths and weaknesses and plan your career accordingly.
Every Squarespace designer has something unique that sets them apart from their peers. Some create the most original and surprising content layouts. Some have mad artistic abilities that allow them to add beautiful hand-drawn touches to their work. Others are outstanding communicators who know just how to make their clients feel warm and taken care of 100% of the time.
The defining characteristic of my personality type is strategic ability. And it’s true–I’ve always been naturally skilled at strategic thinking. Understanding my personality type helped me realize that the best way I can provide value to my clients is by focusing on strategic web design.
Like all good designers, I have solid communication skills, a flair for aesthetics, and a fairly seamless design process that I’m continually refining. But my greatest strength is my ability to help clients realize the full potential of their website to increase conversions and grow their business through strategic layout and implementation of automated systems.
It’s taken a lot of time and dedication over the years to improve my communication and visual design skills. (I’ve come a long way, baby!) Being a skilled strategist isn’t something I ever had to work at. It’s always been a natural part of who I am.
You, too, have a unique strength that can make you stand out from the competition. And knowing your personality type can help you figure out exactly what it is.
If you don’t know what your Myers-Briggs personality type is, you can take a test here. I always recommend reading about each of the types because even the best test can be inaccurate. (I tested as an ISTP the first time around. I mean, I wish I was an ISTP but in truth I’m not that badass. 😂)
I also recommend learning about the Enneagram. The Enneagram is another personality theory that is more focused on personal growth. I’m a 5 (read more about the Enneagram types here) and understanding the pitfalls and blindspots of my type helped me overcome my perfectionism and stop procrastinating all the time.
Many people have an aversion to personality typing systems because they feel these systems put people in boxes. But as one wise person said about the Enneagram, it doesn’t put you in a box; it helps you see the box you’re already in so you can get out of it. If used correctly, the MBTI and Enneagram can help you identify and play to your strengths, overcome your weaknesses, and build a fulfilling business, just like it has for me.
What’s your personality type? How do your unique strengths help you do your job better? Leave a comment below!