Friday, December 21, 2007

Using the MBTI for Selection

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is useful when teaching the platinum rule, but it should NEVER be used as a determining factor when selecting new employees or someone for a promotion!  Like most personality assessments, the MBTI is fakable and situational.  What that means is that candidates who are willing to do whatever it takes to get hired will provide you with the answers that they believe that you desire (assertiveness for Sales and collaborative for Customer Service).  That also means that the frame of mind that you are in will affect the outcome of the assessment.  I know that I will catch a lot of flack from the purists out there, but I have asked people to take the MBTI and DiSC in a different environment each year over a period of several years and the results clearly indicate the situational nature of these assessments.  You are not the same person in front of your Mom or your priest/reverend as you are with your drinking buddies.  We all put on the appropriate mask for the various situations that we find ourselves in...

By the way, the golden rule is either "she who has the gold makes all the rules" or "treat others the way you want to be treated".  In fact, if you really want to get others to respond favorably to you then you better practice the platinum rule - "treat others the way they want to be treated".  People are not one size fits all, and your size is not the perfect size for anyone except you.

1 comment:

Scott Zimmerman said...

I agree with many of your comments; behaviors not only change due to situations, but can willingly be adapted to any other person. I have co-authored a series of "Platinum Rule" books with Dr. Tony Alessandra (who owns the registered trademark for "The Platinum Rule"). We are proponents of NOT stereotyping people based on "personalities", but rather watching-and adapting to-observable behavior. This is the only method for always staying in rapport with another person. I would recommend you learn more about Dr. Alessandra's work by visiting his two web sites: and Thank you for taking an interest in his fine work. Scott Zimmerman