Following up my post on assessment and tests in the workplace I thought I would talk about the MBTI ® specifically today. Partly because this instrument is so widely used but also because it is subject to a fair amount of inappropriate use and misunderstanding. Note: I am putting up two posts today-one on appropriate use of the MBTI and the second with a little example of how it can help us work with others.
When we take the training to become certified to use the MBTI we receive an Ethical Guidelines document that reiterates the appropriate and inappropriate uses of the instrument and are expected to comply with these guidelines.
You may have noticed:
There are several questionable sites on the internet that pretend to provide a ‘free’ MBTI questionnaire but it is important to know that you are not getting the full questionnaire and that the results are most often wrong.
In addition the proper use of the MBTI requires that the certified practitioner provide a consultation or debriefing on the report-both to verify the results, explain what the results mean and provide some tips on how to use them.
There are some websites that offer the full version of the MBTI for a fee (usually between $79-99) but either do not offer the consultation or make the consultation optional. This means that they are purchasing the online questionnaire and charging a fee for providing you access and the report. Both practices are considered to be inappropriate uses of the instrument and you will not realize the potential of the report by using such services.
Most practitioners that are using the instrument appropriately will offer access to the questionnaire and the consultation for a range of costs between $125-$400. Each offers a different level of consultation so it is up to the client to determine what they want to achieve.
There have also been many reports of companies using the MBTI for hiring purposes. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is not approved for use in hiring as it details preferences but does not tell us anything about individuals’ abilities. It is also true that it is possible for someone with one specific set of preferences to utilize the other preferences when appropriate and often simply need guidance on how to do so.