I S T J

A few of you might have a general idea of what this post title represents, especially if you work or have worked in some sort of managerial capacity. Those four letters, in broad strokes, try to explain just who I am – from a personality POV. Today I thought we’d take a look under my hood and try to decipher just what it is that makes DL tick. Anybody interested?

The letters above are my score from the Myers-Briggs personality test given by my employer several years ago.  It is just one of a battery of tests I was subjected to, but I picked this one because it is the easiest to explain. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a tool for identifying 16 different personality types that can be used to describe people.  The MBTI is based on the work of psychologist Carl Jung, who had speculated that there are four principal psychological functions by which humans experience the world – sensation, intuition, feeling, and thinking – and that one of these four functions is dominant for a person most of the time.  The idea is to help explain why different kinds of people are interested in different things, prefer different kinds of work, and sometimes find it hard to understand each other – all due to their basic differences in how people take in information and make decisions about it. The chart below (from Wikipedia) will help explain.


According to the answers I offered, I fell into the ISTJ camp. The typical traits you’ll encounter with us ISTJers are:

Quiet, serious, earn success through thoroughness and dependability.

Practical, matter-of-fact, realistic, and responsible.

Decide logically what should be done and work toward it steadily, regardless of distractions.

Take pleasure in making everything orderly and organized – their work, their home, their life.

Value traditions and loyalty.

If you dig a little deeper you’ll find a more descriptive explanation. People with ISTJ preferences have a strong sense of responsibility and great loyalty to the organizations, families, and relationships in their lives.  They generally prefer to work alone and be accountable for the results; however, they are comfortable working in teams when it is necessary to do the job right, when roles are clearly defined, and when people fulfill assigned responsibilities.  ISTJ people are social when comfortable in the roles they are playing; however, they generally do not share their wealth of rich sensing observations and memories except with close friends.

My opinion of how I scored and the results? Dead-on! I was skeptical going into the process, but after reading the results I was shocked (especially since the questions themselves seemed so obtuse and unrelated to personality). There was no surprise in seeing introvert as part of the score (always known that much), but there is so much more that is involved. Now I wonder how other writers are scored. 

So why did I take the test in the first place? First off, understanding who you are and how you react in certain situations is the first step to developing positive work relationships. Secondly, I wasn’t the only one having my mind probed. Everyone I worked with took the same test, and it’s the differences identified between us where the most benefit was derived.

Curious how you would score? Take your own Myers-Briggs test HERE.

Care to share your score?

14 comments

  1. Looking at the chart, I guessed I was between INTJ and ISTJ. I took the test and came out with ISTJ (with it really close between that N & S). FYI: A lot of writers I know fall in the INTJ. :)

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    1. That's what I suspected, INTJ. I always thought it would be cool if writers conferences would give attendees the test and print the results on the name tags. :)

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  2. Hi DL - not my favourite occupation ... and thankfully I've never had to complete one ... but that's because I've never really worked for a large organisation. I guess I'd be ISTP - but I suspect friends would say otherwise ... but interesting your results reflected your values ... cheers Hilary

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    1. I took the test quite some time ago. I wonder if my scores would have changed, probably not. :)

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  3. I think I took one in the past for work! I can't remember what it was though :) But they had us do this...color personality thing and apparently I'm green. Which I'm cool with :)

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    1. Is it a four color thing? If so, I believe I took that test as well, but I can't remember what color I scored.

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    2. YES! Exactly what it is! I'm apparently green, yellow, blue then red :) I get to stare at these colors at my desk.

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    3. You made me curious...so I found my results. The categories are INTERESTS, USUAL STYLE, NEEDS, and STRESS. I was Yellow in all four - which I was told was extremely rare. :)

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    4. Hahaha, how interesting! Staring at my colorful blocks at work, green means "Show Me You Care" hahaha.

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  4. As I expected ISTJ....very similar to testing I went thru during my career...except only 4 categories, Analytical, Amiable, Driver, Expressive....I fell into the Analytical Expressive category

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    1. Not sure if I would classify you as an Introvert...but I've only been around you in family situations which isn't a fair test. :)

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  5. As I expected ISTJ....very similar to testing I went thru during my career...except only 4 categories, Analytical, Amiable, Driver, Expressive....I fell into the Analytical Expressive category

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  6. ESTP. I did a blog post (like yours) and made a Pinterest board about it a few years ago. (The stuff you'll find on Pinterest if you search your letters will blow your mind.)
    Welcome to the un-official club of people who love this knowledge. It's also a fun way to figure out stuff about your fictional characters.

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  7. Lookie...lookie...an EXTROVERT! I finally found a writer...or really just about anyone...to admit to being one. If you ask 100 people, I bet 90 of them would say their an introvert, when that's not really the case. This is interesting stuff!

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