The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is one of the most widely used personality instruments in the world. It’s taken by over 2 million people each year, and is a staple tool in coaching. Personality assessment is very important because much coaching work circles round discussing and dealing with how the coachee perceives and reacts to ‘the external world’. And that depends largely on the makeup of the individual’s personality.
Most of us take it as read that the MBTI is a bona fide instrument that tells us something about personality which is worth learning. Yet, among psychologists in particular, it’s regarded with outright scepticism. There’s been a controversy raging for years, and here I’m going to take a look at the arguments in order to shed light on whether the MBTI is fit for purpose as far as its use in coaching is concerned.