What’s Your Type? | Jean Kummerow | TEDxGrinnellCollege

What’s Your Type? | Jean Kummerow | TEDxGrinnellCollege

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Translator: Leonardo Silva
Reviewer: Mile Živković I’m going to talk to you today
about something every one of us does. We categorize everything
that crosses our path, including people, and sometimes we do this
in not a very flattering way. My favorite quote
about categorizing people comes from the comedian George Carlin. He said there are three kinds of people: those who can count and those who cannot. (Laughter) I’m glad you got that. (Laughter) Well, I want to talk about a positive way
of categorizing people. It’s called personality type, and it’s based on something called
the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, or MBTI Assessment. I’m just going to be able to give you
a little bit of that framework. There’s a lot more to it
than I’m going to get to today. So, what this is about is it’s about
how you prefer to gain energy, gather information, make decisions
and live your life. Now, this word “preference” is a really
important thing in this system. So I just want to do a quick demonstration
of what preference happens to be. So, let’s say you’re really skeptical
about personality type and you cross your arms
and maybe you even tap your foot. Just try that with me, if you would, okay? Now, you probably didn’t even think,
“Which arm do I put on top?” You have a natural preference
for how you cross your arms. So, try crossing them in the other way. You can do it, easily.
It doesn’t feel quite as natural. And we’re going to be talking
about personality preferences within ourselves, and they’re really natural habits,
natural mental habits that you have, for the ways you might like
to think, or do, or act. Now, I think it’s helpful to know
about personality type for two reasons. One is, it can help you understand that that other person is not really
trying to drive you crazy on purpose. They just see the world
in a different way than you do. And the second reason is it can help you
understand more about yourself, about things that come
more easily for you, things that might take
a little bit more time, that might be a little bit more difficult, so that you can forgive yourself
when you’re not perfect. But that doesn’t
excuse yourself from trying. So, let’s start in on this framework. When I was growing up, I thought family togetherness was
everyone in the same room reading a book. I’m an extrovert, I grew up
in a family of introverts. My mother thought that my siblings
needed to go to nursery school and I didn’t. It probably should have been reverse. They needed their quiet time and I would
have had fun with those other kids. I can assure you
we’re all just fine today. (Chuckling) So, this is the first
what we call preference pair, and it has to do with where we direct
and receive our energy. There’s an extroverted way
and an introverted way. Now, these are not social skills. You can have people
who prefer extroversion and people who prefer
introversion who are shy. This is about energy. So, extroverts want
their energy to go out and, when it goes out,
they’re with people, they’re doing things, it comes bouncing back to them. And introverts want
their energy to go in. By looking at ideas, impressions,
facts inside their head, they create more energy. Now, I need to do a quick aside
on this idea of preference pairs. We believe that you have both within you. It’s just that you prefer
one over the other. It really does not guarantee
just because you prefer something that you’re good at it. You might need to develop skills with it
and, while you’re at it, develop skills with the other preference. That’s going to be helpful because there are times when you need
to flex and act in a different way. If you just do everything
according to your preferences, it’s not going to always work. So, when we look
at extroversion and introversion and how it appears in meetings,
it’s kind of interesting. So, extroverts in a meeting are more
likely to be talking their ideas out. If I bring it out, it becomes real, and I may start over here
and end up over here, because I’ve made it real
as I’m talking it out. Now, the introvert listening
to that extrovert may be thinking, “If they just shut up,
we would get somewhere.” Well, they don’t understand
extroversion is about bringing it out. So, our introverts are taking things in
during that meeting, they’re mulling it through, and our extrovert looking
at them is probably going, “Are they awake?
Are they listening to me?” And we assume that they are
because they’re working it out inside. Silences for extroverts
are space to be filled. Silences for introverts
are space to be cherished. When we think about interruptions, there’s also a different way
that people may look at that. Interruptions for extroverts
actually may be compliments: “Gee, someone’s listened
to what I’ve said! They want to jump right in,
you know, build on my idea.” It’s a compliment. But, for an introvert,
that same interruption may be rude: “I’ve thought about it inside, I’m bringing up my ideas,
you’re interrupting me. I need to stop and think, ‘Is that
new information or is it a pure dribble?,’ and then I’m going
to continue with my talk.” Introverts, by the way,
once they know people and topics well, will act like extroverts
because they’ve done their inside work. We say that, if you want to know
what an extrovert is thinking, you haven’t been listening. If you want to know
what an introvert is thinking, you haven’t asked. So, now I want to go on to the next one, which is how we gather data and the kind of information
we like and trust. The preference pairs here
are sensing and intuition. Now, I happen to prefer sensing. I like things to be
practical, actual, real. I just really want to get down
to the here and now of what’s going on. Now, by contrast, intuitive types like possibilities,
meanings, the big picture, and I want to show you a picture
that gets at some of these differences. So, if we look at this particular picture
with a sensing lens, we may see pillars,
trees, yellow flowers, there’s an umbrella
in there, and so forth. If we look at this picture
from an intuitive point of view, we might see an ancient lost civilization, where the wild things are,
or a ballet of dancing trees. Now, we both looked at the same picture. So, I use this in a community
leadership program and we get people into sensing groups
and intuitive groups and have them look
at this picture and talk about it. We had a civil engineer once
who pointed over to – he was in the sensing group – he pointed to the
intuitive group and he said, “Hum, I always thought they were liars. I would go to a community meeting
and present my facts. I would see them a couple of days later and they said I said things
I know I didn’t say. Our memories are just fine. So, now I know I need
to sit down with them and find out how they got from my facts
to what they’re interpreting.” So, it’s very important,
you can miss one another. You’re seeing the same picture,
but you’re seeing different things. If we look at well-known figures, we can also start to think about what lens
do they see the world with. So, let’s take Thomas Edison. He’s the guy who invented
the light bulb, remember, by putting all those little filaments in and keeping checking
hundreds of them, probably. He’s been known to have said,
“[Genius] is 99% perspiration.” He probably saw the world
through a sensing lens. Now, if we look at Albert Einstein,
with his theory of relativity, he said, “Not all that counts
can be counted.” He probably sees the world
through an intuitive lens. Now, once you have information in,
you need to figure out what to do with it, and that leads us
to the third preference pair: thinking and feeling. Now, I know that I’m a thinking type. I look at the world in a logical way. People come to me with a problem, I want to get to the bottom line
and help them solve it now. But I realized there are some people,
when they come to me they just want me to stop and listen
and support them. Well, I learned that I need
to sort of step back and ask people, at least I remember that
some of the time, “Do you want me just to listen, or do you want me
to help solve the problem?,” because then I don’t get so annoyed
if they don’t take my advice. So, in this decision-making system, thinking types step back
from the decision. They look at the data that they have,
the information that they have, in an objective way. They look at the pros,
they look at the cons, they make their decision. But feeling types step into the decision. They become aware of,
“How is this going to impact people? How does this fit with my value system?,” and they’re looking for harmony
with their value system. Now you probably
already figured out here that feeling does not mean
making decisions based on emotions. There is a structured way
of using the values and the harmony. So, if we think about
the definition of being fair, we may see some different things. For thinking types, being fair means treating everyone
according to the same standards, or treating people equally. For feeling types, being fair means treating everyone
according to what they need; individuals are different,
they need different things. Now, I want to do another
little experiment with you that I sometimes do
with my training groups and let’s say you’re working on a project. This hand represents
completing the project. This hand represents I’m starting,
I’m part-way through and I’m done. So, I typically ask thinking types, “Tell me when you want someone to give you some
appreciation or recognition for your work on that project.” And my hand will move along and finally, when I get to the end,
they’ve finished the project, they will say, “Now.” And I’ll ask them, “So, what happens if someone gives you some recognition
earlier in that work?” And they say, “Well, I’m a little worried.
I think I’m working for an idiot. They have no sense of standards
and what is good work.” Now, I ask feeling types the same thing, “When do you want recognition
on that project?,” and they call out,
“Now, now, now, now, now.” (Laughter) All the way through. “So, what does that look like?” I’m a thinking type,
I’m waiting till I’m done. They say like, “Well,
it can be things like, ‘Good start!,’ or, ‘Gee, you had some great ideas here.'” And then, I ask the feeling types,
“So, what happens if someone gives you some recognition –
if they wait until the end?” And they say, “Well,
I think that they don’t care, and if they don’t care about me,
they don’t care about my work, and it affects my morale.” Now, both thinking types and feeling types
can come to the exact same conclusions. They just do it in different ways. And it’s really helpful for thinking types
to remember to always ask, “How would this logically impact people?,” and for feeling types to always ask,
“What’s the most important thing here?” But we need to move on. Our last one has to do with how we like
to go about living our lives. And our words are “judging”
and “perceiving” in this preference pair, and “judging” here
doesn’t mean “judgmental.” But what judging types like to do
is organize things, make decisions, get on with it, and perceiving types
like to kind of go with the flow and be spontaneous
and continue gathering information. So, I’ll admit, I’m a judging type,
I love to make lists, I love to check off things from the list and I’ve even been known to put things
on the list I’ve already done for the sheer joy of checking them off. (Laughter) True confessions. Okay. Now, I happen to live with a man
who prefers perceiving. He thinks I’m nuts. His life is about options,
it’s about going with the flow. So, you can imagine what happens
when we go to a Chinese restaurant: I’m making my decisions – you know, judging is about, “Let’s make
a decision and get on with it” – And he’s looking over the menu,
looking at what other people have, trying to decide what he’s going to have,
that’s perhaps new and different, and I’m getting hungry. But, for perceiving types,
it’s no decision before its time. So, judging types will often
use words that end in “ed”: “I’ve finished that,”
“I’ve completed that,” I’ve decided that,” and perceiving types
will often talk in “ing” words: “I’m finishing that,”
“I’m completing that,” “I’m deciding that.” So, if we look at what’s a plan,
judging types will often say, “A plan is a systematic way
of achieving an objective,” and perceiving types will say, “Plans, they’re options.” Now, I also have a little activity
that I like to do with people, and that’s I’ll ask people
to think about the next free day, the next day they have off, okay? And I typically have
judging types start out and I want to know how many plans
they have for that day off. So, I start giving them numbers and, as we get to the higher
and higher numbers, the judging types
look prouder and prouder. They just love it. Now, when I do the same thing
for the perceiving types, they’ve raised their hands and I can see they get more and more
embarrassed as the number gets higher and they’ll often call out,
“But they’re not my plans. Someone came up with them for me.” So, both can have lovely days off and, in fact, sometimes
I’ll have judging plans, people coming to me and saying,
“You know, I must be a perceiving type because on my next day off
I plan to do nothing.” You heard the word “plan.” (Laughter) So, this is about how you live your life. All of these come together
in a magical way. So, we’ve got four preference pairs. We’ve got how you gain energy
– extroversion, introversion -, how you gather information
– sensing, intuition -, how you make decisions
– thinking or feeling -, and how you live your life
– judging or perceiving. So, there are 16 possible
unique types within this. Now, we use a shorthand for this.
You probably have already figured it out. The only trick is we have to use
an “N” for “intuition” because we’ve already used
the “I” up for “introversion.” Now, of these types, when they come together
in that unique chemical reaction, we say the whole is greater
than the sum of its parts. Now, my particular type
happens to be ESTJ: I’m extroverted, sensing,
thinking and judging. So, you’ve heard a lot about my type. I’m also really responsible:
you give me something to do and I will follow through to completion. That’s how I got into
the Myers-Briggs in the first place. I walked into my manager’s office
one day and he said, “Jean, everybody in this office is going
to become an expert in something. Yours is going to be the Myers-Briggs.” “Yes, sir” – I said. So, I get to live out my type. I get to write practical
materials for people. I get to train people
in how to interpret this instrument. I get to use who I am. But I want to tell you a story
about somebody who didn’t get to use who she was. I mentioned I do some training programs
and, as part of that training, I would typically find somebody
in the training class who wasn’t quite so sure of her type, but was reasonably verbal
and seemed to have her act together. So, this was in Dallas, Texas,
a long time ago, and we were going through this
interpretation in a very pleasant way, everything was going really well. And, all of a sudden, we got near the end
and this woman said, “I stopped using
my ‘F’ and ‘J’ two years ago.” Now, for those of you who don’t remember,
“F” stands for “feeling,” making your decisions
based on harmony with your value system, and “J” stands for “judging,”
making a decision and getting on with it. So, I did my good psychologist nod,
my good psychologist pause, and the brilliant statement,
“Tell me more – (Laughter) Context does everything here.” So, she said, “Well,
you need to understand that my faith is really important to me. I belong to an evangelical church. I work for that church,
I believe in its teachings, but my husband came out
as gay two years ago. We have children together. He is a good man,
but my church says this is wrong.” Her values had been clashing. She was stuck, she didn’t know what to do. But, suddenly, with personality type, she had a framework to understand
what was happening to her and, right then and there,
she started moving on. Well, little did I know
that, about 20 years later, the same thing would happen to me. My husband came out as gay. It was tough, but I’m an ESTJ. I need to move on, I need to just do it. So, with the help of wonderful friends
and a great family, who gave me love and support and advice, I was able to move on. As the writer Garrison Keillor says, “When bad things happen to writers,
it’s all just material.” And I’d like to add, as a psychologist,
when bad things happen to psychologists, it’s all just a way of building empathy. So, personality type has been
enourmously helpful to me in understanding myself and others, so that I can be more
respectful of both of us, but I remember that it’s just preferences. I can act other ways when I need to. So, I’m going to ask that you help me
demonstrate preferences for one last time. And that is I want you to clap your hands
and just freeze them, if you would. So, clap and freeze. Okay. Now, you probably didn’t even notice
that you have a way of clapping, you have a preference for that. So, I want you to practice,
as loud as you can, the other way. It’s a cheap way
to get applause. Thank you. (Laughter) (Applause)

100 thoughts on “What’s Your Type? | Jean Kummerow | TEDxGrinnellCollege”

  1. Before I find MBTI, i tried so hard to be feelers because most of girls in my circle are that. I thought theres something wrong with me. Turns out I'm a bloody INTJ female.

  2. As an ENTP growing up with sensor parents and brother it was an interesting experience. I always thought I was kinda strange and felt like no one understood me when I was younger. I did and said things out of sheer curiosity of what would happen. I never was able to sense when I was hungry so I would get Hangry. I always knew I was extremely intellectual but didn't identify with nerds and disliked school. I started walking when I was 9 months old and never crawled. I wrote my name backward when I was learning to write it. I was accused of punching my best friends in the face and I literally had no recollection of it happening or reason to punch them also they never actually told me I punched them.

  3. OHH NOOOOOOO she is going about this by the letters?!?!?!? No!!!!! It's all in the functions. Smh smh smh smh I can't. -INTJ

  4. A sensor that is an expert on MBTI? Lmao, next? I mean, she doesn't even mention the cognitive functions for fuck's sake.

  5. I'm an entp, living a life of Ne(extraverted intuition), I see myself having introverted routine which I love. I stay alone, filled with lots of interest to follow up

  6. As an INFJ with in-depth knowledge about it, I think this is too simplistic. It does not involve the Jungian cognitive functions, aka the basis of the studies which led to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

  7. Thanks. This solidified that I’m an F. I’m a very competent person in terms of looking at objective facts, but people are not objective things. People should be given what they need. In fact, I am now sure I am an INFJ. Looking at functional stacks is important.

  8. I’m an ENTJ fascinated by Myers Briggs. Thank you for the wonderful video, now it will be much easier to explain it to people.

  9. Its me – the only ESTP here haha. Before defining my type i thought im the laziest person ever and the one that couldnt freaking plan their time goddamn but no wonder why

  10. I don't like how in experiment explaining feeling vs thinking, she made it sound like feeling people need to have constant coddling when performing a task and it just makes them sound weak

  11. What does it help categorizing yourself? People should read actual self help rather than having others make decisions for them…

  12. im an intp i think
    i am emotional so ig thats why im confused if im infp or not, but im most likely to give advise than to listen. ig im mostly worried about my own feelings than others 😔

  13. A fellow ESTJ who loves Myers-Briggs! As evidenced by the comment section, we're definitely a rarity.

  14. I don't buy into the meyers briggs test, or any of the others… as we all resonate with a certain amount of each trait. Just like we are all a little OCD, ADD, etc, it is just 'traits' that we have more or less of, but that can change over time.
    I think these tests just give people the ability to accept who they are, instead of trying to be like others. But the MBTI has been shown to be BS and most experts don't take it seriously.

    Whatever works though

  15. This video taught me that when a crowd of people claps once it takes a couple or seconds for the whole dang crowd to stop making noise 😂

  16. The MBTI is not reliable enough to be remotly scientific and should not be used by psycologists until further studies have been done…. Its more like homeopathy than actual medicine

  17. The most informative video I’ve ever heard. I know that after knowing my personality type, I’m going to make better decision choices in my life. Thank you very much!

  18. I'm extrovert when i feel introvert… The struggle is real. Trust me. I'm exhausted 😔🤕

  19. I did the MBTI test and i am a INFJ which i discovered is the rarest personality type. Really explains a lot. Thought that i was going crazy all my life

  20. I did the Myer’s Briggs a few years ago. Once completed we did several activities according to the different dimensions. When we were divided into Judgers and Perceivers we were asked to sort a jar of jellybeans. The judgers had a wide variety of sorting strategies, by colour, by size, by shape, etc. The perceivers ate the jellybeans.

  21. I’m an infj Never realized how helpful it is to understand everyone’s type. Especially at work. It’s amazing.

  22. “Feeling needs to know they’re doing good here, here, here.”

    No wonder I never finish my stories…..

  23. Okay not a word on cognitives functions sorry but this lady is absolutely not an expert she is only based on the letters

  24. ENFJ here! You all are awesome, unique, special, and loved. Pursue the things you know are right, and put all of your effort into them. You have one life to make a difference. Don't settle for anyone or anything. May God bless you, may you seek Him diligently, and I assure you everything else will be added to you.

  25. Im an INTJ and also ENTJ and an INTP and an ENTP and i would be pretty much every other type if i took the test enough times

  26. I took test online at 16personalities came out i am INTJ-A
    but I'm not sure about intro or extro, one thing I'm sure is i don't like crowded place just because it's too loudy, and I enjoy listening rather than talking, sometimes i like to go outside with friends checkin girls (you know what I'm sayin)

    About the S and N, I'm sure i often questioning about existence and shiets.

    sometimes i feels and at some point i have wild though i would sacrifice everyone to achieve my objective.

    Sometimes i need clear instructions, clear step by step to get job done, sometimes i just don't care about all the plan because simply not feeling to do it.

    Now I'm not sure which one i am in the list, lol

    Yes I'm sceptical about the test and what the woman said, still it's fascinating to learn about human.

  27. I see a lot of people like to put themselves in categories. For example I’m an INTP but that doesn’t mean everything that is written for INTP’s relates to me. I took that Myers whatever test multiple times and every time got different results. There was one thing I found in common though amongst all the personalities, I was convinced I was that type which made it easier to relate. With sentences like “you feel passionate about your work” well who doesn’t? And if you were to debate me and say “well I don’t” then let me ask you, do you ALWAYS feel that way? See, feelings are changeable. Anyway I’m just here to say that humans are complex and putting a label on yourself isn’t going to change how you behave. So stop labeling yourself.

  28. It's better to type yourself and other people based on the Jungian cognitive functions instead of the dichotomy of I/E, N/S etc.

  29. ISTJ (yep, it nailed me perfectly) but great to help you understand others! You mean, everyone really isn't trying to drive me insane?

  30. I just wanna share a quick beautiful tip for listening to ted talks if u have YouTube Red.. And that's 2xs speed. It allows you to finally listen & pay attention & register the whole thing.

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