Sunday, December 4, 2011

I admit it, I'm an I.S.T.J.

         When a friend and colleague went to a seminar on the Myers-Briggs personality test, I was intrigued. It's based on Carl Jung's typology of personality types. I found a free test on the Web, so I took it.

          The test results said I'm Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging.  It surprised me. I had always thought of myself as a sort of introvert-extravert sandwich. Kind of quiet at first, then when I get to know you, more open and friendly, then I get kind of quiet again.

          Myers and Briggs went on to say I'm a moderately expressed introvert; a moderately expressed sensing personality; a moderately expressed thinking personality; and a slightly expressed judging personality. At least I wasn't completely moderate.

         They said that five Presidents were also I.S.T.J.s. George Washington was one. In literature, Eeyore. So that's me, a cross between the father of our country and a donkey. I needed more information.

          "I.S.T.J.s are often called inspectors", they said. "They have a keen sense of right and wrong...noted for dedication to duty."

          "More", I said to myself, "I need more."

          "I.S.T.J.s are easily frustrated by the inconsistencies of others, especially when the second parties don't keep their commitments," they added.

           I still wasn't happy. They reported "I.S.T.J.s often give the initial impression of being aloof...because they usually keep their feelings to themselves unless they are asked." They tried to make up for that by saying that I'm good at making tough calls and sticking to them.

           They also told me that feeling is inferred or expressed non-verbally, "through eye contact or an encouraging smile."

           No wonder a copywriter once said to me, "Harvey, if I had to live on compliments, I'd starve working for you." That was not good behavior on my part, so I had to change my m.o. But what do you expect from an I.S.T.J.?

           Don't you wish we could get all our customers to take a Myers-Briggs test? There's so much about them we marketers need to know.

           If we don't meet their needs, we can't expect to make a sale.  Eye contact and an encouraging smile aren't enough.


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