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  • Writer's pictureÖzden Sevimli

7 Reasons, why I will never use MBTI, 16 Personalities, Gallup, DISC & Co again

MBTI, DISC, Gallup & Co are OVER

Who doesn’t know them: personality profiling tools like MBTI/Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, 16 Personalities, Gallup/Clifton Strengths Finder, DISC, etc. These systems are great because they help us understand ourselves and others better and work better together.

I have always been the biggest fan and proponent of MBTI/16 Personalities, but filling out the questionnaires always made me overthink, feel insecure, and annoyed. Answering the questions, it simply made no sense to me that I should position myself between the two ends of a scale, or I couldn't think of examples of how I usually behaved in certain situations, and - too often for my taste - I would then just place myself somewhere in the middle.

By now, I know that my doubts and gut feelings were always right: Questionnaire-based personality profiling tools are weak indeed. Therefore, before anchoring one's identity in these test results or making decisions based on them, one should be aware of these significant weaknesses of such tests:


1. We don't know ourselves as well as we think

We are naturally biased when it comes to describing ourselves. As humans, we tend to over- or underestimate ourselves and can also be completely blind to inherent talents or weaknesses. Therefore, we cannot assume any objectivity here. If our answers depend on how self-aware, reflective, and honest we are, how much can we rely on their accuracy and precision?


2. We like to present ourselves in a certain light

Since we answer questions about ourselves, these tests are naturally open to (conscious or unconscious) manipulation. Our answers will likely be driven by considerations like these: How would I like to be? How do I behave in an ideal scenario? What strengths would they like to see in this job?


3. The scales are invented and arbitrary

The tests are partly one-dimensional and oversimplified, while human experience is multidimensional: For example, I am classified as introverted or extroverted, but I am ambivert and behave differently depending on the situation. Introversion & extroversion or thinking and feeling are not the ends of a scale, but rather part of different spectrums.


4. Our answers represent only a momentary snapshot

The results represent a snapshot and do not take into account that behaviours are dynamic and context-dependent. Our answers will always depend on the current situation and also on the respective mental, physical, and psychological condition. The latter is even proven in connection with the menstrual cycle.


5. We don't find out who we really are, but what masks our environment has forced us to wear

Some of our personality traits and behaviours are based on past experiences and traumatic events, are learned protective mechanisms or coping strategies, and are unhealthy for us today but are defined in the test only one-sidedly as strengths or fixed character traits: Maybe I grew up in a household where performance was everything and I answer the questions from my ingrained high-performer perspective & the test results only confirm my perception as "hyper-ambitious," although I am actually more of a compassionate, empathetic type for whom performance pressure is not a happiness factor, but rather a precursor to diseases. If I grew up in an emotionally turbulent household, I may have learned to constantly measure the "emotional temperature" of those around me to appease and protect myself. The test now tells me I am very empathetic and I and everyone else think that's great, but in reality, it is stressful hyper-vigilance and chronic stress for the body, nervous system, and health, which the results tell me nothing about. In this sense, these tests contribute to so-called Confirmation Bias: The tests confirm what I want to hear or know, rather than providing me with new insights, such as unhealthy beliefs and behavioural patterns.


6. You cannot use MBTI & Co to build top teams

Unfortunately, these tools are also not suitable for building or optimising teams: It's cool to hire according to certain types, strengths and values, but the test are not capable of telling us whether these personalities can really work productively and efficiently together in a particular constellation.


7. We evaluate and compare profiles with each other

Not a flaw of the tests, but rather of Western capitalist society: There are types and traits that society or the working world find more desirable than others. For example, many think in the DISC model that leaders should be more red (dominance, competition) than green (empathy, harmony). These kind of evaluations suggest to many people that they are wrong or not good enough, and on the other hand, they hinder progress and diversity.


THE tool of unfiltered differentiation: HUMAN DESIGN

At The School of MOJO, we now work exclusively with Human Design, as this system does not attempt to place us on arbitrary scales, categorise us as better or worse, and especially because in an absolutely unfiltered and unembellished way, it tells us who we were born to be.

With this modern and very detailed framework, we recognise what a cool person with a multitude of highly individual traits and a clear purpose/mission we are. And we learn what does not belong to us, where we have blind spots, beliefs, blockages. We receive a very individual instruction manual on how to live, work, and make decisions in order to lead a healthy, fulfilled life. Based on birth data, we can precisely say: 1) Who am I really? 2) Why am I here? 3) What do I need & how do I function? 4) How can I have an impact? 5) How do we build the best teams?


In short: We learn who we were born to be, before the world (and any tests) told us who we had to be. And: how teams excel.


Start your own Human Design exploration by creating your own Bodygraph Chart for free here and then check out our Human Design Reading Portfolio here.

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