Holding the MBTI loosely

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A popular topic on my blog is the MBTI, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which tries to explain certain aspects of our personality. I saw a conversation which mentioned it was ‘Old school’ funny.

When I learned about and took the MBTI in 2010 while at university, it was like wow, here was a description that fit me to the T. 90% of the time when I take the test, I report INFJ. It explained some of the inner workings of my mind, how I took in and processed information. It explained the discomfort I felt towing the line between your typical introvert and extraverted types – I wanted to be alone with my thoughts but still sought out people.  My interests and likes being very broad and seemingly never being able to fit in with a particular group, I was always looking for my ‘tribe’.

The MBTI instrument is good, but it is not the good. I would apply this is to any so called personality type tests. They do not have the final say on who we are, on who we shape ourselves to be everyday. This is because there are two important things that matter in our world that the MBTI cannot account for.

1. Our motivations, our will

2. Subsequent behavior and how we relate to the world around us ( esp the living things)

This was when I realized that we needed something truly transformative not merely descriptive. We can’t rely on the descriptions because we change, because they can be self fulfilling, this must be the way I am, so what? what does it mean for the next person?, does it mean you cannot change if there is a negative element?’

This is why I find the truth of God’s word important to hold strongly on to.

  1. We are all made equal, have the same worth and value regardless of what we do or not do. (Genesis 1:26-30)
  2. Our will and motivations are prone to corruption so we need a new source to fuel it (Psalm 51:5, Romans 3:23)
  3. Love is the only viable source for our will and motivations – Love for God and our neighbours. (Matthew 22:36-40)
  4. God has made a way so we can have a new spirit and a new heart through Jesus manifesting in the flesh (Ezekiel 36:26, John 3:5)
  5. These will lead us to act in ways that seek the good for people and give God the glory deserved. (Romans 12)

Beautiful!

I’ve recently done a refresher on what the MBTI type dynamics are and yes, INFJ still holds true in many ways but what is most important is that I can praise the Lord for making me who I am, and that I can love others through the unique way God has made me! Amen!

 

Talk, but I’ll need pen and paper.

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We used chalkboards when I was in primary school and it was fun. Our teacher would ask someone to write his notes on the board so that the rest of the class could copy. Though it wasn’t the prettiest thing to do, chalk on my head, chalk on my school uniform, I would volunteer. I not only wanted to show off my handwriting but genuinely enjoyed the process of putting down and together, words.

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Q & A : How an INFJ survives the 9-5

Pro Tip

A big challenge for the INFJ in working 9 – 5 is the constant ON required to work this way, but this is unavoidable some times, so what can an INFJ do to keep themselves from imploding?

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The Functional Development of an INFJ

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What or Who is INFJ?

According to Myers-Briggs, the INFJ has a high preference for introverted intuition (Ni), it is the preferred way they perceive information. The inner world of the INFJ is much richer than the outer to them. They trust their intuition. Insights are sought from being able to process and connect ideas, feelings, thoughts in their mind.

The INFJ has a preference for making decisions based on Extraverted Feeling (Fe), the ‘feel’ of the situation, a value system based on the people involved. High on empathy, there’s a need to connect and harmonize surroundings, it’s more ‘we are the world’ rather than ‘I am the world’.

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What You Read in 2014

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A big shout out to the readers of this blog, the lurkers, thanks for deigning to read my blog. Your comments and emails make me want to do much better.

Here are the top 10 popular posts, it seems a lot of people are interested in people, I’m glad.

1. Coping with Misophonia at Work: When I finally recognised I had massive auditory issues, I could do something about it. I no longer work at the company I spoke of here so it’s gotten a bit easier but having a better mindset towards it certainly helps.

2. An INFJ Designer:  Boy o boy, I cannot get over figuring out personalities, and it seems you guys can’t either, so I will be doing more work in this area. You will appreciate this comic if you are INFJ too >> INFJ The Rarest type

3. The Future of Web Design 2014: Glad I could volunteer here and get to listen to some amazing people.

4. You are INFJ so what: Yes, you all do like this personality thing 🙂

5. How to Create an Owl in Omnigraffle: Can you imagine that the CEO of Omni actually retweeted my tweet on twitter when I posted this. I look forward to doing more with omnigraffle, can’t wait!

6. Forming Voltron: Here I talk about type of projects you will encounter and how to deal with the voltron type.

7. Wearable Tech for Introverted Intuitives: I will be looking into more of this for sure!

8. UX for Rookies: My attempt to do a basics on UX, thanks for reading, really.

9. Make Useful Annotations Good practice for documentation and communication

10. Developing Your Competencies Prioritising your development path

Connected Brains: The Internet of Thoughts

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Recap

After writing about wearable technology for introverted intuitives, a lot of interesting discussions came out of that, so in a way this is a part two of that post. The initial idea stems from the experiences and the challenges of the INFJ. This is what it feels like for INFJs I discussed with.

“It happens so many times having valuable insights in my thoughts, and as they usually appear in the middle of a daily task, I don’t always have the time or mood to take notes, and because of this, in the moment I finally write down on paper, those insights will not be the same anymore, it happens the same when verbally communicating those insights to other people”


“I have often thought there should be a device that can capture my thoughts in real time, so I don’t have to write down the jumble of thoughts that go around in my head. I often have creative ideas I would like to store, but when I try to write them down even a few minutes after I have thought them, I cannot seem to recreate the exact same thought. The ‘magic’ is gone”

So that’s what it is about, Braintext will capture thoughts in real time and send them to your designated device, converting it to readable modifiable text.


This is a good post to read when thinking of wearables

Wearable Technology Design Principles


Going further, the discussions morphed into actually connecting brains to each other, of course there is the danger of brain hacking but I’ll focus on the benefits of this.

Connect Our Brains, really?

When I told a friend about this (He is ISTJ) he said that the internet as we know it could be seen as an internet of thoughts, because it is the products of our brains and thoughts that are connected. Fair enough I thought, with a smile, if I didn’t know personality types I may have gone into an argument with him. It is a valid thought, however IOT is specific to situations where the thoughts are connected ‘raw’. Thoughts will connect with thoughts directly.

What I imagine is being able to limit your thought transmission to certain people i.e the device you have (Braintext 2.o) will have to pair with mine, like how Bluetooth technology works. Will it still be hackable? as with all technology there is that possibility, but the mind is more powerful than we give it credit for. I think this might enhance our natural ways of communicating.

Possible Applications: Ability Bridge and Empathy Transfer

This is one of the thoughts that came from the original idea.

“When I initially saw the two persons facing each other wearing the devices, I imagined that the device could be both emitter and receiver, it would be like mind reading, which could be so useful for example in a situation where a person is unable to talk, imagine the benefits for disabled people. Second idea is related with empathy and mirror neurons, imagine if your device could “capture” or “process” somehow the information from those neurons and transmit them to someone who lacks them, for example, autistics.”

The Future

I do think the brain is the final frontier, once we get to understand the workings of it, this world will be something else entirely. For now, as my friend said, “IOT is a nice slogan, I’m waiting for a product that deserves it” We will wait with hope.

You are INFJ, So what?

One of the most popular posts on this site is An INFJ Designer and I’ve had people tell me they are INFJ just from reading it, I haven’t been convinced. Getting that kind of feedback and the increasing tweets and posts about wanting to ‘debunk MBTI’ I thought it is important to get back to basics.

What is MBTI and all these letters?

The MBTI assessment is a psychometric questionnaire designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions

I got introduced to MBTI 5 yrs ago and I’m still learning a lot. MBTI stands for Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. It was developed by Isabel Myers and her mother, Katharine Briggs based on Carl Jung’s work  A mini-research on the foundations of the MBTI led me to the Yoruba’s divination system Ifá! but that’s a topic for another day though this might make an interesting read.

The MBTI is not astrology, it won’t predict your future or character neither does it tell you everything about your personality. The main focus areas are the absorption of information and the communication of it especially in decision making.

Robert Kaplan and Dennis Saccuzzo state that “the underlying assumption of the MBTI is that we all have specific preferences in the way we construe our experiences, and these preferences underlie our interests, needs, values, and motivation.”

MBTI Letters

The letters that make up the types stand for various things, belong to four scales and form 16 personality types. We all have bits of everything, but the MBTI instrument identifies what your favorite, preferred functions are.

  1. First scale  I – Introversion ——— E – Extroversion deals with where you love to focus and gain energy from. As someone on the introversion side, I gain energy from being by myself, thinking inwardly and doing work alone, but I have friends who are energized by speaking or being around other people. Learn More

  2. Second scale  S – Sensing ———- N – Intuition focuses on the kind of information you prefer to gather. For INFJs like me, our dominant function is Introverted Intuition which means I love to see more in everything, reading between the lines. Small talk is usually a bit of an annoyance because I want to get to the root of the matter as fast as possible. Learn More

  3. Third scale F- Feeling ———– T – Thinking deals with what one prefers to make judgements or decisions on, do you go for hard facts or does the way people feel move you more? Learn More

  4. Fourth scale J – Judging ———— P- Perception This pair describes whether you extravert (act in the outer world) when you are making decisions or when you are taking in information. Learn More

The Different Types

Click on the graphic to find out what the 16 combinations are and maybe, your type.

What is the benefit of knowing Type?

The goal of knowing about personality type is to understand and appreciate differences between people. As all types are equal, there is no best type.

For me, the first thing is self-awareness which starts with being honest with your own self. You gain a clearer perception of your personality, including strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, motivation, and emotions. It will help you understand other people, how they perceive you, your attitude and your responses to them in the moment.

Going beyond Types

Above all this, we are to love our neighbour i.e people who are not us. It doesn’t matter if you know types or not, remember to always act in love and grace towards everyone.


Do more 

Find Your Type

Take the MBTI assessment instrument

For the Skeptics

For all still skeptical, this might be helpful MBTI for Skeptics

INFJs

I connect highly with this tumblr by Arissa Scott, INFJ Doodles

Websites

Center for Applications of Pyschological type

The Myers-Briggs Foundation

God-Type

Recommended Books

Building Blocks of Personality Type

Was That Really me?


“I dream that long after I’m gone, my work will go on helping people.” -Isabel Myers, 1979

Stay Awesome.

Wearable Technology For Introverted Intuitives

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“Sitting in a pool as all the words float by, perfectly, but it’s time to get up and I do. The words, they immediately disperse. I hastily grasp some, hoping they make sense while the others, they float away, never to be seen again. On my feet, I close my eyes and mourn the loss of words”

The statement above will be familiar to people termed as ‘intuitives’ everyone has a degree of intuition but for introverted intuitives (see MBTI), this is their preferred way of perceiving, gathering information from/about the world, and for many, the only way. MBTI identifies it as Ni, ‘Introverted Intuition’ which shows up in the following types INFJ, INTJ, ENTJ and ENFJ but is the dominant function of the INTJ and INFJ. Even if you haven’t been professionally typed, the following description would be familiar to anyone high on the introverted intuitive spectrum.

What does Introverted Intuition feel like?

Introverted iNtuiting  focuses on the contents of the unconscious, it involves a psychic awareness of the intangible. Ni searches for grand patterns, themes, systems in order to understand the meaning and significance of everything. It operates unpredictably, often through flashes of insight. It seeks to understand an abstract sense of the essential nature of all things and their complex interrelationships. It attaches meaning and symbolism to the concrete world of the senses. This process is independent of the conscious mind, and doesn’t need external stimuli however, INTJ and INFJ can intentionally access the process by creating certain conditions and letting it happen.

“It views everything on the broadest level and asks, what else is going on here?”

Ni quickly grasps the meaning behind words. Unconscious images are as real as anything tangible. It seeks to understand complexity through the simple underlying essence of everything. Visions and insights are trusted and valued. This process can involve working out complex concepts or systems of thinking or conceiving of symbolic or novel ways to understand things that are universal. It can lead to creating transcendent experiences or solutions. Ultimately Ni tries to understand life [Reference: Building Blocks of Personality by Leona Haas and Mark Hunziker]

The Challenge

One big challenge for the Ni is having to communicate outwardly, How can I communicate my well formed thoughts without distortion. It’s almost as if you put pen to paper or open your mouth to talk and the carefully arranged words, systems and patterns you see in your mind just start to tumble haphazardly out. There is a high tendency to ramble because as you talk you find new connections that beg to be communicated.

 So how do we minimize distortion as our thoughts pass the barrier between the mind and the ‘seen’ world.

A Solution

The Device: BrainText

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Given that this process of thought occurs at any time, from waking up to falling asleep, we need this device to be highly flexible. We want to wear it to sleep, while showering, running etc. it would be Lightweight, Sensitive, Waterproof, Durable (last 3 years min), Flexible, Powered by motion, solar.

The device will be sensitive enough to notify you via device beep and phone notifications when it is a certain distance from your head, you will be able to control via the mobile phone etc

How will it work?

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BrainText will come with a software/app that can be installed on a suitable device. When Braintext is set up, simply place it near your head (you can even wear it as a hair clip) and press the start button on your app or BrainText, and transmission will begin. BrainText picks up the signals from your brain and transmits it to your mobile phone for example, where the software is installed. The software does the hard work of converting brain signals into text, which you can later edit yourself.

I really think something like this will be useful for a lot of people and perhaps not just introverted intuitives. This is the kind of device I will gladly buy, not a wristwatch, until then, I will have to make do with my paper and pen.

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UX For Rookies

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Picture by Steven Lewis

A number of questions about how to get into UX and what it is, have come to me over the years. The things detailed here are fundamental, I try to remind myself constantly and keep them close to my heart. I am a UX Rookie in many ways, there’s just so much to learn! Some are words of wisdom learned from those who have gone before me. These things form the basic foundation of a person who will make good in user experience.

About UX

” User Experience is involved in; defining who the audience is, what they can do, how they can do it and matching the aspiration of the content provider with the desires of the audience” – Karl Smith

User Experience is complex. It has such a weight of responsibility that you constantly have to assess the why of it. ‘Why am I doing this? when it would have been more straightforward to be a doctor’. User Experience is about systems and the interactions within and without. User Experience loves and looks to the future while, at the same time considers strongly what the past has been, what the present is and how to get there. If this does not appeal to you, might be best to consider something else.

About You

“Curiosity undergirds Passion, so stay Curious ” – Antonia

There must be an in-depth desire to understand and love your fellow humans. How do they interact with each other?, work together?, make use of objects? etc. This role requires Initiative, Objectivity and Humility. One must be able to practice emergent leadership, taking ownership and responsibility for a number of things. The ability to say ‘I don’t know, but I am willing to learn’ Where you can be confident in what you do without arrogance. Humility enables you to work in a team which UX thrives on. It’s not about not stepping on toes, it’s about being able to say, ‘I’m sorry, Pardon me’ when you do so.  Objectivity helps you in the constant negotiation UX is involved in, balancing constraints, contexts and solutions.

Do you delight in creativity? a spot of original idea? The need to validate intuition with data? An intense desire to understand and communicate the essence of things? This could be for you. While the top personalities in this area of work, have the N, T and J component (MBTI – See recent survey by Jonathan Shariat) Any ‘type’ is valuable to the process ( I am INFJ )

Ways To Learn

“Experience is the source of Wisdom” – Leonardo Da Vinci

The best way to learn is by practice and experience. Theories are great, I love theories but they are much better when validated through work in the real world.  There are a few good schools which instill the principles of design and design thinking around the world.

Experience by proxy is also important which entails listening to/ reading about what others who have been there have to say. In the mean time and after, start by visiting Karl Smith’s blog. Karl Smith is a renowned User Experience consultant and has been honoured by the British Computer Society for his eminence and significant contribution to the fields of UCD and User Experience with a Fellowship. What I love most about reading his writing is the honesty on UX without any fluff.

Some posts I particularly enjoyed and are good to start with

Getting into User Experience 1 and Part 2

The difference between UX and Design

Never Bring a UX portfolio to an interview

In the next 5 years the term ‘UX’ as a role might be out of fashion but if you have these as your foundation, I don’t think you can go wrong in whatever creative endeavor you partake in. It is also very important to pass knowledge on.

“…Give as freely as you have received” – Jesus

Amen.

An INFJ Designer

 

I came up as an INFJ on the Myers Briggs Type Indicator test and I agree with this up to 90%

What’s it like to be me?

1. The quest for more knowledge

The meaning of life, the philosophical questions—my mind is always occupied, and what’s exciting is when I get to follow through with an insight and do something. I am an abstract future thinker, looking at things from different perspectives. I’m about the relationships and possibilities and enjoy anything with deeper meaning that leaves me wondering, with more questions to ask and things to untangle. Connecting for me means being able to intuitively ask questions of people to get them to go deeper into the things they are talking about.

2. Inspiring others

Helping people find their purpose or meaning, being a different kind of leader from what’s traditional—that’s really gratifying. I just do that naturally. The challenge is opening up people’s minds to have their own original thoughts. I’m a listener and guide.

3. Structure and Plans

I tend to approach my day with a structured way of getting things accomplished. People see me as organized, thorough, and easy to get along with, pulling my own weight and eager to help out when called upon. But I’m not as outgoing or as critical as I may sometimes appear. I need a balance between people contact and working on creative projects and will break away from interactions when I get tired out. If I don’t have some long-term goals, then what’s the point?

4. People Connections

I tend to intuitively read people very quickly, but I have to be cautious not to make assumptions. I’m an observer. I get a feeling when people are interesting, and I watch from a distance, make some assessments about the situation, and then approach them and engage in conversation. I put a little bit out and a little more and see how that goes. Do I trust and like them, are they who they say?

I have a few deep friendships. A friendship comes best when it is worked to develop that investment. I quickly pick up on sincerity and withdraw if the person is superficial or obviously doesn’t care. When I see people who abuse their power or won’t stand behind what they say, that ticks me off. It’s about integrity. I feel other people’s feelings, and taking on that burden can make me too intense and serious, where I can’t be spontaneous and fun loving…

5. Life

Everything revolves around growth. Caring is about the ability to help others grow. What I bring is caring about people, not things. If we spent more time trying to understand each other’s point of view, to communicate more effectively, we would grow. In an honest, open, sincere relationship, I can accomplish anything. My challenge is to create those kinds of relationships.

I respect most the person who is willing to come forth and be an individual—to make the world a better place, or make a difference in a person’s life, where we reach each other’s hearts.

 

Adapted from Linda V. Berens and Dario Nardi, The 16 Personality Types: Descriptions for Self-Discovery (Telos Publications, 1999)