Did you know that more than two million people across the globe take personality assessment tests every year? Personality tests have captivated people for many years now. Today, they’re used not only by individuals but also by corporations and institutions to assess employees, students and soldiers.
The Myers-Briggs test, also known as Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), is one of the most widely used personality assessments. Read on to see how MBTI developed and how determining your personality type can help you navigate various aspects of life.
A Brief History Of Myers-Briggs Personality Types
Katherine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers, a mother-daughter duo, developed the Myers-Briggs test or MBTI. They drew inspiration from Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, who identified personality attitudes and related functionalities. While Jung proposed the groundbreaking theory that revolved around personality types, it was the Myers-Briggs duo who translated it into a practical assessment tool. The MBTI is simply an introspective questionnaire that indicates different psychological preferences. The test attempts to understand how people perceive the world and make decisions. The assessment tool is made up of four different scales or indicators, namely:
1. Extraversion (E) – Introversion (I)
It describes how an individual interacts and engages with the world around them. Extraverts (also called extroverts) enjoy frequent social interactions and feel good in social settings. Introverts enjoy deep and meaningful relationships and like to spend time alone.
2. Sensing (S) – Intuition (I)
It refers to how people gather information around them. People who prefer ‘sensing’ like to focus on facts and enjoy hands-on or real-time experiences. People who prefer ‘intuition’ like to engage in abstract theories and pay attention to patterns and impressions.
3. Thinking (T) – Feeling (F)
This scale refers to how people make decisions based on information they’ve gathered through sensing or intuition. People placing greater emphasis on objective data when making decisions prefer ‘thinking’. People who are considerate of others and emotions prefer ‘feeling’ when arriving at a conclusion.
4. Judging (J) – Perceiving (P)
This scale shows how people deal with the outside world. People leaning toward ‘judging’ prioritize structure and firm decisions. People leaning toward ‘perceiving’ are more flexible and adaptable.
Each scale interacts with the others, giving rise to 16 different personality types. ISTP is one such personality type that constitutes 5% of the general population. Let’s learn about the ISTP personality traits in detail.
Comprehending The ISTP Personality Type
ISTP stands for Introverted, Sensing, Thinking and Perceiving. ISTPs are fiercely independent and enjoy hands-on experiences. They prefer working at their own pace and actively seek out new experiences. They’re interested in a practical application of their knowledge and skills and can become bored with routine work very quickly. They thrive while exploring and doing new things and are logical in their decision-making. The ISTP personality is known to be the most mechanically inclined and has been nicknamed ‘the crafter’ or ‘the virtuoso’ personality.
The virtuoso personality types aren’t highly concerned with traditional structures. Because of their individualistic approach to life, they follow their own path. However, there are two kinds of virtuoso types, depending on how an individual responds to a situation. They are:
1. Assertive Virtuoso (ISTP-A)
They show more confidence in their approach, knowledge and skills. They have a clearer vision of what they expect and want. They remain focused and are able to overcome mistakes and failures.
2. Turbulent Virtuoso (ISTP-T)
They aren’t as confident and sure-shot as Assertive Virtuoso but are equally curious about projects and new pursuits. They consider hobbies to be an integral part of their lives and seek out new hobbies more often.
Although there are clear differences within the ISTP personality, it doesn’t mean that they do different things differently. Instead, they do similar things differently and experience certain feelings with varying intensity.
What Are ISTP Personality Traits?
Here are some common ISTP personality traits that double as signs of this personality type. If you’re an ISTP personality type and curious to learn more about yourself, here are some traits you should look out for:
ISTPs enjoy solving problems as they have an intuitive understanding of available resources. They aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty, that is, they are ready to roll up their sleeves and seek out solutions whenever possible.
2. Realistic Approach
Other introverted personality types are often idealistic. However, ISTPs are more rooted in reality. They don’t enjoy abstract concepts and theoretical explanations or experiences. Instead, they like to work with tangible things and use their hands to solve problems.
3. New Experiences
The crafter personality is always hungry for something new. They get easily bored and want to move onto the next thing. This also means that they thrive in high-risk situations such as adventure sports, where they have a good chance of beating the odds.
4. Heightened Curiosity
Curiosity is one of the defining ISTP personality traits. Their need to explore something new makes ISTPs incredibly curious beings. Whether it’s learning new information or skills, they can get started easily. However, they tend to lose interest pretty quickly as well.
5. Beyond Stereotypes
Being fiercely independent comes with plenty of confidence and self-assurance. ISTPs don’t resort to traditional structures and often find ways of breaking out of them. They don’t enjoy routine life and prioritize freedom and autonomy over other things.
Therefore, ISTP traits can be summarized as cool pragmatism, eager curiosity and hands-on problem-solving.
The Strengths And Weaknesses Of ISTP Personality
MBTI suggests that different personalities possess different cognitive functions and some traits are more prominent. This gives rise to strong and weak points in one’s personality. Here are the benefits and challenges of the ISTP personality type:
1. Strengths Of ISTP
- They are cheerful and optimistic. They don’t get easily stressed out (especially ISTP-A)
- Their hunger for something new pushes them to be creative and seek out new experiences most of the time, allowing them to step out of their comfort zone
- While they can be spontaneous in the pursuit of something new, they’re also realistic and rational while making important choices
- They do well in crises and are often willing to take the leap. With hands-on creativity and spontaneity, they navigate crisis situations pretty well
- They live in the moment and aren’t too worried about the future. This allows them to stay relaxed and make logical decisions
2. Weaknesses Of ISTP
- They are quite comfortable with their habits and lifestyle. If someone tries to change or challenge them, they can get irritated
- They choose logic over emotions in most cases, preventing them from extending emotional support to others when needed
- Although they enjoy novelty, they get easily bored with things and want to move on to the next thing
- They dislike commitment as they don’t enjoy routines and schedules, making it difficult for them to stick around in personal and professional roles
- Their spontaneity can lead to unpredictable behavior. While boundary-pushing is useful, they can get involved in high-risk situations
Personalities are complex and it depends on people how they want to work on their strengths and overcome their weaknesses. Understanding oneself better helps navigate professional life.
Best Career Options For ISTP Personality Type
ISTPs thrive when they are in the middle of situations, exerting control and influence. They use technical skills and expertise to solve problems. Fulfillment comes from seeing their work getting converted into positive results. They receive satisfaction from getting things done and seeing the change for themselves. In addition to physically challenging tasks and performance, ISTPs like to navigate risks and don’t back down easily. They value logic and efficiency, and like to act on things instead of spending too much time thinking.
In teams, ISTPs are practical and task-oriented. They focus more on finding the solution instead of the people involved. They rarely demand attention from the group but are ready to jump in whenever the need arises. In leadership positions, ISTPs navigate through crises well and are ready to take the situation into their own hands, if needed. They tend to lead by example instead of explanation and verbal guidance. Some careers that are good fits for ISTPs include athletes, physicians, soldiers, business developers and analysts, among others.
If you are an ISTP and want to leverage your strengths and excel in the workplace, schedule a free trial for Harappa’s Interpreting Self course. You’ll learn how to improve self-awareness and knowledge as you introspect better. The Kaleidoscope framework will teach you everything about understanding your actions and behaviors. The River of Life framework, on the other hand, will help you reflect on life experiences. You’ll even step outside your comfort zone and pursue professional goals more rigorously. Try Harappa today!
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