Note: This activity does not require taking the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).
Divide the classroom in half and label each side of the room. For example, the left side of the room can be for students who are “Extravert (E),” and the other side of the room can be for students who are “Introvert (I).” Begin reading the characteristics of Extraverts and Introverts (see the following list of “Dichotomy Characteristics”). Ask the students to choose which characteristic best describes them and to stand on that side of the room. Allow those students who cannot decide to place themselves either in the middle of the room or closer to one side, depending on where they think they fall on the spectrum.
After the students have positioned themselves around the room, have a short discussion by asking each group what they think of the group on the other side of the room. Give each group a chance to speak before moving on to each dichotomy. Here are some questions you might ask:
- What do you like least (or find annoying) about the other trait?
- What do you like most (or admire) about the other trait?
- What possible sources or conflict could occur in a work setting when dealing with people who have the other trait?
Be sure to involve the students who chose the middle of the room in the discussion. You may want to ask them to explain why they think they fall in the middle of the spectrum.
Do the same for the other pairs of traits. Consider asking the students to write down which MBTI letter they chose for each dichotomy. When finished, they can add up the four letters and determine their “perceived” MBTI. If the students do the actual MBTI later, they can compare the results to their perceptions and discuss if they are the same.
|Outgoing, gregarious, talkative (may talk too much)||Shy, reflective, careful listeners|
|People of action (may act before they think)||Consider actions deeply (may think too long before acting or neglect to act at all)|
|Energized by people and activity||Refreshed by quiet and privacy|
|Good communicators and leaders||Less likely to voice their opinions; often viewed as unaware of people and situations around them|
|Sensing Types||Intuitive Types|
|Interested above all the facts, what they can be sure of; dislike unnecessary complication; prefer practicing skills they already know||Fascinated by concepts and big ideas; prefer learning new skills over those already mastered|
|Relatively traditional and conventional||Original, creative, and nontraditional|
|Practical, factual, realistic, and down-to-earth||Innovative but sometimes impractical; need inspiration and meaning; prefer to look to the future rather than at the present|
|Accurate, precise, and effective with routine and details; sometimes miss the "forest" for the "trees"||May exaggerate facts unknowingly; dislike routine and details; work in bursts of energy|
|Thinking Types||Feeling Types|
|Logical, rational, analytical, and critical||Warm, empathetic, and sympathetic|
|Relatively impersonal and objective in making decisions; less swayed by feelings and emotions; sometimes surprised and puzzled by others' feelings||Need and value harmony; often distressed or distracted by argument and conflict; reluctant to tackle unpleasant interpersonal tasks|
|Need and value fairness; can deal with interpersonal disharmony||Need and value kindness and harmony|
|Fair, logical, and just; firm and assertive||Facilitate cooperation and goodwill in others; sometimes unable to be assertive when appropriate|
|May seem cold, insensitive, and overly blunt and hurtful in their criticisms||Occasionally illogical, emotionally demanding, and unaffected by objective reason and evidence|
|Judging Types||Perceiving Types|
|Orderly, organized, punctual, and tidy||Spontaneous and flexible|
|In control of their own world and sphere of influence||Adapt to their world rather than try to control it; comfortable dealing with changes and unexpected developments|
|Quick decision makers; like to make and follow plans||Slow to make decisions; prefer a wait-and-see approach|
|Sometimes judgemental and prone to jump to conclusions or make decisions without enough information; have trouble changing plans||Tendency toward serious procrastination and juggling too many things at once without finishing anything; sometimes messy and disorganized|