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Doing Life Together

young-791849_1920Naomi could not get out of bed for work one day. Her motivation was gone. She was burnt out! It happens to far too many people and we need to look at why. One idea is that your personality could be a factor with the type of organization in which you work.

Years ago, a mother-daughter team created a system to explain the differences in the way people think, feel and behave. That system involved creating psychological types that described a person. That system continued to be refined by several who followed. Eventually, the system became a test that millions have taken known as the Myers-Briggs. The test covers four aspects of personality: Introverted (I) vs. Extraverted (E); Intuitive (N) vs. Sensing (S). Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F); and Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P).

You can take the test and find out your type based on these 4 aspects of your personality. This may be helpful to give you clues as to what might lead to burnout in your job.  For example, if you are ISFJ, someone who likes to please, and work in an organization with high conflict, burnout might happen because you say yes to too many things. And the conflict stresses you out and you don’t like sitting with all the unresolved issues.

If you fit the ESFJ profile, you are someone who likes to schedule, plan and socialize. When that doesn’t happen in your workplace, you feel overwhelmed. My type, the ENFJ, is prone to doing too much and values people and relationships. But when I start to overanalyze people and their reactions, I can get stressed. Often a short break brings me back to a healthier perspective.

Other profiles have unique application to what might lead to burnout. For example, if you are prone to make mountains out of molehills when stressed, you might be a stressed out ISTJ who has taken on too much.

Knowing your personality type can help you better understand where you are prone to stress in an organization. If you are an introvert, you need time alone to recharge. Extroverts can recharge by being around others. Periods of being alone with your door closed work for one, not the other. If you are intuitive and stuck in a job full of concrete facts and details, you will be frustrated. That type of work is better suited to the Sensing type. If relationships are more important  than logic and reason, than your type is Feeling vs Thinking. And an office that is transactional vs. relational will frustrate you. A spontaneous, more laid back work environment is more suited to Perceivers (P) that Judging (J). Js like plans and information.

So, if you struggle with burnout or feeling too stressed, consider how your Myers-Briggs profile may impact the work place. Is there a fit? Can you put into place strategies to de-stress based on your profile? Very few of us take the time to pause and think about how our personality style fits with an organization, but it just might help you avoid burn out if you did!

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