Whenever talking about anything personality type-related, there’s always a few inevitable questions that come up. Besides “isn’t typing just the thinking man’s astrology” one (which I won’t dignify with an answer right now), the next is always “Well, what about the MBTI?”
In the third part of my interview with legendary email miscreant, Ben Settle, we go over not only how to outsource properly (whoever says “I want to clone myself” is lying to themselves) as well as why tests like the MBTI cannot be trusted, and how personality types are NOT hard and fast (or replacements for astrology signs).
More on this after the jump:
BEN SETTLE: I know there are companies that go in and help people hire the best people, whether it be VAs, whether it be the secretary, whether it be a specialist in something, who they should be giving promotions to, and who should be working there with those people… there’s a whole thing there. We’re not all giant corporations here. Let’s say, someone who has four or five VAs, or maybe they’re dealing with joint venture partners, or something like that, what are some tips for them on how they can observe their personality and then use it?
STEFANIE ARROYO: One of the things that is really powerful about understanding personality types is, not only just knowing your strengths, like knowing what it is that you do well, but also knowing what it is that you don’t—or shouldn’t do. There are certain things that every personality type has major strengths in. I’m an ENFP, so my strength is my emotional depth, as well as being extroverted—being comfortable with talking in groups and networking. But, I know I’m horrible at keeping a system. I’m horrible at implementing certain things. Tech things … forget it. This is where it’s important to know where your strengths are, and how to hire appropriately. I don’t want a VA who’s exactly like me because we’ll just be a creative but chaotic mess. I want someone who can speak to understand my strengths, but also be the person to help me in my weaknesses. I would be better off hiring an INTJ as a VA, someone who can help me with tech stuff, someone who can help me with creating a process, and onboarding, and workflow, and all that crap that I don’t know.
In the same way, too, if you’re looking for a copywriter, maybe having someone who is in the same personality type as your market, for instance, they will understand your market better than someone else who’s not that. Or, if you want someone to help you in content creation, having someone who’s a little bit on the creative side versus the logic side will help you. That said, you don’t necessarily want a creative bookkeeper. It’s really helpful not only knowing your own personality type, what it is that you are good at, but knowing what you’re sucky at, and hiring appropriately.
BEN SETTLE: That makes a lot of sense. Even when you were talking about hiring a copywriter, it makes perfect sense who’s got the same personality type as who your market is. I wonder how many people go wrong on that? Let’s talk about productivity. You and I have an adventure with productivity. Let’s tell that story. Let’s tell the story about the reason we’re even having this discussion, and about the product you’re creating and all that. How that is actually happening now because of a little trick. We’ll call it a trick, it’s not really a trick. But, it’s like a trick once you understand it, for getting a lot more work done in a lot less time, and being a lot happier doing it.
STEFANIE ARROYO: Essentially, I’m an ideas person. I’m 100% my type in that way. But, implementation is not exactly my strong suit, which is why I said that I would hire the person that I would hire. In this instance, I can have all the ideas, but actually having a system to work on stuff, to chip at it each and every day, is really hard for me because that’s just simply not the way my mind works. You could say that I’m the ADD-riddled personality type. But, where people binge eat, people binge drink—I binge work. I can’t do a little bit of something each and every day, so I needed help to create a schedule where I can chip away at something and yet have a foreseeable goal. Or, not get distracted by things, or not get distracted by the next bright, shiny idea I have, and just focusing on the one thing.
So, creating a schedule allowing me to have small, daily wins, like, “Yes, I accomplished this thing.” I moved on to the next one, but at the same time, divvy up these very, very large projects that I have coming up, in a discernible order where I’m not spending 12, 16 hours a day working on this one thing.
BEN SETTLE: But, you do like to binge work, which is a part of it. When I created that schedule it was not for me. I had to do it around you. It wouldn’t have worked if I said, “Do it just the way I do it.” But, you’re a binge worker, so I had to make it so you did less total things, but spent more time on each one of the few things.
STEFANIE ARROYO: Exactly.
BEN SETTLE: I’m the opposite. I’m want to put as little time in everything as possible.
STEFANIE ARROYO: See, you would climb Mount Everest day by day. I want to climb the whole thing in one day. I want to do it in one shot because I see it, I want it done. But, it doesn’t necessarily work when there’s things you literally have to have it broken down into pieces, because then it just doesn’t get done at all. This also helps combat things like busywork, where people are often busying themselves with things that they shouldn’t really be working on, and focusing on the larger things. That’s where you were a huge help in creating that with me. As I so nicely told you, I was able to accomplish more in the last two or three days than I did over the last two or three months, towards major projects that I’ve had in mind as an idea.
BEN SETTLE: I guess this is probably more of a problem for the “Es” and the “Fs” than the “Is.” Guys like me, we don’t worry about stuff like that. We want to find more ways to be productive but we figure it out. But, “E’s” on the other hand, if they know this going in, they won’t be as frustrated. If they understand their type and know how to type themselves, they’re not relying on the test. In fact, I want to talk about that. The tests are actually kind of unreliable because people are self-typing, and they’re not being honest. How does that work?
STEFANIE ARROYO: People often will answer their personality tests in the way that they WANT people to see them. I’ve heard instances of this where people will mistype themselves, or they find out, “I’m actually not any of these attributes at all.” It happens a lot with women in business because women are often more introverted than they are extroverted. But, because you’re in business, you’re in the “making money” business, you have to be extroverted to some extent. Even for you, you’re a major introvert, but meanwhile, you’re speaking onstage, you’re going on speaking tours… most people think that’s a very extroverted thing to do, but you’re doing it for the sake of your business. But, that’s not how you are as a person.
BEN SETTLE: Plus, it’s a one-way conversation. I’m not interacting with anyone. It’s like the Johnny Carson thing, where he was a super introvert but he talked to 20 million people every day, but it was a one-way thing. If he had to go out and talk to all these people face to face he would have been miserable. He hated going to parties and stuff. If your an “I,” there’s hope for you if you want to be a speaker.
STEFANIE ARROYO: Yeah. So, that’s why even in my focus on personality types—and I know it’s gonna sound mildly contradictory—the focus shouldn’t be on the specific types, and more of the functions of each type. This is going back to your question of why people mistype and how to deal with it, is to know what exactly it *means* to be an introvert. Of course, it takes being honest with yourself, because some people need to learn how to do that. But, also knowing it’s not just being an INTJ, it’s the fact that you’re an introvert, who is iNtuitive Thinking and Judging, and what those individual things mean, those individual pieces. Basically, the parts are greater than its sum. Knowing that, as an introvert, you don’t rely on other people for energy. You have your own energy.
Knowing that is really the biggest part of it, not just, “I’m this type.” Because then you might as well be saying, “I’m a Cancer. I’m a Taurus. I’m a whatever.” But, knowing why you are typed that way and understanding the mechanism behind it, it will help you to more correctly type yourself if the test comes out seeming a little bit off, things like that.
BEN SETTLE: We’ve talked about this. People’s types change depending on the venue. I might be more “E” in one venue, and “I” in the other. Or someone who’s a hardcore “I” actually may be very “E” when they go on Facebook. I know people like that. You can’t get them to say anything in real life, but they never shut up when they get on Facebook. How can people utilize that?
STEFANIE ARROYO: I can say from personal experience that I actually typed completely differently when I was in law school. I was an ENTP, and that’s because,—besides law school beating my feelings away, and crushing my soul a little bit—it really forced me to think more rationally, more logically. So, I was less emotional during those years than I was after the fact. (Besides loans making me very emotional, haha.) Using the Socratic Method and all that stuff, I was relying on rationale and logic way more than I was later. This is especially helpful to know for those who have their own businesses and who are essentially the master of their own domain, because you can be the most “you.” But, if you’re working in a particular job, one that involves a lot of personal interaction for instance—or in my case, where it involves a lot of rational thinking versus emotional storytelling—just at least knowing *why* you’re functioning that way rather than the “old way”, or why you’re a little bit more rational than usual, is important to know. Because it’s always important to know how you’re operating—and how to leverage it appropriately, and to its strengths. That’s why it’s so important to know it’s more than just the type itself but the functioning behind it.
BEN SETTLE: That’s interesting. Here’s another question I have for you, and I have a real-life example with you about this that I would like you to talk about. How does knowing this and understanding it let you have more peace of mind when you’re dealing with other people in business?
While understanding personality types are crucial to having successful business, family, and romantic relationships, internet personality tests are inherently flawed.
Which is why I’m developing my own personality typing test. But that’s a while in coming.
In the meantime, I teach how to type yourself—without falling into the mistyping mess that many do—in my newly-opened membership, Biz Typology.
Doors flew open only a couple of days ago and already the early bird window is slamming down shortly. If you sign up by the end of this weekend (Sunday, 11:59pm EST, to be exact) you’ll not only have access to the Biz Typology Masterclass where I go over exactly how to type yourself (and others) but also receive bonus 30-day group coaching to put this into action, right now.
But, as with most things, you snooze, you lose. If those awake, you can sign up for the Biz Typology membership site (and secure you place in the 30-day coaching which is starting up this week) here: