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I do big picture, I can’t do detail!

Now stop right there!

You shouldn’t use your MBTI Type as an excuse !!

I’m not talking about being talented or gifted here, as that is not what the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) tells us. It’s about being able to do something in a way that isn’t our preferred way, like flexing away from our default.

Let’s look at an analogy. Let’s say you are left-handed.   What if you badly broke your left hand and could not use it for a month. Writing with your right hand would feel very strange, your writing might be unrecognisable at first. Even if you were quite good with your right hand before this happened, trying to write with it all day would initially be exhausting!  

As time goes on however, writing with your non-preferred hand would start to feel less uncomfortable and you might even get quite used to it. In fact, your handwriting with your right hand might actually be better than someone who is right-handed!

But here’s the thing – when you are once again allowed to use whichever hand you want to write, you will naturally go back to your preferred left hand. You wouldn’t become right-handed.

It’s the same with how we prefer to look at information. Some people prefer to look at future possibilities, the bigger picture and enjoy brainstorming. When they look at a picture, they’ll probably first wonder what the story behind it is before they focus on the detail.

Others however will prefer to focus on the detail, the ‘here and now’ and practicalities. When they look at a picture, they will first be more drawn to the detail in it, before they think about what the overall bigger picture or story is.

So saying you cannot, for example, work on the detail of a particular project because you only do ‘big picture’ isn’t really a good excuse. If you need to, you can do detail, and the more you do it, the better you will get. It will never be your default, or perhaps energise you in the same way as perhaps brainstorming an idea (or vice versa) but it could well explain why you have gone home feeling a bit drained! 

Do contact me to find out more about how you can discover your personality type using the MBTI framework and how you can use that knowledge at work in teams and at home.

This blog forms part of a series I am doing in collaboration with Karen Blyth from A4 People

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