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Work Motivation by MBTI Personality Types

Updated on March 5, 2018
Ms Dee profile image

Deidre has a Masters in applied linguistics and translation for her 20 years overseas. She's worked as a certified provider of the MBTI®.

Certain occupations or situations can build us up or tear into our motivation. Managing our health with exercise, good diet and sleep do certainly go a long way in keeping us motivated at home, work and for living in general. However, what do you do when this does not prove to be enough?

Knowledge of what motivates us, mentally, can help guide us in managing our lives well. It can enable us to better see the choices we have as to what things in a job will energize us and what will drain us.

This is helpful also to business managers as they build and guide their team members.

How to know what really motivates me

Each of the 16 Myers-Briggs® personality types uses mental energy in a unique way. Knowing your type can provide insight into the way you are mentally energized, and what will make you want to keep getting out of bed in the morning.

Energizing, or draining job?

By My Blue Van
By My Blue Van | Source

A look at your personality type helps to optimize your engagement in energizing occupational tasks. You can be more energized than drained—always keeping some 'gas' in your mental energy tank.

Just any old job will not do!

This is because we have natural inborn preferences that determine certain work situations will be more comfortable for us than others. Certain tasks are more enjoyable, than others.

Careers and occupations requiring those tasks provide some of the gas for our motivation tank; both for ourselves and, in the workplace, our employees.

Our 4 Mental Functions

People have four mental functions, or processes, according to the Myers-Briggs® Personality Inventory (MBTI). These four are divided between two different ways of gathering information and two different ways of making conclusions in response to that information.

The two ways of gathering information have to do with how we Perceive it. The two ways for making conclusions have to do with how we Judge it, or make conclusions about it.

4 Mental Functions
Through detailed facts from experiences
ways we gather information
Through global wholes of possible interrelationships
On objective logical analysis of the information
ways we make conclusions
On the value of the information

We all use each of these four mental functions. The way each uses the four mental functions can make huge differences in behavior!

Boring work

By sunshinecity
By sunshinecity | Source

The Favorite Mental Function

Each person uses one of the above four mental functions as their favorite. This is the dominant mental function and it uses the largest part of a person's psychological energy.

Our favorite mental function is the one out of the four that we are most conscious and aware of. It is the one we can best control, direct and make use of it.

This is what we most enjoy using, so we will tend to acquire a lot of experience in using it. We like to take on those tasks, relationships and even careers that require its use. We are pulled more often towards doing what energizes us—much more than towards what is boring or draining.

Energizing work!

By Sue Waters
By Sue Waters | Source

Realizing what energizes us is a way to grasp what it is that we can do to counteract many of life's energy drainers. You managers may find, when you know an employee's personality type, you can better motivate your staff through engaging them in work activities and environments that energize, rather than drain.

Managing our own activities, environments and resources, or that of our staff, may help avoid low morale and even staff attrition more often than not. I encourage you to give this a think, and a try!

© 2011 Deidre Shelden


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