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Work Motivation by MBTI Personality Types

Updated on March 11, 2015

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

Work Motivation According to Personality Type

For a look at what energizes each of the sixteen Myers-Briggs® personality types, go here.

The application of this to team building can energize the whole team!

© 2011 Deidre Shelden


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    • Ms Dee profile image

      Deidre Shelden 6 years ago from Texas, USA

      Interesting, Fay Paxton! I think they'll be glad they did. I trust they also looked at other criteria, too, but have a group of employees who enjoy what they are doing would make for a good place to work.

    • profile image

      Fay Paxton 6 years ago

      Not long ago, I did some work for a company that hired all new employees based on their scores on a personality test. They said they needed to know if people would "fit in".


    • Ms Dee profile image

      Deidre Shelden 6 years ago from Texas, USA

      CRG, great adage to remember :) Ah, an ENTP--often thought of as an inventor. Inventing hubs may fit?

    • CostReductionGuru profile image

      CostReductionGuru 6 years ago

      Ms Dee I agree! Stephen Covey's adage to "Seek first to understand, then to be understood," is a great way to practice communication in the workplace. BTW mine was an ENTP

    • Ms Dee profile image

      Deidre Shelden 6 years ago from Texas, USA

      Nice to hear your thoughts, Pamela, and that you found this useful. Yes, so nice there are a variety of types :) It does mean though that we really need to put effort and work into communicating and understanding each other. Interesting to learn that you are an extravert :)

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

      This is an interesting hub and I took the Myers-Briggs in college but I can't remember exactly how it turned out other than I'm an extrovert. Certainly different personalities are more suited for different types of jobs and thank goodness were not all the same that would be quite boring. I really enjoyed your hub and rated a useful.

    • Ms Dee profile image

      Deidre Shelden 6 years ago from Texas, USA

      DiSC was designed to be administered with the individual considering a specific situation when responding. The MBTI is a more general instrument with a wide variety of focal areas or application that provide a set of preferences and a model for understanding the behavior of self and others across a variety of situations. Personally, I prefer the MBTI because of the extensive research behind the instrument. Thanks for your question!

    • CostReductionGuru profile image

      CostReductionGuru 6 years ago

      How does this compare to the DiSC instrument? I have had the Myers-Briggs once and then for the remainder of my work time I have always used the DiSC.