Organizing for Personality Types
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Do your organizing systems work well for some clients, but not others?
Last week we talked about how some people are born organized and others are not. Every person views the world through different eyes, and you need to understand your clients’ uniqueness before you can create solutions that will help them to get and stay organized.
Organizing strategies are most likely to be effective when they take your client’s personality type into account. You can therefore do your clients a great service by familiarizing yourself with the various personality types, the challenges they face in terms of organizing, and the solutions most likely to be helpful.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) is one of the most reputable personality assessments available. Based on the psychological theory of Carl Jung, it’s been in use since 1942, and has been updated many times to keep up with changes in language and society.
Here’s a little background information in case you’re not familiar with the MBTI® or it’s been a while since you learned about it.
The MBTI® is a self-report questionnaire designed to help people determine their personality type. It doesn’t measure skill, intelligence, or mental health. Your responses to the questions on the MBTI® indicate your preferences in four major areas, which I explain in detail in How does the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® work?
Why study the MBTI®?
Personally, knowing about your personality type can help you understand your motivations, natural strengths, and potential areas for growth, and enhance your appreciation of people who are different from yourself.
Professionally, your clients will thank you for developing organizing solutions that work in harmony with, instead of against, their natural preferences!
Please note that you must meet specific educational requirements before administering the MBTI® with your clients, but training is available all over the world.
My Work with Personality Type
After completing the MBTI® Qualifying Program in 1999, I became fascinated with the way that our personality type affects the way we deal with time and space, and read everything I could find about the subject. I also conducted my own research, collecting data from online surveys, workshop participants and individual clients, and used the information I gathered to develop an organizing profile for each of the 16 personality types. You can check them out here:
Resources about Personality Type and Organizing
Although my Organizing Profiles were based for the most part on surveys I conducted, in some cases I incorporated information from some of the following books. If you're eager to learn more about personality type and organizing style, I encourage you to add them to your reading list.
Learning about personality type and the way it influences our relationship with time and space was one of the reasons I decided to become a professional organizer in the first place, and I’m sure you'll find it fascinating too.
- Helping your clients identify their personal organizing style
- Helping your clients identify their personal time management style
This post was originally published in 2016 and has been updated.