Millennials

By Jack Speer | August 29, 2015

5 ways the MBTI assessment can help you be more effective with the Millennials in your workplace.

By Jessica Sager, Millennial ENFP, MBTI (RT) Practitioner

I’m proud to be a Millennial. Some of us frustrate you because we don’t always respond as people in the workplace traditionally have. Our style, expectations and our needs are different than Gen Xers (born 1960-1980) before us, and we can be distinctly different that the Boomers that manage us.

But we’re the future rock stars of today’s workplace. We’re also the fastest growing generation in the workplace today.

We’re the generation that didn’t have to learn technology—it’s always been part of who we are and what we do. We have a wealth of knowledge and skills that you can tap, which can make the difference in your organization.

We never met a technology or app we can’t conquer. How do you tap our skills?

The best bridge from you to us is through training—we love to be trained, and we also love to be mentored by people we respect and trust.

We love personality type assessments—we access thousands of them online every day, and find them valuable. We especially value the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Assessment (MBTI) (RT). While the MBTI assessment might be old enough to be their grandparent, it can still be used as an invaluable tool to meet the unique needs, expectations, and desires of the millennial workforce in your organization.

Here are 5 reasons why:

  1. Millennials are on a quest for meaning and fulfillment. They want a career that matters, at least to them. However, we know that a work environment that fulfills the needs of an ISTJ—values past data and traditional proven ways to do things–has probably a very different feel than what an ENFP—is a natural expert in leading change and resilience. Using the MBTI with millennials can help to give them a framework for understanding the situations, environments, and even the work that that they’ll find most fulfilling and easy to thrive.
  2. They have a hunger for self knowledge. As the generation who grew up on social media, they’ve taken endless Facebook quizzes, personality tests, and other such things (eg What kind of Harry Potter character are you?), but underneath all of that is their deep desire for self awareness and self understanding. While many of them might have taken a personality-typing look alike assessment online at one point, the process of an official MBTI assessment debrief can help feed this hunger and deepen their level of self understanding.
  3. They want to find their tribe, but they also want to be unique, too. The 4 letter Type assessment can help Millennials find other members of their tribe (Where all my ENFP’s at?!), helping them to feel understood and create community. At the same time, the additional facets of the MBTI Step II give Millennials a verbiage and context for what make them each unique, helping them to understand how some extraverts might have might wait for someone else to make the introduction, or someone who types as T might also have high empathetic and compassionate preference too.
  4. Millennials want to grow professionally and personally, and often expect leadership development opportunities in their workplace. As a leadership development tool, the MBTI can help build awareness of Use the MBTI with millennials to help them identify their primary and auxiliary processes, and co-create a leadership development plan with them to support their growth in their tertiary and least developed preferences. This will help them to build their own vocabulary to identify their strengths and to recognize potential blind-spots.
  5. Coaching is not optional. It’s simple: Millennials want coaching at work. They want- and even expect- more feedback than previous generations have, and they’re not just looking for managerial direction and correction; they want managers to help them develop. You can use the MBTI Step II to understand their communication style and preferences for yourself, as well as use the Step II results as a tool to help coach them in their own communication and conflict management strengths and areas for growth.

JessicaSager_H024 (1)Jessica Sager is an executive coach and an organizational development consultant. She has completed her MS in Organizational Leadership and received her MBTI Certification this past year. Jessica spends her time working with a variety of nonprofit and for-profit clients, helping them to develop the leadership and culture needed to be effective in today’s changing and dynamic environment.