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The Myers-Briggs Test: Personal Leadership Essay

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Updated: Sep 22nd, 2022

It has been established that effective nursing leadership is capable of positively affecting patient outcomes (Wong, Cummings, & Ducharme, 2013). At the same time, being authentic (that is, true to oneself) is regarded as a very important part of leadership practice (Murphy, 2012). The purpose of this paper is to relate my personality assessment with an interview of a leader who appears to possess similar personal qualities in an attempt of defining my specific characteristics that can help me to develop my authentic and effective leadership style.

Assessment Inventory

For inventory assessment, I chose the Myers-Briggs test, which is based on Jung’s theory (Plonien, 2015), at the 16 Personalities website. I was classified as an INFP: a person who is introverted (67%) rather than extroverted (33%), intuitive (58%) rather than observant (42%), feeling (58%) rather than thinking (42%), and perceptive (73%) rather than judgmental (27%). The percentages in the brackets are a feature of the 16 Personalities website that describes the dyads of qualities in the form of a spectrum: for example, according to this test, I am 42% thinking and 58% feeling. In my view, such an approach improves one’s understanding of the results. I find that I largely agree with the scores, and the spectra help in this respect because while I do not consider myself to be completely introverted or opposed to making judgments, I agree that I am probably more likely to be reserved and delay decisions.

Regarding my leadership practice, it is noteworthy that Myers-Briggs test is widely used in leadership assessment and training (Plonien, 2015). In particular, Plonien (2015) demonstrates that my type of personality is considered to possess the strengths of attention to detail and ability to view new possibilities as well as being considerate and flexible.

Leadership Analysis

The person that I have selected for my interview is more extroverted than I am, but I think that we are similar in our attention to others and visionary thinking. She is particularly effective in communication, and our interview demonstrated that we are especially supportive of the following competencies of leadership that the American Nurses Association [ANA] (2010) highlights in its twelfth standard: we are focused on continuous improvement (in the field of education as well as the quality of healthcare), and we consider it most important to treat our colleagues (and consumers) with respect and dignity.

Apart from that, my interviewee is a very skilled (and experienced) conflict manager, which I am still anxious about, and she believes that her focus on the feelings and perspectives of others (which can be related to the F in Myers-Briggs’ INFP) plays a significant part in her success in this area, which supports my personal approach to the challenge. Also, we share a similarly optimistic view on our ability to influence governmental bodies, and we promote this idea among our colleagues in an attempt to inspire them. This aspect is an additional competency that is suggested by ANA (2010).

All the information presented above can help me to define my leadership style. In particular, the transformational leadership style that is currently promoted among nursing leaders includes aspects like encouraging, inspiring, and empowering others to act while also challenging the existing processes (Clavelle, 2012). My qualities and beliefs appear to fit this style, and I can develop my leadership practice as a transformational leader while remaining authentic (Murphy, 2012). This leadership style is also associated with positive patient outcomes (Wong et al., 2013), which makes this choice especially attractive.

Summary

This paper aligns my Myers-Briggs personality assessment with my view on my leadership abilities and the interview with a leader who appears to have similar strengths and ideas. I can conclude that my key strengths include my flexibility, ability to see new possibilities, and attention to others as well as my open-mindedness, all of which suggests the choice of transformational leadership style for my practice. My major weakness is the danger of growing indecisive. The knowledge of my strengths and weaknesses is likely to help me to develop my authentic style.

References

American Nurses Association. (2010). Nursing: Scope & standards of practice. Silver Spring, MD: American Nurses Association.

Clavelle, J. (2012). Transformational leadership: Visibility, accessibility, and communication. The Journal of Nursing Administration, 42(9), 345–346.

Murphy, L. (2012). Authentic leadership: Becoming and remaining an authentic nurse leader. The Journal of Nursing Administration, 42(11), 507–512.

Plonien, C. (2015). Using Personality Indicators to Enhance Nurse Leader Communication.Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses Journal, 102(1), 74-80.

Wong, C., Cummings, G., & Ducharme, L. (2013). The relationship between nursing leadership and patient outcomes: A systematic review update. Journal of Nursing Management, 21(5), 709–724.

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