Coworker Driving You Crazy?

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Due to overwhelming demand, we have booked Avra from Calgary Career Counseling to offer a second session on Personality Types: Understand, Connect and Work Better, as part of our Accelerate Your Career event April 20th. You'll learn how Myers-Briggs Type Indicators (MBTI) can help you gain insights into your own and others' personality types, and hopefully be happier at work.

We asked Avra more about this test, and its popularity, and usefulness:

Avra, millions take this test annually. Why?

There are a few reasons for its popularity with two of the biggest reasons being perceived utility and availability. Many find the results to be useful both personally and professionally, as they can learn about communicating with a significant other or coworkers. It can be used at both an individual and group level to address a range of topics including career development, communication, team building, problem solving and decision making, to name few. Opportunities to become certified in using the MBTI are widely available as are "free" online MBTI resources although the reliability and validity of online resources are typically questionable. It's generally helpful to have a career counsellor go over your results with you as opposed to trying to make sense of them yourself.

Can MBTI help workers better understand better why their coworkers behave or react to situations in a particular way? In other words, can understanding people’s personality types help avoid conflicts in the workplace?

While we don't always know our coworkers personality type, knowing your own personality type can help you to appreciate and understand your own behaviours while possibly becoming more mindful of and purposeful in your interactions with others. By reviewing some of the type descriptions you can develop an awareness of the complexity of personality type, better understand the interplay of personalities in the workplace, and understand that all behaviours, whether yours or your coworkers, are contextual.

Following that, Avra, can this test help employees figure out how they can thrive and perform at a higher level in the workplace?

The MBTI can help you to learn more about your strengths as well as develop a plan for areas of improvement. If you know your strengths and areas for development, you can be more strategic in accepting new tasks and responsibilities as well as in your job search. The key is that an individual needs to have a sufficient level of insight and ability for reflection to apply their MBTI results to real life situations such as in the workplace.

What about the notion that one personality type is "best" or "better" than any other one in the workplace?

Absolutely not! It is important to note that there is just as much variation between types as there is within types and that each personality type has value. While some personality types are more commonly found in some career environments, all types can be found in all careers, and all types can experience success in the same career. It's helpful to remember that there are more determinants, in addition to personality, which influence whether or not someone is deemed to be a good fit for a particular workplace or career.

Register by calling: 403-260-2620 or online at

Avra has over 9 years of experience providing career development services to diverse individuals. In addition to providing individual counselling, Avra has experience designing and facilitating workshops, and is currently an instructor at Columbia College. She holds a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in psychology from the University of British Columbia, and also holds a Master’s in Counselling Psychology, with a career counselling specialization, from the Graduate Centre for Applied Psychology at Athabasca University. She is a Registered Psychologist with the College of Alberta Psychologists and is also a member of the Psychologists’ Association of Alberta.


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