The MBTI® Step II™ Assessment - Uncovering the DNA of personality type

Posted 27 December 2023 by
Melissa Summer, The Myers-Briggs Company

4 min. read

The MBTI® Step II assessment goes beyond the Step I framework to reveal the unique individual behind each MBTI personality type. It acts as a catalyst for enhancing personal and business results by providing focused insight to support development planning.

“The Step II assessment provides a deeper understanding of how an individual experiences and expresses their type. It describes differences within type preferences, giving people a more individual type description. Some people believe that their type description must fit them 100%, but the Step II can provide answers as to why their type description doesn’t fit exactly – it points to the nuances within each preference that someone has. It can also provide insight into some of the areas where someone isn’t as clear as to what their preferences are,” says Yvonne Nelson-Reid in her webinar about the MBTI Step II assessment.

The MBTI Step II assessment is a personality type assessment that hits at the heart of who someone is by delving into the facets within each of the Step I preference pairs. Basically, each of the four preference pairs has five facet pairs that sit within that preference pair.

It can help you understand the DNA of an individual’s personality, revealing what makes them different to others of the same four-letter type. The result is a highly personalized profile and development plan that is perfect for coaching, action planning, and building cohesive teams.

Using the insights of MBTI Step I assessment as its starting point, the MBTI Step II assessment explores these broad-brush revelations in greater detail.

Video: What’s the difference between the MBTI Step I and Step II? (2 min.)

It works by drilling down into each of the four preference pairs (Extraversion–Introversion, Sensing–Intuition, Thinking–Feeling, and Judging–Perceiving) to reveal five intrinsic facets for each. It highlights how these 20 facets fit with Step I type and where there are inconsistencies that can explain interpersonal challenges.

You’ll see below that each facet falls under one of the main preferences. For example, with the preference pair of Extraversion and Introversion, the first facets are Initiating and Receiving. While most of those people who prefer Extraversion will fall under the Initiating facet (meaning they prefer to start conversations and communication), there are some people who prefer Extraversion who may fall under the Receiving facet, and the Receiving facet is under the Introversion preference.

This means that even though the person prefers Extraversion overall, when it comes to starting conversations, they’re “out-of-preference” for Receiving, and will be more similar to someone who prefers Introversion when it comes to initiating conversations than they are similar to their fellow Extraverts.

MBTI Step II Assessment: 20 facets of MBTI personality type

Extraversion -- Introversion
Initiating -- Receiving
Expressive -- Contained
Gregarious -- Intimate
Active -- Reflective
Enthusiastic – Quiet

Sensing -- Intuition
Concrete -- Abstract
Realistic -- Imaginative
Practical – Conceptual
Experiential -- Theoretical
Traditional -- Original

Thinking -- Feeling
Logical -- Empathetic
Reasonable -- Compassionate
Questioning -- Accommodating
Critical -- Accepting
Tough – Tender

Judging -- Perceiving
Systematic -- Causal
Planful – Open-Ended
Early Starting – Pressure-Prompted
Scheduled -- Spontaneous
Methodical – Emergent

Want to see a visual representation of this “personality DNA?” Download the Step II DNA graphic. You can also learn more about the MBTI Step II and getting certified to use it here.

“Facets help us understand the diversity within the expression of MBTI type. Additionally, I always recommend using Step I with my clients first, so that they really have a good understanding of the MBTI personality preferences, before adding any Step II reports or conversation to the mix,” says Michael Segovia, Principal Consultant and Lead Certification Faculty for The Myers-Briggs Company in his video about the differences between Step I and Step II assessments.

If you want to read more about what each of these facets mean, check out the MBTI Step II Interpretive Report Sample, starting on page 5. The MBTI Step II Interpretive Report uses a graphical format to display an individual’s results, guaranteed to enlighten, inspire, and challenge respondents.

If you’re already an MBTI Certified Practitioner, then you’ve already been certified to use the MBTI Step II assessment. If you want to learn more about this powerful assessment and how you can add it to your toolkit, check out this webinar about how the MBTI Step II can add value to your practice.

Download the MBTI Step II Interpretive Report Sample.

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