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Learning how personality types can influence leadership


Students will work independently by first taking a personality inventory. When results are gathered, students will gather and explore findings to become self-aware of strengths and weaknesses. Students will summarize their personality type for their leadership group. Then, the leadership team will facilitate the test to their staff and lead a discussion regarding the results.


  • Students will take leadership surveys individually.
  • Students will interpret their personality results and evaluate how these characteristics will affect them as leaders.
  • Students will participate in a presentation/discussion regarding their personality types.
  • Leadership team will disseminate all the information to decipher where will each leader need another to help.

Common Core Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1d Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.2 Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.


Two 50-minute classes if only doing with leadership

Two more 50-minute classes if the leaders also give the test to staff members


Link: Online access to (or other MBTI test)

Slideshow: MBTI four-letter results background (used as reference or as introduction)

For the teacher: Personality results record worksheet

Worksheet (class set): Let’s get personal

Handout (class set): More about the results

Internet access and a device (1:1 if possible)

Poster board, markers

Lesson step-by-step

1. Teacher prep — 15 minutes

Each student will take a personality test that is similar to the Myers-Briggs Temperament Indicator. There are many versions and variations online. The adviser is welcome to find one they prefer to use with their group or use the one recommended here. Two pitfalls to look for when looking for a good MBTI: (1) Know the shorter the test, the less accurate the results may be; (2) There are a lot of the tests out there that say they are free, but when someone takes the test, they have to pay to get the results.

The recommended personality test that is thorough and free is called a NERIS Type Explorer at The testing and results are similar to MBTI in that the test taker will receive a four-letter code as their result, but there is an added result in one of five personality aspects. This lesson will only focus on the MBTI results, which is the first four letters of the test results. It is recommended the adviser take this test ahead of time so they can see what the students will go through for context.

If the adviser is not familiar with MBTI, the attached presentation explains how the letter breakdown to interpret the results. Please see slideshow: MBTI four-letter results background.

2. Setup — 10 minutes

Establish with the leaders that they will take a personality test to help them become self-aware of the characteristics that make up their personality. Emphasize the importance of answering truthfully, and while there are no wrong or right answers, if they don’t want to admit a certain characteristic and they answer dishonestly, the results will be inaccurate. The other important note to mention is if they are torn on how to answer, the best thing they can do is go with their gut. Try not to stay neutral, as it also skews the results.

3. Individual work — 20 minutes

Allow student leaders time to take the test. They need to report their four-letter result to the adviser. The over-thinkers may need more time than most.

4. Individual results — 20 minutes

After the test is complete, they will immediately get some of the results. They are usually excited and talkative about this because self-discovery is inspiring. It is recommended to do the test and get their four-letter results on one day, and then return after a break or next class period to continue. Please see attached worksheet, “For the teacher: Personality Results Record Worksheet” to record results for future reference.

If there is a student who feels their results are inaccurate, have them complete the test again for homework or when they can take it again; usually the second try yields better results.

5. Re-group and results discussion — 30-45 minutes

Adding on to the results they were given in the previous steps, they can also receive more results through the attachment called “More about the results.” Have them read over the results. Encourage them to ask questions if they don’t know what something means.

Once everyone has read through the results, the adviser may want to create two separate groups of people, ask all extroverts to go to one side of the room, while the introverts all go to the opposite side of the room. They are encouraged by this visual because they can immediately start to see with whom they mesh well and with whom they may have a personality conflict. Start asking questions about their personality differences, encouraging them to point out the differences between the two groups.

If the adviser needs to expand for longer timing, repeat the process by separating into two groups by each letter of their four-letter results. So the groups will be:

Sensing vs. Intuitives

Thinkers vs. Feeling Types

Judgers vs. Perceptive Types

Bring the group back together and discuss any or all of the following questions:

  • Were your results accurate?
  • If so, what were the details you feel describe you?
  • If not, what were the details that are inaccurate?
  • If the results were inaccurate, were there any parts of the results that were correct?
  • What is something that surprised you in your results?
  • Were there any parts of your results that give you explanation for a behavior you have experienced, where you didn’t know why, but now you see why? If so, what was it?
  • What are the parts of your personality that you are most proud of?
  • What are the parts of your personality that you would like to change?
  • What are the parts of your personality that you can’t control?
  • What are the parts of your personality that you know others see in you?

With a poster board, dry erase board or other method of gathering everyone’s traits as a snapshot (you can use the “Let’s get personal” worksheet as an example of how to gather data), ask the following questions:

  • Now that you are self-aware of your personality details, how do you think this pertains to being a leader on our media staff?
  • Using your personality results, tell us 2-3 details that will make you a good leader?
  • Using your personality results, tell us 1-2 details that the other leaders need to help you work on in terms of leading our staff?

Write down answers for everyone on the team to identify the strengths we can capitalize on, and the weaknesses everyone needs to be aware of to build up one another.

7. The leadership team gives test to the staff (re-group) — 15 minutes

Before the leaders give the test to the staff, they need to review these notes above. They can utilize this lesson plan to help them organize. The difference between giving to leadership vs. giving to staff is the discussion questions. Also leaders need to focus the lesson on how staff members interact with each other or as a group. In the discussion questions, leaders only need to ask the first set of questions to the staff. They can used the attached worksheet, “Let’s Get Personal” to gather all the answers, and use that to steer the group discussion.

To complete this lesson with the staff, leaders will follow steps #1-5 with the variations mentioned above.