Rethinking the Golden Rule: How to Utilize MBTI in the Health & Beauty Industry


A client walks into your establishment for the first time, inquiring about a treatment.  She is a new patient; you have no experience with communicating with her, nor do you understand what her individual needs are.  As someone who possesses an extroverted personality, you decide to approach her in the way that speaks to you as an individual: happily and gregariously.  What you did not initially pick up on was her innately introverted personality.  Instead of approaching her in a calm manner, one that would have spoken to her individual needs, you chose to revert to what you know best: your own communication style.  

What’s wrong with this picture?  

As a potential client for your business, you haven’t recognized her individual personality type.  Instead of using the right language to address her as an introverted person, you’ve followed the “golden rule” in which you treat others the way you want to be treated.  However, when it comes to being successful in the health and beauty industry, and growing your business through building clientele, it is not how you want to be treated, but rather, how your client wants to be treated.  

In any aspect of life, it is important to possess the ability to read the people around you.  This is part of having a high emotional intelligence.  As a health and beauty professional, it is particularly valuable to have a working understanding of this skill because in order to communicate with your clients effectively, you must make them feel like they can trust you.  

So how do you build trust?  

Initially, you can build trust through speed-reading the various characteristics that contribute to their individual personality type so that you can communicate with them how they are most comfortable.   One approach to reading people is through a personality test called the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, or MBTI.  This test is used worldwide, from high school and college aptitude assessments to Fortune 500 companies.  The MBTI test is used to determine career aptitude based on 16 different MBTI personality types. Each personality type is broken into four-letter groups: extraversion (E) or introversion (I), sensing (S) or intuition (I), thinking (T) or feeling (F), and perceiving (P) or judging (J). Within each of these categories, sixteen different personalities exist.  

One of my favorite books on this topic is: The Art of Speed Reading People: How to Size People Up and Speak Their Language by Paul E. Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger. 

First, it is important for any aesthetician (or health and beauty pro) to understand how to read his or her own personality type before attempting to utilize this method on others. 

Knowing who you are as an individual will help you be more successful in reading your clients.  

The purpose of knowing your individual personality type is to have a deeper and clearer understanding of yourself.  In doing so, you can determine what communication style works for you, and by proxy, the people who share similar needs as your own.  Once you’ve determined your own personality type, you can begin to apply this same concept to your clients and patients.  

I am an ESFJ and I will never forget the first time I took the test and read the description of my personality type.  I felt like one of my best friends had written it about me!  I am married to an INTJ so we had to learn how to communicate with each other.  During that time, when I was learning how to communicate with my INTJ, I realized what a powerful tool this could be to communicate more effectively with my patients.  It worked!

For more ways to build trust check out this post: Three Ways to Build Trust With Your Clients in the Beauty Industry

A great way to determine your individual personality is by taking a simplified version of the MBTI test, which can be found by doing a quick Google search for “MBTI personality test”.  The website www.myersbriggs.com also has a wealth of information on the subject.  

In rethinking the golden rule - treating your patient the way she wants to be treated - you will build trust, your patient will feel respected, and she will be more inclined to continue her relationship with you.  

Let’s reassess how we treat people by focusing on their individual needs; your business will thank you for it.  

Have any of you taken the MBTI test before?  What's your type?   Did you feel like the description was accurate?

With so much gratitude, Daniela XO

P.S. Know someone who would benefit from this post?  Please share it!  

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