The Power of Knowing, Accepting and Using Your Professional Strengths and Weaknesses


Mandy Moody, CFE
ACFE Content Manager

Do micromanagers know they are micromanagers? Are coworkers who are not replying to emails intentionally ignoring you? Does that mean they don’t like you or they don’t value your time and energy? Do people who don’t speak up in meetings not care about the topic at hand? I would guess that the answer to most of these questions is no. In reality, they are each behaving in a manner that is most comfortable for them. They are not aware that others, who have their own and different way of doing things, are not connecting or understanding them.

Jean O’Brien, executive coach, trainer and speaker, is one of the career coaches at this year’s 28th Annual ACFE Global Fraud Conference. In the Career Connection booth in the Exhibit Hall, she will be administering one of the most beneficial personality assessments one can take when addressing professional awareness — the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). I caught up with Jean last week and asked her to break down the importance of the MBTI and explain just how valuable it can be for career development. “The MBTI provides skills to 'talk' another’s language, and confidently step out of your comfort zone to best interact and communicate with different personalities,” she said. “Without this insight and awareness, we miss opportunities every day to build a successful business-leadership expertise.”   

What exactly is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and why is it so valuable?
The MBTI assessment is a series of questions that reveals our preference for the way we collect information, make decisions and what attitude we prefer to use as we interact with the world. An example such as, “Do you take initiative in making contact with others or do you let others initiate first contact and begin conversations?” conveys insight into the way you prefer to act, make decisions or manage conflict. This information identifies the tools you need to clearly and effectively communicate with others.

Why do you think this personality test is so beneficial for fraud examiners?
Fraud examiners have specific, specialized skills that are highly valued for observing and communicating information that may not be apparent. They prepare evidence, testify in court, interview witnesses, coordinate investigative efforts and advise businesses on ways to improve fraud detection to justify actions. The MBTI will enhance their skills in situations for career development, interviewing and networking that may be out of their comfort zones. It will help them be confident in environments that may be challenging or stressful.

Do you have a story that conveys why this exercise is so valuable?
In my experience, every MBTI situation has made a significant difference, increased awareness, provided an avenue to adapt when appropriate and to make changes for improved relationships. In one example, an organization referred a person to me for coaching who was going to be terminated if he did not become more aware, learn new skills and make adjustments necessary for his success as a valued employee. Good people were leaving because of him and behaviors had to change. He completed the MBTI assessment and we explored every detail, observing how and why his micromanagement style of telling people what to do impeded employees rather than allowing their capable knowledge, experience and expertise to be effective for the team. Through examples seen from the other person’s perspective, he began to see how he was limiting growth and success. It took patience and practice for him to observe his behaviors and the reactions of others. He worked hard, and with appropriate changes, open conversations and actions he was able to regain his leadership, confident that he and his team were preforming well. He was recognized by the company, sought out as an expert as someone who learned to combine knowledge, confidence and power to represent the organization internally and publicly.    

You can find Jean at the Career Connection Booth in the Exhibit Hall at the upcoming ACFE Global Fraud Conference in Nashville, June 18-23. She will be administering MBTI assessments and providing coaching for $50 per session. Register for a session today!