• MBTI
  • Fundamental values
  • Start with Why
  • Your personal compass
  • Cultivate your own garden
  • Happy those who communicate
  • The art of feedback


The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is an assessment that follows a psychological assessment method proposed in 1962 by Isabel Briggs Myers and Katherine Cook Briggs.

Their model is based on forty years of study and research. This mother and daughter relied on the publication Psychological Types (1921) by the father of analytical psychology Carl Jung, who had identified four psychic functions that everyone possesses to different degrees: thinking, intuition, feeling, and sensation.

The assessment determines the preferences of each individual, according to 4 axes:

  • Where I draw my energy: between Extraversion (E) and Introversion (I)
  • How I gather information: between Sensing (S) and Intuition (N)
  • How I make decisions: between Thinking (T) and Feeling (F)
  • My mode of action: between Judgement (J) and Perception (P )

This gives us 16 possible letter combinations and therefore 16 major personality types. The given answers make it possible to create a typical profile of the person taking the test.

You can take the MBTI on the 16personalities website

Allow about thirty minutes of quiet time for this test, which requires a bit of time and availability. Be honest and keep in mind that there are no good or bad profiles.

The website offers you a complete debrief for each personality, but here is how we can summarize each value:

Where do you draw your energy?

Extraversion (E) - You are outward looking and interact well with others.

  • You put action before reflection.
  • You need to think in groups.
  • You prefer to express yourself through words.
  • You need to see people to recharge your batteries. However, you are not necessarily an exuberant person!

Introversion (I) - You are more focused on your thoughts and your inner world.

  • You need to reflect before acting.
  • You like to be alone to reflect.
  • You don't mind being alone.
  • You prefer to listen.
  • You need some quiet time to recharge your batteries. However, you are not necessarily a shy person!

How do you gather information?

Sensing (S) - You trust your 5 senses.

  • You rely on facts, practice, and details.
  • You are realistic, and you focus on the present.

Intuition (N) - You need a big picture.

  • You rely on ideas, theories.
  • You have a great imagination, and you can project yourself into the future.
  • How do you make decisions?

Thinking (T) - Logic first!

  • You are direct and honest.
  • You seek the truth.
  • You are motivated by your projects.

Feeling (F) - All about feelings and the subjective.

  • You are diplomatic and sensitive.
  • You seek harmony above all.
  • Other people's esteem is very important to you.
  • How do you take action?

Judgement (J) - You are the specialist of plans A, B, and C!*

  • You are often punctual.
  • You like to make decisions.
  • You need to plan and prepare your actions.

Perception (P ) - You know how to adapt to circumstances.

  • You are often late.
  • You don't like to decide, and you often push back deadlines.
  • You are flexible and adaptable.

At Extia, we also use other tests such as the Predictive Index and Process Communication. If you already had the opportunity to take them, are the results similar?

Fundamental values

Social psychology researcher Shalom H. Schwartz developed the universal values theory. This theory distinguishes 10 fundamental values that are common to all cultures, since they originate in at least one of the three necessities of human existence:

  • Satisfying biological needs
  • Enabling social interaction
  • Ensuring the proper functioning and survival of groups of individuals

To establish this theory, Schwartz based himself on a survey with data collected between 1988 and 2002, in 233 samples from 68 countries on all continents (a total over 64 270 people).

How to define values?

When we think about value, we think about what matters to us in life.

For Schwartz, the values meet the following definition:

  • Values are linked to feelings
  • A person for whom compliance is important is happy when they have a framework and rules to follow, but may be in a state of anxiety if their goals are not properly set.
  • Values drive our actions
  • People driven by power and success will act in order to gain authority, leadership, and social recognition.
  • Values allow the evaluation of other people's actions, policies, events...
  • We decide what is right or wrong, justified or illegitimate, in regard of our own values.
  • Values are ranked and sorted according to their importance as guiding principles in our life.
  • Is justice more important than success? Hedonism more than tradition?

The 10 fundamental values


  • Autonomy Objective: independence of thought and action - choosing, creating, exploring.

  • Stimulation Objective: enthusiasm, freshness and challenges in life.


  • Hedonism Objective: pleasure or personal sensual gratification.

  • Success Objective: personal success achieved through the demonstration of socially recognized skills.

  • Power Objective: prestigious social status, resources control and people's domination.


  • Security Objective: safety, harmony, and stability of society, of relationships between groups and between individuals, and of oneself.

  • Compliance Objective: moderation of actions, tastes, preferences, and impulses that may destabilize or hurt others, or transgress social expectations or norms.

  • Tradition Objective: respect, commitment and acceptance of the customs and beliefs supported by the culture or religion to which one belongs.

Surpassing oneself

  • Benevolence Objective: the preservation and improvement of the well-being of people with whom we frequently find ourselves.

  • Universalism Objective: understanding, esteem, tolerance, and protection of the well-being of all and of nature.

What are your fundamental values? Pass the Fundamental Values test (in french)

You will need about ten minutes of quiet time to pass it. The result of this test shows the fundamental values on a chart.

After taking the test, look at your first 3 fundamental values and ask yourself:

  • What do these values mean to me, what is my own definition?
  • Are these values aligned with my current work and lifestyle?
  • Which values are in conflict? Which tensions can I feel in my daily life? Opposing values are those that will have a high percentage and are diametrically opposed on the wheel.

For example, autonomy and compliance may be very valuable to you, yet these two values are contradictory. To go further The fundamental values have been revised into 19 more specific values. You can also take the test to find out about them here.


Start with Why

Simon Sinek is a speaker and author of books on management and motivation. His TED talk "How great leaders inspire action" is one of the most viewed since 2014. He is also the author of the book Start with Why, which explains why everything must start from meaning.

The Golden Circle: Why, How, What

The main concept of Sinek's book is the Golden Circle, which allows us to organize the three big questions "Why?", "How?", "What?".

  • 🤹‍♀️ What: What you do, and especially what you do well. This is the set of superpowers, skills, and abilities you put to work for a business or a client. It can also be the visible result of your work.

  • 👌 How: This is the environment you need in order to give your best. The means and values that make the What possible. Thanks to the Moving Motivators and the Schwartz test, you can find out a little more about your How.

  • 🎯 Why: This is the impact you want to have. Beyond your needs, successes, and personal development, what do you want to contribute for? The Why is not a treasure to be found, but it is built little by little.

According to Sinek, it all starts with the Why. This is the first question everyone should ask themselves, but we tend to go to the more concrete first, the What, before asking ourselves more abstract questions.

Simon Sinek uses the example of Apple, which is illustrative enough to understand the concept of Why. If Apple advertised like its competitors, its advertising messages could look like this: "We make great computers: they are beautiful, simple to use, and user-friendly. Do you want one?".

However, Apple's message is more about its Why:

"In everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in a different way of thinking. Our way of challenging the status quo is to make our products beautifully designed, simple to use, and user-friendly. And we happen to make great computers. Do you want one?" (Quote from Simon Sinek's TED talk)

Build your Why: a few points that can help

The Why isn't necessarily clear. It is the fruit of reflection, of a work of self-construction: we produce meaning rather than finding it.

To help you, we suggest a few questions to use as a basis for your reflection:

  • What makes you angry or revolts you?
  • What do you like to create, which problems would you like to solve daily?
  • What would you like to see more of in the world?
  • How would you like to help people?
  • What do you like to do to feel useful?

To go further

  • Ikigai

The term Ikigai represents a Japanese philosophy of life. The one that consists of finding a reason to get up every morning, or the one that makes you want to move forward and that has meaning for you. We are not far from Simon Sinek's Why! To find your Ikigai, there is a diagram to fill in to ask yourself the right questions.

  • The Flow

The Flow is a concept developed by psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi from 1975. It is a mental state (close to ecstasy) that one reaches when one is so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter. The concentration is intense and total.

Your personal compass

To conclude this first part Know yourself, we provide you with this compass which summarizes the lines of thoughts you may have explored previously.

To help you fill it in, here are a few questions you can ask yourself :

My identity

  • What is my personality and my intrinsic motivation?
  • What are my key values, and which are in opposition?
  • What makes me happy, what sometimes makes me envious?

How I operate

  • How do I think and make decisions?
  • How do I rest and recharge?
  • How do I relate to others?

My relationship to action

  • How do I make decisions?
  • How do I relate to risk?
  • What are my criteria for success?

The impact I wish to have

  • What causes particularly affect me?
  • In what areas do I feel useful?
  • What are my superpowers (what I do naturally and easily)?
  • What do I bring to others? (how do they feel about me)

Cultivate your own garden

Faced with the winds of change and our VUCA world, we are left with two choices: we can either build walls, or we can build mills. What if permanent change and evolutions of work were an opportunity to improve? To adapt, during a professional life, is to be in a position of permanent learning. Sometimes we mistakenly think that the only way to acquire or develop a new skill is through training. What if it were otherwise?

At Extia, three numbers often come up: 70, 20, 10

  • Training only accounts for 10% of our learning
  • Exchanging with our environment, colleagues and peers accounts for 20%
  • The remaining 70% comes from practice and experience!

If we insisted on the need to always be able to learn, we now understand that the know-how is nothing without knowing how to be. Moreover, it is often recognized that while your hard skills enable you to get an interview, it is your soft skills that get you a job and allow you to grow within a team and company.

Take action!

Some tips for taking action and continuing to learn:

  • Knowledge is accessible to anyone, anywhere, and anytime: conferences, newsletters, podcasts, MOOC, and TED.
  • Join communities to meet peers or discover a new field. At Extia, we organize more than a hundred meet-ups all over France. Furthermore, our business communities are open to all!
  • Sharing knowledge: "A man who has the knowledge but lacks the power clearly to express it is no better off than if he never had any ideas at all." (Thucydides) This sharing must be motivated by the desire to participate in the development of colleagues' skills. At Extia, we have a collaborative library that everyone can contribute to and consult!
  • Get as much feedback as possible from the people around you! In this course, you will discover a few tips on how to give good feedback.
  • Accept failure as a lever for learning. "I never lose. I either win or learn" (Nelson Mandela). There is nothing like taking on a new project to learn. But to do so, you must be willing to try things and make mistakes. This exercise allows flexibility, curiosity and reactivity reflexes to be permanently learned.

Some pointers if you don't know where to start

  • Change your attitude towards your constraints: your time and money constraints are part of the equation, they are not an insurmountable barrier. You don't control them, but you control the way you approach them.
  • When you are lost, accept to explore without purpose : trust serendipity and your intuition.
  • To avoid procrastinating, think about micro-action : there is no big leap, but a series of small steps.
  • Dare to ask for help : benevolent colleagues may have the answer to your questions, or the right leads to start answering them!

Happy those who communicate

In an environment where agility and collaborative practices are becoming fundamental skills, we may be faced with a greater or lesser gap between our intentions, our behaviours, and our impact on our professional environment. How do we know how our professional behaviour is perceived by our hierarchy, our colleagues, and our peers?

Kim Scott worked for the biggest American tech groups: YouTube, Dropbox, Google, Apple, etc. She is the author of the bestseller Radical Candor. Through her book and her lectures, she explores the reasons why it is imperative today to develop our assertiveness and our ability to communicate on the positive as much as the negative, while being benevolent.

Challenge Directly and Care Personally

Her reflection is twofold: the first, challenge directly, is the ability to offer constructive criticisms to our interlocutors. Kim Scott rightly points out that we have been conditioned from a young age to refrain from speaking if it is to say unkind things. However, negative criticism is often the one that does the most good to the person receiving it.

Later, when entering the world of work, we must behave professionally. Which means putting aside our emotions and our true identity when we are at work. This would be a misinterpretation of professionalism which would lead to toxic and apathetic relationships. Because by hiding our emotions and turning a blind eye to those of others, we are not able to develop our capacity to care about others in our daily life in the company. The second axis is to care personally.

Radical Candor

Radical Candor would therefore be the ability to communicate in an open, direct, but benevolent and sincere manner. The combination of the two axes: the ability to challenge, to give constructive feedback while listening and genuinely caring about the person you are talking to.

However, it is important not to fall into the trap of aggression, passivity, or fear of communicating: there is nothing more disarming than a lack of communication or a toxic work environment. Let's see the other communication styles portrayed by Kim Scott:

Obnoxious Aggression

This is what happens when you address someone directly, but without caring, and without considering the person's sensitivity, mood, or personality. The insincere compliment or harsh criticism. This is Meryl Streep's character in The Devil Wears Prada.

Ruinous Empathy

This is what happens when you want to spare someone's short-term feelings, so as not to tell them something they need to know. You really care about the person, but it is hard to be really sincere. It is an unclear, sugar-coated criticism. Or just silence. This is the most common mistake we make.

"It is an act of kindness to tell someone when they are making mistakes. It's not mean, and yet we feel mean."

Manipulative Insincerity

It is hypocrisy, the insincere compliment: when you compliment a person and criticize them behind their back.

The art of feedback

"Knowing that everything that is not expressed is imprinted, it is desirable to encourage expression beyond emotion, or the repercussions. This practice will prevent somatization, stress, and anxiety."

Jacques Salomé « Oser travailler heureux : entre prendre et donner »

The art of feedback

What is a good feedback? Feedback is information about past behaviour or situation, delivered at the present time, which can influence future behaviour. Good feedback is sincere, creative, personalized, concrete, and free. If negative, it aims to change behaviour. If positive, it tends to perpetuate and develop a behaviour.

A few tips for giving good feedback

  • Find a good time Give feedback quickly enough to keep the situation in mind, but never in the heat of the moment to allow for distancing and avoid over-reaction. It is also best to do it in the morning or on a not too busy day, to consider everyone's fatigue.

  • Choose a special place A one-one-one moment in a quiet and comfortable place: avoid feedback between two corridors.

  • Remind the context To set a framework and limits

  • Evoke the facts and avoid the conditional To avoid any risk of interpretation and bias: favor the factual by referring to specific situations: "At that time", "During a meeting with the client", "During your presentation"...

  • Link the factual to personal feelings to justify a reaction: the "I" message This helps to illustrate the problem as well as the consequences and actions to be taken afterwards. "During your presentation, I did not understand your message"

  • Value skills Feedback is not only a comment on the "negative", it is also an opportunity to highlight what is working well, the skills, and positive attitudes! You can also highlight positive attitudes or good reactions in difficult situations.

  • Consider how this feedback will help everyone to progress At the end of your intervention, take the time to review: what has been said setting actions together, commitments from everyone to move forward

In the Agili'what course, we saw how an agile approach (iterative and incremental) could reduce the risk of failure. Giving and receiving regular feedback contributes to this idea!

Giving and receiving feedback is not an easy exercise, everyone reacts differently depending on their personality, their experience, and their mood at the time. Finding the right tone and the right words takes time. So if you felt that you had failed to give feedback and made a mistake, remember that we learn by doing things! For example, no one learns to walk or ride a bike without falling.

To go further

Others journey

Discover the journey
I want to understand what agility is, its origins, its foundations, and its application today.
Discover the journey
Agility and product
To highlight and illustrate the different frameworks, roles, and professions of agility. Which position to adopt? Which tools to use?
Discover the journey
Agility and management
Agility is not just for IT teams; I want to learn how to become an agile manager.