1. Which Self Are You Talking About?

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    There has been a lot of conversation in discussion groups recently about which typology instrument to use and the upsides and downsides of using any typology instrument or framework. One of the downsides is the tendency to typecast in ways that limit behavior. I blogged earlier about holding the lenses lightly, which helps. Introducing any type lens in a way that creates safety and maximizes growth has always been one of the most important things we teach practitioners to do. There are many ways we’ve devised that help. Here is one of the most important. Start with setting the frame. If you don’t get participants or clients into the appropriate mind set for exploring their own type, you may as well not bother. There are many concepts to cover there, but the most powerful one is the different selves. Here is an explanation from the draft of my upcoming book, The Communication Zone. Your Many Selves It is helpful to think about the many aspects of your personality as your many “selves.”  You probably already think of yourself in terms of how you are in different roles such as employee, boss, parent, friend, spouse, child, sibling and so on. Yet,...
  2. Happy Valentine’s Day

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    I’m doing a webinar for the Association for Psychological Type-international’s eChapter on Tuesday, February 12 on Building Relationships. (You might still be able to register for that program.) As I prepared my handout and visuals, it occurred to me that coincidentally Valentine’s Day is this week! While Valentine’s Day is typically focused on romantic relationships, it is a good time for us to think about all of our relationships.
  3. The Curriculum

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    2013 here we come! We’ve put together a whole curriculum. This is the first curriculum of its kind so check it out. We will be adding courses and scheduling more courses. Below is a partial list of the events planned for 2013.  Soon you will be able to register for programs on the website. For now, if you are interested in registering or need to register right away please call 714-625-9475 or email support(at)lindaberens.com. Web-Based Learning Events for personal and professional development. The schedule will be set to start in late January/early February. On-line: The Communication Zone® Workshops The series starts with a free 2-hour workshop on January 25 (1-3 pm PST) or January 30 (12-2 pm PST). This first round will be offered on Fridays at 1 pm PST with discounted pricing if you register for the series. They will be recorded so if you miss one, you will still have access to the learning. Read more about them here. Getting Into The Communication Zone—Jan. 25 or Jan. 30 Contact us to register. Building Rapport 1: What’s Your Interaction Style? Building Rapport 2: What Are Your Interaction Style Dynamics? Building Relationships 1: What Are Your Essential Motivators (aka temperament)?...
  4. Insights from the Storm

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    On October 28, 2012 my colleagues and I left New York City just ahead of the hurricane. The tension was palpable, but all went smoothly. We arrived in Boston with plenty of time to catch the chartered bus to the Theory U/Presencing workshop at the Wequasett Resort on Cape Cod for 5 days. At dinner, during introductions we learned that some participants left their homes and loved ones in areas where the hurricane was headed. Yet they were at the workshop giving their attention to what was present for all of us. With the winds increasing, we were assured that the resort was used to this kind of weather. They were prepared with ample food, water, and generators. Some of the attendees were really anxious and others were calm. I was among the calm, but concerned. As devastating as hurricanes are, you can prepare, whereas, the tornadoes I experienced in Kansas left little time to prepare and the earthquakes at home in California just happen with no warning. So we went to bed and awoke to more wind. We walked up to the meeting rooms for the opening mindfulness practice with the wind howling and a view of a very turbulent ocean. The wind...
  5. The Core of Diamond Brilliance

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    Today the diamond in my engagement ring captured my attention. After nearly 50 years, it is still brilliant in its simple twisted tiffany style setting. As I stared at it, I thought how its beauty comes from how all the facets reflect the light. Then I thought, ‘It is the facets that make it beautiful and just as we humans have many facets that make us beautiful and brilliant.’ And then I thought, ‘What makes a diamond a diamond? It is the capacity to have all these facets revealed.’ That is what is at the core of diamond brilliance. Sometimes, we have our lovely brilliance hidden and not yet revealed. Our ‘facets’ need to be made visible and available. That is one reason we humans have such a fascination with personality tests and models. They help us reveal our facets. Some of these help us discover the core—that capacity for having all these many facets revealed. That is one reason I’m calling the approach I teach, the Berens CORE™ Approach. It helps us get at the core of who we are, gives us lenses to understand own innate brilliance, yet accounts for some of the aspects of our brilliance that come from our...
  6. Holding Type Lightly

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    “Holding the models lightly” is a phrase used by many in the circles I run in these days. I really like the phrase and have been using it. I thought I’d share it with you all since you might find it useful too. My last blog was about the use of typology models getting in the way of development. If we hold the models lightly, then there is less likelihood of that happening. So in addition to the brief recommendation I gave in the last blog, I think we need to hold the models lightly. What does it mean? When we hold the models lightly we recognize that they are models—just models, not the ‘truth.’ From Dictionary.com I found this definition of a model: “a simplified representation or description of a system or complex entity, esp one designed to facilitate calculations and predictions” (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved, September 01, 2012 from Dictionary.com website When we hold a model lightly we keep in mind that it is a simplified representation of a complex entity. We are human complex systems and no one model will full describe us. Some models work well for most people,...
  7. Does Type Get in the Way of Development?

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    I have just attended the European Association for Psychological Type conference in Paris. The presentations I attended were stimulating and highlighted a need for a shift in how psychological type is traditionally presented—something I’ve been saying for a long time. About 50 percent of them focused on development, especially ‘vertical’ or transcendent development. One of the most talked about presentations was that of Steve Myers. His topic was “Can Psychological Type Be a Barrier to Individuation?” As I understand it, Individuation involves a growth process. Steve defines it on his website as "Individuation is a process that leads to a more mature, balanced, 'rounded' person." Since writing the material on his website, he has further articulated what is involved in this growth process. Currently, Steve differentiates between Myers Briggs Theory and Psychological Type Theory as Jung meant it to be. He frequently quoted Jung’s writing on this topic so I want to share some of these with you. lassification is nothing but a childish parlour game…  My typology is… not in any sense to stick labels on people at first sight… ny typological terminology superficially picked up… serves no other purpose than a totally useless desire to stick on labels. ...
  8. Mindfulness Part 2: The CORE™ Method and the Brain

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    Thursday, I learned of some research that, to my mind, clearly supports how the CORE Method can evoke integrative processes in the brain and thereby strengthen neural integration and stimulate the growth of the middle pre-frontal structures in the brain. Neural integration is what is necessary for us to be more adaptable, balance our emotions, attune to others, have a greater sense of morality and empathy, regulate the body, eliminate fear, gain insights into oneself and more. So how did I make this link? Mind, Relationships, and the Brain I wasn’t able to attend the Wisdom2.0 conference this week, but I did catch some of the live streaming and am very grateful for being able to experience Dan Siegel’s talk on Mindfulness and the Brain. Dr. Siegel is a psychiatrist who studied “family interactions with an emphasis on how attachment experiences influence emotions, behavior, autobiographical memory and narrative.”  His current field of research is interpersonal neurobiology, a term he coined in The Developing Mind, 1999. It is an “interdisciplinary field, which seeks to understand the mind and mental health.” He also coined the term, Mindsight, which is what led me to see a connection between HOW we introduce type lenses...
  9. Mindfulness Part 1: What’s Type Got to Do With It?

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    There is a fair amount of interest in Mindfulness these days. Large corporations such as Genentech have mindfulness programs. There are five LinkedIn groups with Mindfulness in their name and the largest one has over 5000 members. The Wisdom 2.0 Conference where mindfulness is explored in relation to technology was sold out in its second year and again this year at a larger venue. So what is mindfulness and why did I title a leadership workshop, Mindfully You: Leading from the CORE? This is the first in a series of posts exploring mindfulness and type. I hope you join me in the discussion. Mindfulness is often equated with meditation. The dictionary defines it as keeping aware or being heedful. Mindfulness is not just meditation, but also a way of being open to the experience of the moment. Some describe it as awareness, others as being intentional about our choices. There is a great deal of research linking mindfulness to stress reduction and lowering blood pressure to mention just a few of the benefits. Last year at Wisdom 2.0, I was struck by what seemed to be a rather specific definition of mindfulness that linked it to meditation and tuning in...
  10. Not about you?

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    I just read a very interesting New York Times Op Ed piece by David Brooks called, It’s Not About You. Given the time of year with graduation speeches he has identified the developmental tasks that are facing young people as they graduate and enter the workforce. His message is that these tasks are contradictory to the preparation received by graduates’ educations as well as the messages sent in graduation speeches. I found two of his statements very interesting. The first one ends in a very powerful statement (emphasis is mine): Today’s graduates are also told to find their passion and then pursue their dreams. The implication is that they should find themselves first and then go off and live their quest. But, of course, very few people at age 22 or 24 can take an inward journey and come out having discovered a developed self. He goes on to say Most people don’t form a self and then lead a life. They are called by a problem, and the self is constructed gradually by their calling. I think the developed self is constructed all our lives, from birth forward. It is influenced by our inborn natures as well as the...