1. What Your MBTI® Results Probably Didn’t Tell You

    by
    By that I mean, what the results alone didn’t tell you and what you may not have experienced in your interpretive session. For more information than what is in the video read the following updated blog post from 2010: Getting the Most Out of the Type Code The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® self-report instrument was developed by Isabel Myers to help individuals find their best-fit type. In order to develop the instrument, the J-P dichotomy was added. Now the four-letter type code that results from her work has become a standard for referring to the 16 types no matter how you arrive at determining the best-fit. Traditionally, type has been approached by explanation of the four dichotomies of Extraversion vs Introversion, Sensing vs iNtuiting, Thinking vs Feeling, and Judging vs Perceiving. By exploring preferences for one or the other pole of the dichotomies most clients get some very valuable information that they can use in their personal and professional lives. A growing number of type practitioners have found it useful and powerful to understand the type code in terms of other, related models that provide different information about important aspects of the 16 personality types. They use the four temperaments or Interaction Styles or...
  2. Whole Type and Beyond

    by
    Among type practitioners, we often speak of ‘whole type.’ For many this means something about treating the 16 personality types derived from the theory of Carl Jung as ‘wholes’ rather than as adding up the parts. For example, INTP represents a holistic pattern with a theme that is more than the sum of the parts I + N + T + P. Often people give lip service to the statement that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, but don’t really have much available to use to describe the whole type patterns. Then they are likely to revert to describing the ‘parts’ of the type code such as Sensing versus iNtuiting. And they may even use language such as, “She is a Thinker.”  The incongruity between the language and the statement about the whole being greater than the sum of the parts doesn’t occur to them. The view I find that honors how we are naturally as human beings is one that says there is a whole pattern and that pattern has a theme that we can describe holistically. For example, Dario Nardi and I developed some short themes that are not composed of the traits from the...
  3. Why Personality Type Instruments Don’t Work…

    by
    The MBTI® instrument has come under lots of criticism recently in the popular press. For those of us who have trained people to use this instrument and have found it useful, this can be painful. We realize that the criticism often comes from wanting the instrument to do things it isn’t designed to do. And usually it is a result of not following best practices such as the ones Jane Kise has described very thoroughly in a recent blog. I’ve been teaching people to use Psychological Type, Temperament and other models of individual differences since 1976 and conducted MBTI® Certification Programs for 17 years. At first we just took the instrument results as the indication of one’s type pattern. Then we learned that this often wasn’t as accurate as we thought it was. This inaccuracy is in part the basis for many of the critiques. The critics say they take the ‘test’ one time and it comes out different another time. The MBTI® Manual contains data that indicates that the agreement with instrument results ranges from about 60% -80% of the people agreeing with all four preferences ‘measured’ by the instrument. This really isn’t bad since as the Manual points...
  4. To Test or Not to Test? That is the question.

    by
    3
    I was recently asked by a colleague, how she could talk to her client about why she usually doesn’t use instruments in her work. I’ve heard from many practitioners who do not use instruments, especially when doing work with Interaction Styles or Temperament alone. However, organizations have come to expect instruments to be used. It is always a decision that the professional needs to make in the diagnostic and contracting phases. I think instruments are very useful when working with some populations who have little experience with self-reflection. However, as people develop, they become more capable of self-reflection. Since I am usually working with objectives that involve fostering development and developing an understanding of others as much as developing an understanding of self, I tend to not use them. Personality is so complex, that I use a process of collecting multiple data points, such as participant responses to presentations of different patterns, feedback from others, written materials, activities, cross checking against multiple models, and sometimes including instrument results. In my experience and those of many other professionals with years of client work, an instrument usually proves to be one of the weakest data points for the following reasons: There seems...
  5. Wisdom and Mindfulness in the Information Age

    by
    6
    Two weeks ago I attended the Wisdom2.0 conference, which is about “Exploring Living with Awareness, Wisdom, and Compassion in the Technology Age.” I thought it was a great conference and highly recommend it for next year. The theme seemed to be about how much we are constantly wired and digitally connected so how do we stay centered and connected to ourselves and our relationships. Last night I attended a follow up, sponsored by ProjectFresh. Leaving the session last night I had the thought that in both instances I didn’t quite get what I was looking for in the sense of ‘things to do.’ However, on reflection I realized that it isn’t about ‘doing,’ but about how we choose to ‘be.’ I fully enjoyed all the panels and presentations in both events. It was the words of panelist Alex Lightman that sparked me to find an answer to some of the questions I had. He said that the most frequent decisions humans make is where to put your gaze. In other words, where to put your attention. He said that there is an illusion of information overload. If we define information as a ‘difference that makes a difference,’ the rest is...
  6. Out of a Box and Into Interpersonal Agility™

    by
    Comment
    This post is not about out-of-the-box thinking, but about how to keep clients and workshop participants from feeling like they’re being put in a box when introducing them to type models and using type instruments like the MBTI® instrument. Clients often resist type information because of the fear of being put in a box or ‘typecast’ by others. And perhaps the greater danger is limiting themselves by the box they create from the information.   We have a natural tendency to categorize and label. Like the young child with a dog who calls a cat ‘doggie’, we first learn the general characteristics of something, then we generalize them to similar things, than we begin to differentiate.   Set-up or Getting Started The way instruments and/or models are introduced can help take mitigate the problem of people resisting the usefulness and value of the work being done. It can also make a huge difference in how people apply it to themselves to either be in a box or to use it to develop interpersonal agility. Here are just a few of things I use from the Interstrength® Method.   1. Introduce type as a self-discovery process not an instrument result. When...