1. Human Agility: What’s Type Got to Do With It?

    Why is personality type information useful or helpful? One reason is that it can help increase our agility. I hope you enjoy this video where I share why I think sharing type information using the Berens CORE Approach can really help us be more adaptable and flexible when we need to be and still stay true to who we are at our core. Many people learn about psychological type through the MBTI® instrument or through the work of David Keirsey. The models and the instruments used are not as important as the approach and how it is delivered. An Integral approach that honors whole type is what I am talking about when I talk about how type awareness can contribute to Human Agility. I hope you enjoy this video, which is a part of a series that will continue. To be sure you are alerted to new videos, you can sign up to our mailing list from this page or subscribe to my video channel.
  2. Stress Triggers, Mindfulness, and the Shadow

    When we are stressed we are not as agile as we need to be. And stress takes a toll on our health and quality of life. Personality related stress is often unconscious. Here is a story about an experience of mine where I unpack the relevance of all the models to one stressful situation. Each lens—Essential Motivators, Interaction Styles, and Cognitive Dynamics—helps me understand myself better and grow into having more positive interactions. I hope my story helps you see how you can use type lenses to increase your level of mindfulness and interpersonal agility. So here goes… I recently found myself in a situation where I didn’t show up in a way that I wanted. It was a somewhat difficult conversation and I made it more difficult by expressing my anger inappropriately. On reflection, I realized that I was more stressed in general than I had realized and that level of stress tipped me into a shadowy place, where something ‘had’ me rather than me being my authentic, best self. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t express anger. The issue was that in this instance expressing that anger was counterproductive. I lost some credibility when I did so and it...
  3. Why Personality Type Instruments Don’t Work…

    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. Best of Two Worlds—Just the Beginning

    July was a busy month and one in which I immersed myself in two of my favorite worlds—The Association for Psychological Type International biennial conference and the Integral Theory Conference, also a biennial event. These two worlds have some things in common. Both address the concepts of types and valuing individual differences and in both the participants are passionate and dedicated to making the world a better place. Yet, no one from one context showed up at the others’ conferences. In a series of blog posts I will share some of my experiences and insights from both of these worlds, hoping to bring the benefits of both worlds to you all. In September, I will be presenting at the Integral Leadership in Action conference so will share insights from that experience as well. For now, here are my perspectives on the theories and the organizations that are at the leading edge of these worlds. I hope you are moved to get involved in both of them. Psychological Type Psychological type had it origins in the 1920s with great thinkers like Carl Jung, Ernst Kretschmer, Eduard Spränger, William Marston and more. Most people will reference Carl Jung, but it was a...
  5. Leading Edges of Type

    Yes, you read that right! I said ‘edges’ not edge. So much is emerging right now that we have to say leading edges, not edge. In the last few years, we have seen some major shifts in the world of personality type. From an increase in the number of typology instruments available, to increased criticism of the MBTI® instrument confusing the theory and unethical practices with the brand and the instrument itself, to a focus on the Cognitive Processes instead of the letters of the type code, to the emergence of the Interaction Styles lens and more. What is now on the leading edge? Groundbreaking research in neuroscience, looking at type development in relationship to ego development, a deeper look at culture, and an integral approach to type though the Berens CORE™ Approach and Integral Type. So how are we to keep up? Here are few suggestions. Start by reading my recently updated article, The Leading Edge of Psychological Type, to put all of these changes in context. The roots of type are deep and much older and broader than the MBTI® instrument alone. In the article you can get a brief overview of the rich history behind type as...
  6. Types, Typologies, and Polarities

    I’m gathering my thoughts for a formal paper on a meta theory of type that is due May 15 that I’ll be presenting at the Integral Theory Conference July 19 in San Francisco. So I thought I’d share some of these with you. What is a type? A type is often thought of as a classification according to a group of similar characteristics. However, there is another meaning to type that is deeper down in the definitions on dictionary.com: “the general form, plan, or design distinguishing a particular group” When I look at personality type, I am referring to the pattern or form of a group, not a random cluster of characteristics. I would say that a type in this sense is an organizing system. There is an energy field that self-organizes around a core of some kind. I think of it as an unconscious operating system, with a core driver of the system and ‘talents’ that maintain the system. What is a polarity? One definition, again from dictionary.com, describes a polarity as “the state of having or expressing two directly opposite tendencies”. In other words, the two tendencies are there and energy flows between the two. There is a...