1. Exploring Human Agility—Part 1

    Last year, we began to focus on one of the outcomes of our work—human agility. Since that time we made this visible in our certification program description. We have received some questions about human agility so we decided I would do a series of videos explaining more. This blog links to two of them. In this first video, I identify some key aspects of human agility and suggest a little about how type awareness contributes. In this second video, I share with you the importance of self-management and its relationship to perspective taking. I also talk about how type knowledge can help you with self-leadership and self-management. Actually I believe it opens the door to human agility in ways that a direct focus on ‘developing’ human agility doesn’t. You can read more about Human Agility on this website and I will be adding more to that. Also I suggest you read the following blogs: Leadership Starts with Self-Leadership Perspective Taking—Opening the Doors And an article I wrote a long time ago (and needs updated graphics, but the content is still solid). Stay tuned for more in this series. I hope you enjoy them.          
  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. Directing—Informing, a Powerful Polarity

    Last night I had a dream in which I was trying to get the attention of a large group of people I was supposed to be training. Finally I was so frustrated I yelled, “What I’m going to tell you, will change your life forever!” (or something like that). They all quieted down and I proceeded to tell them about the impact that recognizing their unconscious preferences for either Directing or Informing communications could have. Directing communications are aimed at getting something done in a timely way. The consciousness behind Directing is one of either wanting to achieve a result or manifest an envisioned result. Consequently, there is comfort telling people what to do, or to do something, or ask directly. There is a sense of urgency that is communicated in voice tone as well as choice of words. The closer to a deadline the more likely the language will be forceful. Directing communication serves the drives and aims of the In-Charge and Chart-the-Course Interaction Styles so people with these styles may unconsciously apply some version of Directing communications even when it is not called for. Informing communications are aimed at getting buy-in and leaving the option to act open....
  4. Does Type Get in the Way of Development?

    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. ...
  5. Not about you?

    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...
  6. Out of a Box and Into Interpersonal Agility™

    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...
  7. Transformative and Transactional Leadership

    Today’s Los Angeles Times had an op-ed piece entitled “How Obama Lost His Voice and How Can He Get It Back?” I don’t usually read this section of the paper, but a sentence caught my attention. “Abandoning the "transformational" model of his presidential campaign, Obama has tried to govern as a "transactional" leader.”   This blog is not about Obama, but about some thoughts on Leadership. I hadn’t thought about James MacGregor Burns’ concepts since my doctoral program. After all, Burns coined these terms over 30 years ago. They could be briefly summarized as transformational leadership is about changing the ‘world’ and transactional leadership is about maintaining what is. It occurred to me that there might be some relationship to type or to temperament in these terms.   Burns’ wrote his 1978 book, Leadership, as a political scientist and a historian. This book sits on my bookshelf so I opened it up. I don’t think the simple definition above does justice to his concepts so I won’t really comment on those until I reread the book.   On the surface, one might say that transactional leadership would go with the Stabilizer temperament with logistical intelligence or the Improviser temperament with...