The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® self-report assessment was developed by Isabel Myers to help individuals find their best-fit type. In order to develop the assessment, 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 iNtuing, 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 even the rich Cognitive Dynamics (aka 8 function model) to know more about their clients and to pick and choose which model to use for which objectives.
So, when I see ESTP, for example, I expect to see the Improviser Temperament with a talent for tactics and core psychological needs of making an impact and being free to respond to the needs of the moment. I also expect an In-Charge Interaction Style with a focus on achievable results and quick, efficient decisions. And I anticipate someone with this type code will prefer and lead with extraverted Sensing, supported by introverted Thinking. And often I’ll see extraverted Feeling and the foreseeing of introverted intuiting. When I see all these lining up, I’m confident that the person has found their best fit type and I know a lot of different ways to help them.
So in that way, I find the type code rather magical. You don’t have to use all these models with clients directly. In fact, please don’t. You’ll overwhelm them. But you can layer them in ways the clients can understand and remember. Share only what they can handle.
Using multiple models empowers those who understand them to know more about what the type code can mean. It can also give clues to dynamics that occur within and between types. What a world of difference this knowledge brings to your effectiveness as a type practitioner in creating sustainable results for your clients.
The use of multiple models has been gaining momentum and impact as long established, seasoned type practitioners are finding it indispensible in their professional success and development.
I’d love to hear your comments and questions.