Archive for the ‘Topic – MBTI [Myers Briggs]’ Category

Social media – how does it impact on your type?

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

A few weeks ago I stayed at the Bloc Hotel at Gatwick Airport, and it reminded me that I hadn’t written part 2 of my blog on social media and personality type.

Why did it remind me? Well, the transition from airport to hotel was significant. To access the hotel, all I needed to do was turn off the thoroughfare populated by some excited, some tired, some hurrying people coming from and going to their destinations, and I was immediately in a different environment. I booked in and as I took the route to my room I was suddenly thrust into a dark, quiet, relatively narrow corridor with lighting that only activated as I made my way along the corridor. It reminded me of being at a fairground and suddenly going into an enclosed attraction.

As for my room, it was small, with dark furnishings and no windows or external light, and this impact was increased due to its proximity to the airy and light airport terminal. Whilst the room was small – and possibly more like a pod than a room – the space was used well and it incorporated a lot of high tech equipment. It wasn’t unpleasant.

It immediately occurred to me that it would be the sort of room to divide customer opinion – a little like the NAP Conference on Social media did this year – and this was apparent from a quick visit to Trip Advisor. Whilst many people liked it, many others didn’t describing it as, “Fine for Hobbits”, and “We felt trapped in a tomb with no window”.

I wonder how much the Hotel designers considered psychological type when designing this very different sort of Hotel – and I wonder how much HR leaders are considering people’s psychological type when implementing new technology or social media strategies.

In terms of psychological type, one of Carl Jung’s dichotomies related to Energy Focus. Where is a person’s source of energy? People whose focus is on the outer world of people and activity are energised through interacting with people and are attuned to the external environment. Those who focus on their own inner world, however, are energised by reflecting on their own thoughts, memories and feelings. These concepts have become known as ‘Extraversion’ and ‘Introversion’ through the work of Jung, and the subsequent popularisation of his work by Myers and Briggs.

Turning to Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), one of the Motivational Traits within Shelle Rose Charvet’s ‘Words that Change Minds’ (which is based on work by Noam Chomsky and Roger Bailey) is Motivational Source – is a person externally or internally motivated? There is overlap here with Jung’s sources of energy, but differences too.  Within this model, Internal people tend to be motivated from within themselves, so provide themselves with motivation. They also tend to critique and assess their own work as they are clear on their standards and what they’re using to make the judgements. External people, however, tend to need others’ feedback and without this can become demotivated, and may struggle to continue with their work. Internal people tend not to need feedback from others, as they have their own internal standards – a downside of this being that they can dislike being managed and may ignore valuable thoughts and feedback from others.

The final tool I will refer to is the TMSDI’s Margerison-McCann Team Management Profile. I saw a person’s profile recently. This person was shown at the Introvert end of the Introvert – Extravert Work Preferences Measures. In the overall commentary it noted that this person was in a group of, “… single-minded, determined people, who like to see tasks through to the very end without distractions”, and, “You may tend to distrust people who talk well but offer only opinions, rather than detailed information”.

How does this link to the Hotel design? I would hazard a guess that whether people like the rooms or not is often associated with their Introversion or Extraversion preference – generally introverts could thrive on the lack of external activity, whereas extroverts could potentially struggle with no external energy or opportunity for interaction.

In terms of business, I have previously implemented an office move which took staff from working in small offices to all 35 staff working in one large room. Some people saw this move as really beneficial to them, and thought it would help them be more effective, others dreaded having what they saw would be constant distractions interfering with their work – some of which was linked to the theories and models described above.

How will social media and other technology impact on our Introverts and Extraverts? There will be increasing numbers of people working from home due to the availability of improved connectivity, there are already increasing numbers of internet businesses being opened and run from storage warehouses, the conference heard that at least one company had advertised jobs solely through Twitter, recruiters are placing an increased reliance on LinkedIn, abuse of (or via) Facebook is already a significant foundation and contributor to many internal discipline cases.  What else will have changed in ten years’ time? Will introverts or extraverts cope better with these developments?

HR needs to think through these developments and consider their impacts. Focusing on the home working aspect for a moment, how many organisations consider individual behavioural aspects when deciding whether or how (with what support) a person should be permitted to work from home? I haven’t come across one yet (but there is generally a check as to whether computer screens are at the correct height) – but it should be a key consideration, and would demonstrate a real interest in the diversity of staff.

Social media can make communication more accessible, but it will not deliver the extravert’s energy source. It can also allow introverts to become even less connected.

How are you addressing this?

Paul

 

MBTI for Kids – your questions answered!

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Since my last blog on how we can now administer the MMTIC, it has been great to see how much interest it has generated. Consequently, it seemed like a good idea to respond to some of the questions and comments.

“What does the Report cover?”

There are actually three Student Reports available, all tailored to three age ranges. The age ranges are 7-11 years, 11-14 years and 14-18 years – and if you click on the relevant age category, the link will take you to a sample Report.

The Report covers aspects such as:

  • The person’s results from completing the questionnaire
  • Their likely ‘Strengths’ and ‘Stretches’
  • Practical applications for them within school and within relationships

There are further Reports that can be generated which deal with more specific aspects, such as careers.

“Who gets the Report?”

The child owns the Report as it is about them – so they get the Report. No adult should be given the results of a child’s Report unless the child is also given the results. Any Reports resulting from the completion of the tool are considered confidential.

“Who is there when the child receives the interpretation of their Report?”

The child needs to understand that the Report belongs to them – they also need to understand that in order to use it for developmental purposes it is beneficial for their parent, carer, teacher, etc, also to be there so that they can assist the child to use it and build on the findings.

In order for the child to feel relaxed about hearing the interpretation of their Report consideration also needs to be given to the number of people present. With the child, a parent and the interpreter, there are already 3 people – the potential effects of additional people needs to be considered on an individual basis. If the intention is also to use the results in the school environment, it may be that the child and parent wish the teacher to understand the results. It will usually be best for the child if this is a separate meeting, or the teacher is given the information separately – but only, of course, with the child’s knowledge and consent.

“How accurate is it?”

A young person’s Type will still be developing. Since Type is developing in children, when we interpret a person’s Report we have to recognise that children’s awareness of their Type may not be firm, especially if it is the auxiliary function (the second most prominent of their mental functions – these being Sensing, Intuition, Thinking and Feeling). Extraversion and Introversion as well as Judging and Perceiving (the attitudes) may be clearer than the mental functions.

Because of this, children are given an opportunity to discuss their profiles and disagree with the results, if they consider them inaccurate.  The obtained psychological Type profile is only confirmed when the child confirms the description is accurate. If there is disagreement, the person is helped to understand that Type is developmental and that the instrument may not be able to identify everyone’s preferences every time. The schild is then helped to become aware of the differences between Type profiles and is reassured that it is okay to disagree with the results of any instrument.

“Another example of putting people into boxes, but this time doing it when they are children. I think this is a step backwards. Hmmmm.”

The Report and interpretation is all about helping people understand that different people use different ways to communicate, to take in information and to make decisions. The better (and earlier) that people understand these differences, together with how to work more effectively with these different types of people, the more effective they are likely to be in their lives.

“How much does it cost?”

The child needs to answer the set of questions, and we then input these into our domain within the MMTC site. This generates the Student Report mentioned earlier. We then print a copy of the Report, meet with the child and parent, carer or guardian and undertake a personal interpretation of the report. This activity lasts for 60 – 90 minutes. The complete cost of this is £45.

And if you have any other questions, we would be happy to respond to them!

Paul

MBTI for kids!

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

As a parent, I have always wanted to do all I can to give my children the best possible start in life. To give them that little bit extra so that they can cope as effectively as possible with the world as they find their own way through it. And I’m sure that’s probably the same for most parents.

There are lots of ways in which we can do that, but it’s not only us who are involved – there are also many other people who impact on this process. Teachers, relatives and friends all play a part.

It is also the case that our children have different drivers and motivators from us – each will have a different psychological  makeup – they will perceive the world and make decisions in different ways from us. Our personal strategies and approaches are unlikely to work for them.

How much more effectively could we support them if we had a better understanding of their makeup? How much more helpful could teachers be if they understood each child’s learning strengths?

The idea that each of us is born with a specific set of preferences is the foundation stone to Carl Jung’s theory of psychological type. During a child’s early years they begin to develop their preferences and implement their own personal style of taking in and processing information. An understanding of your child’s unique personality type provides you with vital information on how they:

  • Take in information
  • Prioritise information
  • Make decisions about information.

‘Type recognition’ during a child’s developmental years offers huge benefits to the child. When a child is provided with this tailored environment, which provides them with the freedom to develop their natural preferences, they can develop much higher levels of self-esteem and self-confidence.

The Murphy-Meisgeier Type Indicator (MMTIC®) was developed to help children and young people better understand themselves in many areas including:

  • How they approach learning
  • What their strengths are
  • What their stretches are
  • What strategies may help them improve relationships, study habits and school grades.

The MMTIC® is based on the 60 years of research which underpins the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®), the world’s most widely used personality assessment, and it has been used in schools for almost 25 years. The most recent studies (2002 – 2008) have culminated in the most accurate version of the tool which has demonstrated extraordinarily high rates of reliability and validity. Its use is accompanied by a vast array of support materials. Students can take the MMTIC® assessment on line or using pen and paper. Reports are written directly to students – and there are three levels of assessment and report – elementary (7-11), middle (11-14) and high (14-18) representing the age ranges shown in brackets.

In short, it is a MBTI® for kids.

Some people ask what it measures. It doesn’t measure anything. What it shows is whether a child:

  • Is extroverted or introverted
  • Is more likely to see the fine detail of their environment or sees the bigger picture
  • Makes decisions based upon objectiveness or personal and /or emotional values
  • Places more emphasis on bringing things to closure or would rather explore alternatives.

At Breathe Personal and Organisational Development, we are very excited to have been accredited to deliver the MMTIC®. We are one of only about 50 organisations in the world outside the USA to have been accredited in this way.

We believe that the MMTIC® offers a wonderful opportunity for parents and teachers to gain a fuller appreciation of a child’s personality preferences. Its use can reduce the potential conflicts a child might have within relationships, and increases the potential for greater success at school and within friendships. This, in turn, facilitates an improved relationship between the child and the parents, the child and the teachers, the child and others with whom they build relationships.

Paul

Going Round in Circles

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

One of the most satisfying day’s work I ever had was way back in the 1970s – probably 1977, I think. I was working as a ‘Saturday lad’ (meaning I was at school, and so only able to work on a Saturday – shops didn’t open on Sundays, then!) at Boots. It was about 4 weeks before Christmas. Calculators were the ‘in’ item of the season. They had become small enough and cheap enough (around £50!) for them to be available to the mass market – and the mass market wanted them.

On the previous Saturday, I had been learning about them as I worked in tandem with a full time employee. This person was very helpful to me, but he only had eyes for one particular Casio calculator. And so whatever the public were looking for when they visited us, this Casio was the answer. I have no idea why – we weren’t on commission. The consequences were that we sold quite a number of Casios, but also missed out on a lot of sales.

The next Saturday he was on his day off, and I was on my own. The manager spoke with me at the start of the day and asked if I was happy with my role for the day, and then set me a challenge of selling 80 calculators that day. To his surprise, I said I thought that would be relatively easy – so suggested 100 as a target. He said he didn’t think that was realistic. I sold 104. I can still remember the thrill of selling the 100th! Significantly, in my opinion, only a small proportion of them were this ‘preferred’ Casio model.

Which brings me to training courses and meetings. I have sat through a lot of these in my time – as I’m sure you might have.

When people have not met before, the trainer, facilitator or meeting chair will usually – and rightly – ask everyone to introduce themselves. This is often accompanied by a request for individuals to explain their role, or what they want to get out of the event, or why they have chosen to attend, etc. This can be helpful to both the attendees, as they learn more about each other and the different motivations for being there, and for the trainer or leader, as they get a better idea of what people are looking for and potentially the opportunity to tailor the programme accordingly.

But do facilitators make this activity as comfortable and beneficial as it could be? At the majority of meetings and events that I have attended, attendees are normally asked to go around in order from left to right, or right to left, etc – often starting from next to the facilitator.

Put yourself, for a moment, in the position of the attendee. What happens for you in this situation? Do you prefer being first, or last, or somewhere in the middle? Do you think, “Let me introduce myself now”, or perhaps, “I wish I had a bit more time to think about what I’m going to say”. Perhaps you think, “Only 4 people to me … only 3 people until me … only 2 people to me …”. None of these are particularly useful internal responses as they mean that you are not listening to what’s being said, or you are not giving as helpful information as you might be able to. How can this be addressed?

First, we must recognise that these groups will always be made up of many different types of people. Whatever we like when we are attendees, this will be different from many of the others attending.

One of the dichotomies within the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is Introvert and Extravert. The Introverts generally like time to think, time to consider what they are going to say. The Extraverts usually like to have conversation, get involved quickly and make conversation.

The NLP “Motivational Traits” model, has ‘Proactive’ and ‘Reactive’ as one of its dichotomies – the ‘Motivational Level’ Trait. This relates to whether a person prefers to take the initiative or wait for others. Proactive people want to do it now, get going – and so, given the chance, usually introduce themselves as soon as possible. Reactive people prefer to wait, to consider, to act with caution and they generally dislike taking the initiative. 15 – 20% of the population are strongly Reactive, and a similar amount strongly Proactive.

How, then, can trainers cater for these differences in personal preferences, enable people to feel as comfortable as possible, and get the maximum benefit from the exercise?

This is how. The trainer can explain that there will be the opportunity for everyone to introduce themselves, together with the reasons or benefits of the activity. He or she can then explain that they are happy for anyone to start by introducing themselves first, and from then on, anyone else can follow on, as long as they are not sitting next to the person who has just spoken. It might have to be explained a second time, but its worth doing. The benefits?

  • Extraverts and Proactive people can interact as soon as they want.
  • Introvert and Reactive people can wait a while and consider their contribution.
  • Contributors are likely to feel more comfortable.
  • Attendees are more likely to listen as they are not counting down to when it is their turn.
  • The trainer will learn far more about the attendees.

And in relation to the last point, I don’t just mean learning about what the attendees want out of the event. The trainer learns who is likely to be quick off the mark, who is likely to be quickest to answer questions, and who may be a little reticent in coming forward, who might need a little time to think before responding. Information that can help the trainer, and the delegates – and make the day even more effective.

All because of a very small change in a methodology as a result of focusing on delegate needs.

But as with most rules, there is an exception. If I am running an event with a blind or visually impaired person in the room, I would go left to right or right to left in a structured way. This is because the blind person uses this process to map out the room – who the people are and where they are sitting. A ‘random’ approach will cause them confusion and hamper their involvement.

Have a go – and let me know what you find!

Paul

Myers Briggs explained

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

In my last post, I explained – and enthused – about how I had undertaken my Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI©) Step I and II Practitioner training in Florida.

As I concluded the post, I realised that the it would make sense to readers who knew a little about MBTI, but not a lot of sense to others. So I said I would elaborate.

People’s behaviour and actions may often seem random or varied to us as observers, but according to Carl Jung (1875-1961), the Swiss psychiatrist, people follow patterns. Jung (see photo) labelled these patterns as ‘psychological types’. Katherine Briggs found Jung’s work whilst she was also grappling with similar thoughts – and then she and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers, brought the theory into the mainstream by creating the MBTI instrument. This tool helps a person work out and understand their psychological type. The first MBTI instrument was published in 1962. It is currently the world’s widest used personality assessment.

Jung’s, Briggs’ and Myers’ typological model views psychological type as being similar to writing with our left or right hand – we are either born with, or develop, certain preferred ways of thinking and acting. The MBTI sorts these psychological (and naturally occurring) differences into four dichotomies – opposite pairs – which results in 16 possible psychological types. None of the types are better or worse, however, the theory suggests that individuals naturally prefer one overall combination of  type differences. The dichotomies are:

  • Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I)
  • Sensing (S) or Intuition (N)
  • Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)
  • Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)

A person’s ‘type’ is summarised by four letters – so a person preferring Introversion, Sensing, Thinking and Judging would have an ISTJ type.

The Step I questionnaire comprises 93 questions, the answers to which help enable a person identify the above type. I say ‘help’ because whilst the MBTI has been shown to be very reliable, it is accepted that it will not be correct every time. Consequently, a person having their results interpreted should be taken through a process which enables them to self-assess their type prior to receiving their full report. If there are any differences these can be discussed and the MBTI Practitioner will give the person further coaching to assist them to decide on their type.

The Step II questionnaire comprises 144 questions – the 93 from the Step I together with an additional 51 questions. The Step II recognises that it is not possible to ‘box’ every person in the world into 16 types – one ISTJ may well be different in type to another ISTJ.

Within the Step II each of the dichotomies is broken down into 5 ‘facets’. You could also call these ‘sub dichotomies’ . As an example, The Extraversion and Introversion dichotomy has the following facets:

  • Initiating or Receiving
  • Expressive or Contained
  • Gregarious or Intimate
  • Active or Reflective
  • Enthusiastic or Quiet

The left hand end of the above facets are generally where people with an Extraverted preference will find themselves, whilst the right hand words are associated with Introversion. Having said that, a person with an Introverted preference may find themselves as having a facet preference for ‘Initiating’ which can then help the individual understand why they may not concur  ompletely with their four letter type.

Undertaking the MBTI should always be voluntary, and it should never be used as a recruitment tool. Furthermore, it does not measure intelligence or competence.

It does, however, allow a person to understand themselves more clearly, and then look at how to develop the less preferred aspects of their type. Once a person understands their type, they can then move on to how their type potentially impacts on how they manage conflict, make decisions or work within a team.

It can also be used with teams to help them understand each other and work more effectively together. The Step II is particularly useful when working with a person in a one to one coaching relationship. It is a powerful tool.

If you have any other specific questions about it I am, of course, happy to answer them.

Paul

MBTI – two very different options

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

Not only did I successfully complete my MBTI Step I and Step II Certified Practitioner qualifications, I paddled in the sea and walked along Clearwater Beach, took out a canoe in a State Park and met (and rubbed the nose of) a wild manatee, and visited all 4 Disney theme parks in a day. You have probably already worked out I didn’t do it in England.

I took the qualification in Gainesville, Florida, in early November 2011. Having encouraged others to follow this route in the past, I thought it relevant to check it out for myself (I hope you appreciate the sacrifices I make for you, dear readers!).

The main reason I encourage others to take a trip across The Pond is the cost saving.  The base cost to undertake the qualification in Gainesville was £758. To undertake it in England it would have cost me over £4,500. I find the financial saving both staggering and irresistible. And that’s before comparing the weather and leisure opportunities!

Obviously, if your base is in the UK it will probably cost you more in travel costs to undertake the qualification in the US, but there will still be savings. The table below shows what it cost me. You can then work out what your own costs would be and so undertake a comparison should you wish to.

Item OPP, Oxford CAPT, Gainesville,
Florida
Notes
Step I £3,234 (4 or 5* days, split over two periods of time) *OPP
website was unclear on exact duration
£758 (3 Days) The £ rate fluctuates due to exchange rate. The actual
price is $1195 ($1295 if booked less than 4 weeks before start of course and
$1495 anywhere else in the USA)
Step II £1,452 (1 day) Cost Included in above (1 day)
Total cost of qualification £4,686 inc. VAT (5 or 6 days spread over 3 periods of
time)
£758 (4 days in a row) Cost difference partly because OPP are sole provider in
Europe, and there are 3 providers in the US
Qualification process Not sure 5 ‘exams’ – a total of 70 questions. Need to get 80%
across all 5 (not in each).
If you are in the less than 5% who do not pass the exams,
you can complete the course by submitting an essay once you get home
Postage for manuals to be sent to UK Not sure whether this is included in OPP’s price £85 ($125) I went with another person, and they were happy to send
the Manuals together, which reduced the cost here to £55 each
Flights n/a £450 return
Rail fare to airport £30
Car hire (US) £104 (for 1 week)
Fuel (US) £37 (for 458 miles) Some of this was ‘pleasure mileage’
Accommodation (US) £30 per night
Food (US) £20 per day Breakfast free at hotel, CAPT provide great snacks and
drinks all through the training day

I went for a week as I was only able to get flights for less than £1,200 by staying for 7 nights. Consequently, I had an additional 3 days of very enjoyable rest and relaxation – as outlined in my opening paragraph.

Whilst the cost savings can be persuasive, I accept that this is only one aspect that people consider when undertaking learning. Encouragingly, I found that all the other aspects were positive.

The Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT) is the provider and they appear to be closer to Myers and Briggs ‘origins’ than some of the other providers.  For example, in their ‘Library’ where breaks are spent, they have Isabel Myers’ writing desk which she used for much of her work.

Our trainer was the ex-CEO of CAPT who now delivers these courses all around the US. He was very, very knowledgeable with 37 years’ experience of using and developing the MBTI instrument, although he was more of an instructor than a trainer.

There were 11 people in our group – 8 from the US, 2 from the UK and one from Belgium.  I both enjoyed and benefitted from the international mix – and from the feedback we received, our US colleagues also found it beneficial – and found the language differences very amusing! The international mix really did add an extra dimension to the programme which would certainly encourage me to undertake further learning in America. As examples , there were participants from the private, public and third sectors, and one person on the course was the Head of HR Administration for President Reagan’s adminstration.

One of my concerns prior to undertaking the programme was whether I (or how easy it) would be to then register with OPP in the UK so that I could purchase materials and reports. It has been very easy – I sent them a PDF of my certificate and they added me to their database within 48 hours. They have been very helpful.

I realise that some readers may not know what the MBTI instrument is – my next post will address this.

Gaining the qualification was an achievement, and visiting all 4 Disney theme parks in a day was also an achievement – and combining the two together made it a truly memorable event!

Paul