Archive for November, 2012

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

Communication Breakdown

Friday, November 9th, 2012

“It’s well under 23”, I said as I put the first of our checked bags on the scales at the very beautiful Orlando Airport. He looked up at me  - perhaps quizzically – as  he moved it to the centre of the scales.  The scales showed ‘47.0’. “That can’t be right”, I said.

“Sure is”, he replied, “when I picked it up, I knew it was well over 23”. I was astounded.

“But I only checked it an hour ago”, I retorted.

“Not a problem though”, he added, “It’s under the 50 pounds, and that’s all that matters for me”.  Ah, pounds!  I was using kilogrammes. We laughed about our different ‘languages’.

Just another of those communication breakdowns that happen every day, probably every hour. A simple misunderstanding due to the way we make assumptions, don’t listen or don’t explain ourselves.

But some misunderstandings are more complicated. Earlier in the holiday we had been staying at a relatively cheap, but very well equipped and maintained Best Western hotel. In the bathroom was the notice pictured above, which said “Take it home!  If you enjoyed your stay as much as we think you did, you shouldn’t have to leave those memories behind.  Many items in this room such as towels, pillows and sheets are for sale. Please contact the front desk at check-out for pricing. Thanks for staying with us!”

Before you read any further, think about what you are being told. What information is it seeking to give? What message do you take from it?

I had read it a couple of times when we first arrived. Later I went back to it. It was preoccupying me. I didn’t understand it. The towels were just white towels – nothing special. They didn’t have any emblems on them or fancy stitching. Why would people want to buy them as “memories” of their stay? I was stuck – I decided to involve someone else. “Peta, why would someone want to buy these towels as souvenirs?”.  She quickly replied, “I don’t think that’s what it means”.  I was intrigued.

She went on to explain that she had read it a couple of times herself and had decided that the actual message was not the message I was taking from the notice.  She thought that the message was to anybody who was thinking of stealing any of the items, telling them that they shouldn’t. Blimey! I read it again and could vaguely see her point of view.

But if that’s the case, why not just say, “Please do not take the towels”, etc. If that is the intended message – and I’m still not sure it is – I wonder how many readers understand it. Have the creators of the message spent so much time attempting to make the message ‘positive’, they have completely lost the focus of the actual message – and so nobody knows what is really meant.

How often do we verbally do this in our daily lives? Often I would suggest. And it is perhaps a more ‘underhand’ breakdown in communication than the baggage example. What does it do for relationships and rapport?

Paul