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Soul Searching Through the Myers-Briggs Assessment

Sep 22, 2015 in MBTI Talk | 0 comments

This article was originally published in The Atlantic. To read the article that website, click here.  Written by Ilana E. Strauss. The personality test isn’t perfect, but it plays to people’s desire to understand themselves and others. A group of young adults shyly meet for the first time on the second floor of an empty Manhattan shopping mall. The stores are all closed for the weekend, and other than a man stopping in the lobby to read his phone, this group is the only sign of activity. “I actually really like clubbing,” shares one guy. The group goes silent. “Get out of the circle,” a woman whispers. Everyone in this group took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a personality test. They all tested as the same type (one that tends to be introverted), joined an online group for others who got the same result, and decided to meet up. Which explains why they’re meeting in an empty food court: It’s perfect for a group of people who like quietude. In this crowd of 20-something New Yorkers, the clubber is, truly, an oddball. Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers drew from influential psychologist Carl Jung’s theories to invent the MBTI personality test in 1942. In an age of “What Disney princess are you?” quizzes, MBTI is a personality test that, while still reductive, actually indicates something about personality. The test uses four dichotomies to divide people: Introvert (I) v. Extrovert (E) Intuitive (N) v. Sensory (S) Thinking (T) v. Feeling (F) Judging (J) v. Perceiving (P) The test ultimately divides people into 16 types, based on the combination of traits they fall into. Some psychologists and many test-takers believe these types say a lot about how people think and interact. Since the ‘70s, researchers have published their findings on MBTI in a peer-reviewed Journal of Psychological Type. However, others consider the test to be worthless. University of Pennsylvania professor of psychology Adam Grant says it doesn’t stand up to scientific scrutiny. “In social science, we use four standards: Are the categories reliable, valid, independent, and comprehensive?” Grant posted on LinkedIn. “For the MBTI, the evidence says not very, no, no, and not really.” Grant points out that the test ignores important personality features, such as the ability to stay calm under stress. Moreover, people often get different results when they retake it. Research shows “that as many as three-quarters of...

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Hates Small Talk

Sep 17, 2015 in MBTI Talk | 0 comments

Before I arrived here I imagined all kinds of things about what this experience would be like, especially dark corridors and organ music. Instead, El Retiro is full of light and openness. My room overlooks a hill with trees in front and to the right. I’m on the ground floor in St. Joseph’s Hall. A nun is staying in the room to my left. A spiritual director is in the room on the right. I know nothing about them, but I hope to get to stay and learn more on the last day. I’m assuming that’s when we get to talk to each other. Since I arrived late on the first night, I missed the opportunity to meet everyone. I’m not saying I’m sorry, to be honest. Small talk with strangers is one of my least favorite things. My in-preference Receiving facet result on the MBTI® Step II™ assessment explains that perfectly while getting right to the point: “Hates small talk.” I can talk to almost anyone, but it’s work and takes tons of energy for me to do. I have a big social/work event coming up next month, so I will be sure to get a lot of time on my own before the event (and during) to build up all the energy I can. This week I haven’t had to use that energy at all. Sublime! It’s dinner time! Want to read more? Check out my previous blogs in this series: INFP Silence and Serenity Who Needs More Than the Day I Had Today? Walking and Hopping Worrying About Worrying Making a Difference—The NF Urge The Labyrinth A New Day Take a Deep Breath and Jump The Agony Airplane Mode Restless Sleep—Too Much Silence? I Walk in Peace to Find My Path Expectations Going Non-Stop Getting Away from It...

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INFP Silence and Serenity

Sep 15, 2015 in MBTI Talk | 0 comments

It’s Sunday, or at least I think it is. I’ve wound down so much, I’ve forgotten what day it is. I had a colleague a few years back who experienced the same thing when she retired. I was happy and envious when she asked me, “What day of the week is it today?” when I called her. After the blare of a few sirens down the hill, El Retiro Retreat Center has gone peaceful again. My room has on only a small light above the writing desk. I’ve performed the daily ritual of watering a tree with the shower bucket water. The routine here is to capture the water in the shower as it goes from cold to hot. I love that idea. It makes me feel like I’m making at least a little bit of a difference. Kevin didn’t join me for breakfast this morning, so I sat at a table by myself. That was fine, and breakfast was good. After breakfast I walked. It was nice to be out in this beautiful setting. I wandered up behind and to the right of the chapel and then back and across the rear path. A huge rabbit was sitting in the path and then it saw me, hopped, and ran away. But then it stopped, looked back at me, and then hopped and ran away even faster. I then strolled down to a quiet spot to meditate. The quiet of these days is giving me the gift of truly seeing all that is around me. The silence and serenity are serving my INFP preferences well! Want to read more? Check out my previous blogs in this series: Who Needs More Than the Day I Had Today? Walking and Hopping Worrying About Worrying Making a Difference—The NF Urge The Labyrinth A New Day Take a Deep Breath and Jump The Agony Airplane Mode Restless Sleep—Too Much Silence? I Walk in Peace to Find My Path Expectations Going Non-Stop Getting Away from It...

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Discover a New MBTI® Step II™ Experience

Sep 10, 2015 in MBTI Talk | 4 comments

Hello everyone! My excitement continues as CPP just released fresh new looks for the MBTI® Step II™ product line. Products getting this new look and feel are: MBTI® Step II™  Profile MBTI® Step II™  Interpretive Report Understanding Your Step II™ Results MBTI® Step II™ User’s Guide I’ve heard lots of positive feedback on the refreshed Step I™ products that were unveiled this past May. I know you will be just as happy with these Step II products. While I like the Step II™ Profile, I most often use the Step II™ Interpretive Report. In addition to the layout being sleek and clean, you’ll find that the MBTI language has been updated to help make personality type concepts more understandable. And new facet theme descriptors have been added to the facet charts to help increase clarity of results. I always combine a Step II feedback session with the Understanding Your Step II™ Results booklet. Along with their Step II report, the booklet gives my clients a nice takeaway to help them remember all that we discussed during the 90-minute session. And finally, I can’t wait for the new MBTI® Step II™ User’s Guide. This is the resource I’ve studied the most to understand each of the 20 Step II facets. Speaking of the Step II facets, I recently completed a short recording for each of the facets to help with your use with either individuals or groups. Visit cpp.com/MBTIRefresh to check out these recordings and other great...

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Who Needs More Than the Day I Had Today?

Sep 8, 2015 in MBTI Talk | 0 comments

The second day of our retreat is nearing its end. I feel like I’m getting into the routine, including the different noises, the etiquette of being silent, and so on. The daily walks and nap I know I could get accustomed to back in the “real” world. I haven’t written much about the food. While not fancy, it is as tasty as any I eat when on a business trip. There is also plenty of it. Today I ate a pancake for the first time in about a year—delicious. The Mexican food at lunch was better than at any restaurant near where I live. I’m picky about Mexican food since I grew up with the best—thanks Mom! Tonight for dinner we had meatloaf (both the traditional kind and a very good soy version) with mashed potatoes, broccoli, salad, and dessert. The dining staff move about quietly just like us. I wonder if they find it odd; the whole silence thing. They must be used to it by now. It’s a warm night. The rooms have no air conditioning, so my window is open and the ceiling fan is on. There is a sense of calm outside and inside. Who needs more than the day I had today? Good night. Want to read more? Check out my previous blogs in this series: Walking and Hopping Worrying About Worrying Making a Difference—The NF Urge The Labyrinth A New Day Take a Deep Breath and Jump The Agony Airplane Mode Restless Sleep—Too Much Silence? I Walk in Peace to Find My Path Expectations Going Non-Stop Getting Away from It...

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Walking and Hopping

Sep 3, 2015 in MBTI Talk | 0 comments

After a wonderful mid-afternoon nap, I set out for the labyrinth to take a prayer/meditation walk. But I seemed particularly distracted by everything around me, from a small plane that kept flying back and forth to a Journey cover song wafting in from an outdoor concert nearby. Eventually I was able to find some peace as I found my way to the entrance of the labyrinth. I took a step in and immediately sank, not remembering the slope despite my two prior visits. I turned back and caught out of the corner of my eye a doe staring right at me, about a half a football field away. It just stood there staring at me, then took off to the right, almost like it was calling me, “Come see.” So, I did. Exiting the labyrinth, I walked over softly, slowly, as not to startle the doe. Then as I approached I saw what she saw: two fawns. They popped out of nowhere with ears as big as their head. What to do? I started to dance, and they just stared at me until I stumbled on a rock and they jumped and ran. Luckily, they stopped nearby and we all relaxed. Peace was with me. It was very nice. After my walk, I joined Kevin for afternoon mass. Getting to look into other retreatants’ eyes and say, “Peace be with you,” was actually thrilling. If you are going to use any words with another person on a silent retreat, what perfect words to use. I also enjoyed the singing, though I’m not sure everyone around me would say the same. I love to sing but have been told by my own mother that singing is not one of my gifts. Leaving the chapel, I felt such joy and wanted so much to exclaim it out loud. Instead, I swung my arms and hopped just a little. I few people looked over, so I stopped. Want to read more? Check out my previous blogs in this series: Worrying About Worrying Making a Difference—The NF Urge The Labyrinth A New Day Take a Deep Breath and Jump The Agony Airplane Mode Restless Sleep—Too Much Silence? I Walk in Peace to Find My Path Expectations Going Non-Stop Getting Away from It...

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Worrying About Worrying

Sep 1, 2015 in MBTI Talk | 0 comments

When I went through certification on the Step III™ (no, not Step I™ or Step II™) assessment a few years back, I worried that the report would show that I worry too much. I was a bit surprised when I read, “You seem to do some worrying or become preoccupied about things some of the time.” In others words, I worry about as much as most people…not more and not less. I spent a lot of time today reflecting on a passage that was given to me by my spiritual director related to how much we can and cannot control in life. Recalling the MBTI® Step IIITM assessment led me to consider, “Do we all worry too much?” I worry about things I cannot change or have no business worrying about. Why spend so much time worrying about so many things? I have always been given more than enough. What makes me think that one day that will change? Worrying does not add to the span of my life. Instead, it takes away from the moment I’m in and away from the time to come. Want to read more? Check out my previous blogs in this series: Making a Difference—The NF Urge The Labyrinth A New Day Take a Deep Breath and Jump The Agony Airplane Mode Restless Sleep—Too Much Silence? I Walk in Peace to Find My Path Expectations Going Non-Stop Getting Away from It...

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Making a Difference—The NF Urge

Aug 27, 2015 in MBTI Talk | 0 comments

Linda, my spiritual director, asked me to explore the question “Where do I think God is leading me?” It’s a question I haven’t asked myself in a long time. When I was younger I felt like I was being lead to be kind, giving, humble, faithful, responsible, and loving. While not perfect, I still strive for these graces every day. Some days I can get impatient with the world around me and I’m not so conscious of these hopes for me. So what is next? Where am I heading next? As my career moves forward, I know it will eventually wind down. What will I do in my sixties, seventies, eighties, and on? Kevin talks about joining the Peace Corps, but while that sounds meaningful, it also sounds scary. Perhaps facing my fears would be the best thing for me… Without a doubt, I always need to be doing something that makes a meaningful difference in my life and in the lives of others. That’s an important motivator for those of us who prefer Intuition and Feeling. Want to read more? Check out my previous blogs in this series: The Labyrinth A New Day Take a Deep Breath and Jump The Agony Airplane Mode Restless Sleep—Too Much Silence? I Walk in Peace to Find My Path Expectations Going Non-Stop Getting Away from It...

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Brokering Peace in the War Over Deadlines – Using Personality Type to Balance Radically Different Approaches to Project Milestones

Aug 25, 2015 in MBTI Talk | 0 comments

This article was originally posted on ATD’s blog. To read the article on this site, click here.  Written by Catherine Rains. In my last post, I explored how certain personality differences–described by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) assessment—give rise to an approach to work that is often confused with procrastination. MBTI preferences for either Perceiving (P) or Judging (J) describe how we organize the world, and at what point we want to make a final decision. The tendency of those preferring P to usually wait to make a final decision until close to the deadline—and thus begin the actual production portion of a project later—is often mistakenly labeled as procrastination. This behavior stems from the need to gather as much information as possible before closing off any options, not from a lackadaisical approach to work. Although often misunderstood, their most effective and efficient energy actually comes close to the deadline or end of the project. Those preferring Judging, on the other hand, are most efficient at the beginning of the project, and naturally employ a work style that incorporates making decisions and going into production mode much earlier in the process–a characteristic that our culture more frequently associates with productivity and efficiency. Within teams, simply knowing that these differences exist can pave the way toward a less stressful, more productive work environment that enables individuals to more fully leverage their natural talents. However, intellectualizing J/P differences is one thing, but actually implementing changes that allow team members to deploy both work styles within the same project is quite another issue. Individuals can achieve top-notch results employing either approach, but teams can also encounter major problems if these radically different work styles aren’t effectively integrated. Making Team Trade-offs That Don’t Sacrifice Individual Effectiveness Often in team building we talk about “flexing” one’s preferences to work more effectively with someone with an opposite preference, which involves operating outside one’s preferred style. For most of us this is a growing experience and a necessary part of career development. However, while flexing works quite well when bridging Introversion/Extraversion differences, for example, it is actually quite difficult to flex your work style between Judging and Perceiving without diminishing your effectiveness. Those preferring J who try to operate within a P work style will perform below their abilities, and vice versa. Rather than expecting individuals to flex their natural styles, teams need to make structural trade-offs that...

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The Labyrinth

Aug 20, 2015 in MBTI Talk | 0 comments

After breakfast Kevin and I went for a silent walk down to the labyrinth. This was our second trip to this magical place. The idea of making a pilgrimage to God is beautiful to me. I wanted to dance along the path but will save that for when I’m there by myself. This time I was joined by Kevin and a nun. A large rabbit bounced around up the hill, stopping every now and then to look back at us. Several squirrels and birds fluttered about. God was all around me, leading me to want to flutter too. What can I say? I‘m a “flutterer.” If you have never visited a labyrinth, I recommend you give it a try. I use a labyrinth walk as a way to silently reflect and think through any problem I might be facing or to work through a decision I’m stuck on or a situation I’m trying to figure out. Today, I used it to find meaning for the reading recommended to me by my spiritual director. I use my NF preferences naturally and comfortably. During a labyrinth walk I also remind myself to add “flavors” of ST (details, facts, and logic) to bring more balance to the decisions I’m making. Of course, you don’t need a labyrinth to do this. If you need help learning how to make more balanced decisions, check out the MBTI® Decision-Making Style Report. Want to read more? Check out my previous blogs in this series: A New Day Take a Deep Breath and Jump The Agony Airplane Mode Restless Sleep—Too Much Silence? I Walk in Peace to Find My Path Expectations Going Non-Stop Getting Away from It...

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