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Thanks Naomi!

Mar 10, 2011 in MBTI Talk | 0 comments

I would like to thank the world renowned, MBTI® expert, Dr. Naomi Quenk for contributing the most recent blog posts to! It was so nice of Naomi to take the time to share her thoughts with us. I’m hoping she will do that again soon. You may know Naomi Quenk as the co-author of the MBTI® Step II Interpretive Report (with Dr. Jean Kummerow) as well as many, many other MBTI products. I have been fortunate to spend time with her at the Myers-Briggs Vision Team Meetings over the years. I encourage you to check out Dr. Quenk’s latest product available from CPP. It’s called the MBTI® Stress Management Report. I’m hoping Naomi will write about it on my blog very soon. This new report includes information about our type when things are in balance, what happens to us when stressed, what triggers stress reactions, how to handle our stress reactions, how others can support us when we are stressed, and how to learn from our stress reactions. Wow!! To learn more about this new report (just released on March 2, 2011), click...

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How to Keep Type Concepts Alive

Mar 8, 2011 in MBTI Talk | 0 comments

By Naomi L. Quenk, Ph.D. The best way to keep type concepts alive is to get people to think in whole type terms. The dynamic interactions of the preferences—the dominant, auxiliary, tertiary, and inferior functions that comprise a whole type—give the MBTI® assessment its greatest advantage over other systems’ attempt to describe personality differences. People who know their four-letter type, but are unaware of the way its dynamic character influences their attitudes and behaviors, are likely to use the MBTI in a limited, perfunctory way and eventually, don’t use it at all. But with not that much effort on your part, you can help your clients understand and apply the breadth and richness of type to their daily lives. How? Well first you need to see that richness and applicability in your own life. Observe yourself going about your usual activities and try to notice the pushes and pulls that may underlie the way you use your energy. Take the role of “participant-observer,” the way an anthropologist does when studying a particular culture. For example, if you are an ENFJ about to meet with a difficult client, on what do you expend most of your energy? What is most important? What are you likely to realize you missed, after the meeting is over? What goes through your mind before and after the encounter? How does this fit, or not fit, with your knowledge of yourself as a dominant extraverted Feeling type with auxiliary introverted Intuition, tertiary Sensing, and inferior introverted Thinking? There are many written resources available to help you, which may be more appealing and helpful to some types than to others. You can also talk to people who know you well and have observed you to get their perspective on how you typically operate. Once you’ve accumulated some self- or other- observations of yourself, think about and observe other people with whom you interact, especially types whose dynamics are both very different from yours and those who are more subtly different. For example, if you are an ENFJ, how does an ENFP (dominant extraverted Intuition, auxiliary introverted Feeling, tertiary Thinking, inferior introverted Sensing) colleague handle dealing with a difficult client? Do your different dynamics provide any insights here? What about an INFP colleague—same dominant as you but in the opposite attitude, and with auxiliary extraverted Intuition, tertiary Sensing, and inferior extraverted Thinking)? Try this exercise for a...

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When Did This Widespread Use Begin and Why?

Mar 1, 2011 in MBTI Talk | 0 comments

By Naomi L. Quenk, Ph.D. Myers and Briggs were working on developing the Type Indicator beginning in the 1940’s, but it was not published until 1962. Educational Testing Service (ETS), with whom Myers had been working for several years on researching and validating her instrument, published the MBTI tool along with the first technical manual written by Isabel Myers. Very few people knew it existed. I was introduced to it before then, in 1960, on my first day of graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley. Donald MacKinnon, a psychologist faculty member, was studying creativity, had discovered the Indicator, corresponded with Isabel Myers, and got her permission to use it in his studies. We graduate students were asked to respond to the not- yet published version (Form F) on our very first day—along with several other (published) instruments. I assumed it was a published, well-known instrument like the others we were given. We got test feedback several weeks later and upon reading my MBTI type description, INFP, I was hooked for life. In the early 1970’s, when it became clear that ETS was not interested in making the instrument available to all psychologists and promoting its use, Myers searched for a new publisher and found CPP (at that time, Consulting Psychologists Press) whose president, Dr. Jack Black, saw the potential of the MBTI instrument and became an enthusiastic supporter. CPP took over publication in 1976, and it became widely available, but only to people qualified by their education to use it (mostly psychologists). CAPT (the Center for the Application of Psychological Type) was formed by Myers and Dr. Mary McCaulley, a psychologist at the University of Florida, in Gainesville, as the two had been working together on data collection and research since the early 1970’s. CAPT offered MBTI workshops to qualify people in medical education, nursing, allied health professions, and psychologists, and widespread knowledge and enthusiasm grew, which eventually led to MBTI qualification programs (now certification), which provided a way for non-qualified people to purchase the instrument. The uses of type in many areas of life became more and more apparent, leading to application workshops, and many publications. Why did widespread use occur? For the answer, see the first sentence of this article: Because “types are real,” and people yearn to understand themselves and others, so their lives can be “closer to their heart’s...

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Why is the MBTI Instrument Such a Popular Tool?

Feb 23, 2011 in MBTI Talk | 2 comments

By Naomi L. Quenk, Ph.D. The most obvious and compelling reason for the popularity of the MBTI instrument is that the personality types identified and described by the Jung-Myers theory are real. Their reality is affirmed by the popularity of the instrument that describes them. Millions of people have found themselves well described by one of the 16 type descriptions, and even those who do not verify their reported type, can usually verify a type that best fits them. It is the personality type system first described by Jung and later expanded on and made accessible by Isabel Myers and her mother, Katharine Briggs, that “speaks” to people and affirms and provides a way of understanding what they already know about themselves and other people with whom they interact. Remember that Isabel Myers’ overarching goal in creating her instrument was to give people access to their Jungian type. Her dream was that everyone, especially every parent, child, teacher, would know and appreciate type differences because, “Understanding your patterns of perception and judgment can make your perceptions clearer, your judgments sounder, and your life closer to your heart’s desire.” Even though many people who “know” type are largely unaware of the elegant dynamics that form the sixteen type descriptions, they affirm those descriptions. In fact, the reality of the four pairs of opposite functions and attitudes is so compelling that unless encouraged to do so, people may not go any further in their knowledge of type. This is most unfortunate because they miss out on the most important aspect of type. Stay tuned for weekly blog posting from Naomi...

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Speed Reading or Intuition?

Feb 17, 2011 in MBTI Talk | 2 comments

I’m sitting in this amazing library in this beautiful old historic house. It’s a sunny February day at the Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, California. Seeing all these books in the library reminds me of the Sensing–Intuition difference when it comes to reading books. Typically, if you ask people with a preference for Sensing how many books they read last year, they might say “around four to seven.” If you ask people with a preference for Intuition, they would likely say that they read many more. However, once you delve deeper, you would learn that Sensing people consider a book read if it is read from cover to cover starting at page one and going all the way, page by page, to the end. For Intuitive people, reading a book means exploring the sections that are most interesting. People with a preference for Intuition may read the entire book but might also peek ahead to see if they like where it is going. People with a preference for Intuition might even read several books at once, skipping around as they get bored or restless and then going back once it “feels right.” Speaking of books, I recommend The Help, Roma, and Memoirs of Cleopatra. These are just three of the 15 or so books I “read” last year. To learn more about the Montalvo Arts Center, go to...

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I’m Never Late!

Feb 15, 2011 in MBTI Talk | 7 comments

I really am never late to anything. Okay, maybe the word never is extreme. Let’s just say I’m very rarely late. I report preferences for INFP, and sometimes people think that I would use my preference for Perceiving to justify being late. But that would be using type as an excuse and that’s not how the MBTI® tool is meant to be used. We all have responsibilities, and type does not excuse us of those responsibilities. I was delivering a training program recently near my hometown. In setting the date for the program, the client and I went back and forth repeatedly on the right time. I eventually entered into my calendar that our start time would be 10 a.m. Unfortunately, the time we really agreed to start was 1 p.m. Because I’m never late, I arrived 45 minutes early for my planned 10 a.m. start. I walked into the room where I was going to train and I was a little surprised that all the tables and flip-chart stands were not already set up. Because I’m also very flexible, I wasn’t too worried. When I asked if I could help getting everything else set up, I was told that the actual start time was over three hours away. No problem. “At least I’m not late,” I thought to myself. I just found a nice spot nearby to get some other work done before my real 1 p.m. start. Which by the way, I was ready to begin at least 45 minutes ahead of...

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MBTI® Step II™ User’s Guide Musings

Feb 10, 2011 in MBTI Talk | 2 comments

It’s important to remember that the MBTI® Step II™ facets do not add up to “equal” their respective dichotomy (E-I, S-N, T-F, or J-P). Practitioners sometimes get confused when a client has three or more facet results on the opposite side of his or her preference result. In the new MBTI® Step II™ User’s Guide: Practitioner’s Tool for Making the Most of Step II™ Interpretations, the authors, Naomi Quenk and Jean Kummerow, do a nice job of reminding practitioners that nothing is wrong when that happens and that “all results give clients and professionals an opportunity to delve more deeply into clients’ distinctive uses of their type” (p. 34). In other words, discussing “out-of-preference” facet results with your clients can lead to a very meaningful discussion about whether or not their preference results are correct, how they use each of the facet results, and how they may be distinctively different from others of their type. This new user’s guide also includes the latest information on which types tend to report the most out-of-preference results and which types tend to report the least. To learn the answer, check out the new MBTI® Step II™ User’s Guide and go to page...

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We R Who We R…and So Much More!

Feb 8, 2011 in MBTI Talk | 0 comments

Just as we need to be reminded on occasion to “flex” by deliberately using our opposite MBTI® Step I™ preferences, we also need reminding to flex toward our opposite MBTI Step II™ facets when the situation calls for it. The MBTI tool is about learning more about who we are, knowing the effect we have on other people, and knowing when to flex to truly relate to others. Imagine if we all learned how to do this? While I know it is easier said than done, at least making an effort—for example, allowing team members to work on projects in their preferred Pressure-Prompted way, instead of imposing our Early-Starting approach (or vice versa). This can make a huge difference in the workplace in terms of work quality, morale, engagement, and so on. We are who we are (that’s a good thing), but we can be so much more if we just make the effort to understand and learn from people who we may have avoided simply because they are different from us. Learning about others’ differences and asking for understanding about why they do the things they do can make us better people. I remember working with a colleague a few years ago who was very different from me. At first, we just did not get along. If not for the MBTI tool, our relationship would likely have continued to spiral downward. Fortunately, after discussing our MBTI preferences, we recognized where we were different from one another, and spent some time explaining ourselves. As a result, this person became one of my most trusted colleagues at work. We learned to rely on each other and add each other’s perspectives to our individual work. As a result, our work was considerably better from that point...

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What Now?

Feb 3, 2011 in MBTI Talk | 0 comments

On occasion, I run into MBTI® practitioners who are looking for new activities to do with teams. They feel like they’ve done all they can do and are asking, “What now?” I’m excited to let you know about the new MBTI® Practitioner’s Field Guide. It’s authored by my mentors Linda Kirby and Nancy Barger, and you’ll find it’s like having them with you when you go into a training program. This new guide is perfect for practitioners who are newly certified and is also great for experienced practitioners who want to add new exercises and activities to their repertoire. Click here to learn...

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Sneak Peaks

Feb 1, 2011 in MBTI Talk | 0 comments

Did you know you can go to CPP’s website to review a sample of the various interpretive reports that are available for the MBTI® tool? It’s free to look at and a great way to help you decide which report best fits your needs. I’m a big fan of the MBTI® Interpretive Report for Organizations. It’s probably the Step I™ report I use the most. I also really like the MBTI® Team Report. I teach participants how to look at a team using the type table lens approach, but the MBTI® Team Report can do the work for them. Of course, for additional information on the facets, I like the MBTI® Step II™ Interpretive Report. It is a perfect coaching tool to use with clients. To explore further, here’s the direct link to the sample reports page on

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