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Sneak Peak at the 2014 MBTI® Users Conference Keynote

Sneak Peak at the 2014 MBTI® Users Conference Keynote

Nancy J. Barger and Linda K. Kirby, distinguished experts on MBTI® type and culture, will be delivering the keynote address at the 2014 MBTI® Users Conference, which will be held at the Conrad Hotel in Dubai, UAE, on October 16, 2014. The keynote address will kick off attendees’ exploration into the conference theme “Developing Talent for a Stronger Future” and apply the MBTI framework to resolve challenges in three key talent management areas: change, culture, and leadership.


Using the MBTI® Assessment to Support Effective Change and Sustained Development

By Nancy J. Barger and Linda K. Kirby

MBTI® Type and Change

The one constant in the world today is change: economic, social, political. Every culture has its own values concerning change. Some except and welcome it, while others focus on avoiding change or at least try to limit or mitigate it.

That’s very much what we found in our research in how individuals react to change. Some are excited and energized by it, while it makes others feel pressured and anxious, and want to preserve the things important to them and avoid changing them.

The MBTI® instrument becomes a valuable tool in several different ways during times of change:

  • It encourages and provides a structure for individuals to identify their reactions and needs during change, based on their type. This allows them to be clearer about their needs and how they want to participate in the change process.
  • The personality differences identified by the MBTI instrument also provides a logical template for leaders of teams, organizations, or other groups to include people’s needs in the change process. Respecting and responding to their differing perspectives and needs is crucial for leaders’ getting their commitment and energy for change.

Tip for MBTI® practitioners: start with yourself and your type preferences: What about change energizes and excites you? What shuts you down? Then, remember that there are 15 other types. Ask others those questions, collect information, and help your clients use it!


MBTI® Type and Culture

We have accumulated a great deal of evidence over the past four decades that affirms that the approach to personality provided by the MBTI instrument is, indeed, about human beings.  People in every culture (and it’s been used in at least 70 very different cultures) recognize the personality factors defined by Carl Jung and developed by Myers and Briggs in the MBTI instrument. It works!

At the same time, cultural values and norms clearly influence the behaviors that people of the same type preferences develop in different cultures. That is, cultural values influence how people learn to experience and express their type preferences. Take Extraversion and Introversion, for example:

People who prefer Extraversion tell us they want and need to talk things through to understand and make decisions. They want to ask questions face-to-face and have an interactive discussion. They want to be included and to take action.

People who prefer Introversion tell us they want and need to get information—preferably in writing—and then have a chance to process it, reflect, and get clear about what they think. They want time and then a vehicle for bringing their questions and ideas into the group. They don’t need inclusion, but they do want to be kept informed.

Some cultures encourage participation, personal interaction, and joining the group discussion. Other cultures encourage listening and showing respect for those in charge—whether in the family or at work.

So think about your culture and family, the way you were raised: what was encouraged? How did that affect the development of your preferences?

Tip for MBTI® practitioners: We all use behaviors that demonstrate our preferences, illustrate and ground our definitions of our preferences. However, the ways we normally behave may not fit for people from other cultures. Therefore, we need to remember to observe, learn about, and respect their often different experiences.


Read more about the 2014 Myers-Briggs® Users Conference and The Growth of the MBTI® Assessment in the Middle East.

Registration is open at 



One Comment

  1. Dubai!!!! Ah, would that I could. Sounds exciting and I’m delighted that Nancy and Linda will keynote as their research on change and original publication on culture and change still very much pertinent. Have a wonderful conference. As the APT Interest Area Coordinator for International, multicultural and diversity, I would like to hear report on how it went, number of attendees, countries represented, etc.


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