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Cut flowers, though they may be beautifully arranged, cannot last and grow. Likewise, if we want Type to live and grow we must also be careful not to cut it from the Jungian roots which nourish and renew it.”   Nancy B. Millner

Type assessments, including the MBTI, have become increasingly disconnected from the foundational theory on which they were built, Carl Jung’s theory of Psychological Types. This matters. When taught without the theoretical principles of Jung’s theory, Type is ripe for misunderstanding and stereotyping, and people can feel like they are being put into a box.

Here is what the MBTI Manual (3rd ed.) has to say:

“One consequence of the popularity of the MBTI is that it has become increasingly detached from psychological type theory – often to the detriment of the individuals whom it is intended to benefit.”

When Type is taught and understood as a dynamic theory, it becomes a living system and a starting point for personal and professional growth and development rather than a rigid, static instrument that presents like a “horoscope.”

I teach Type by weaving Jungian principles and foundational Type concepts into introductory and application workshops through nuanced language changes and dynamic exercises. With slight tweaks, advanced techniques, and using the People Skills Eight Function Metaphor Suite of Products, it takes away the complexity of integrating complex concepts so clients understand what their Type really means, and it becomes useful in teams, leadership, and daily life.

Three fundamental Jungian principles will assist in helping you facilitate Type at a deeper level for more lasting results:

Psychological Type is fluid – it’s our living, breathing, renewable source of mental energy.

Myers’ assessment was created to help make Jung’s Types useful. She created 16 different Types, or energy patterns for taking in information and making decisions in the inside and outside worlds. Our four-letter Type Code helps us understand how we prefer to process information – and distribute that energy – Perceive and Judge – in the inside and outside worlds – and how others may differ. When we select the four-letter Type Code that fits us best, we can understand our mental patterns and learn to appreciate and leverage those around us who provide different perspectives.

The Dominant Function of each Type is the guiding force of the personality, and where we expend most of our energy

Our four-letter Type Code helps us identify our primary source of energy, which is known as our Dominant, or leading Function. Understanding the Dominant Function allows workshop participants to see where their energy primarily resides, and how we they can tap underused energy sources within, to grow and develop. Once people know their type, they can understand where they might be stuck, and how to choose to direct their energy differently when needed. Type becomes a living system.

Practical application from the start is essential

It is imperative that you connect Type to the prevailing issue identified by your client for maximum results. Placing Type within the context of the organizational problem you are trying to fix, even as you introduce the concepts, will help your participants use Type at the end of the workshop. We help you design and craft workshops that identify different team issues within the context of the introductory session.

By incorporating Jungian concepts into your Type workshops, you will help people see the fluidity and usability of Type. When your participants become conscious of the functions that are easy to use and those that are harder to engage, they will see that they have a choice – a choice to tap into different perspectives and engage those functions which are the most appropriate for the situation. Learning to balance the psychological functions of Type can inform all aspects of organizational behavior leading to more informed and therefore productive teamwork and more effective organizations.

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