So What Is This
Thing Called TYPE?
Type is our preferred method of mental
processing - Our Basic Mental Habits.
noticed it - people behave differently. Explanations have ranged from
culture to genes to parenting. We now know that a major component of
behavior stems from inborn differences in how human brains process
information. Personality Type is a systematic way of describing these
differing mental habits. It allows us to sort people by preferred
cognitive styles. Whenever we interact with people or participate in a
group, we can use this classification to improve the outcome. These
innate patterns of mental habit explain the systematic variations
observed in behavior.
Type is related to inborn, genetic
differences in brain structure.
system allows us to bridge the huge communications gaps caused by
processing differences. People behave differently because they reason
differently. They reason differently because of minor genetic
differences in the structures of their brains. There is too much data
available for anyone to absorb it all, so we each filter the information
we receive. People naturally perceive and emphasize different aspects of
reality. Different Types use different filters and consider different
data sets. Each Type has a distinctive mind set, producing strengths,
weaknesses, interests, talents, and interaction with the world. Other
factors, basic intelligence, type development, education, early
environment, health, self development etc. also impact mental processes.
These may offset or enhance skills and weaknesses.
Different occupations attract distinct
predicts and researchers observe innumerable inherent differences
between the Types in interpersonal skills, problem solving, work habits,
career selection and leadership. If preferences are in line with skills
needed for the job and the work environment, workers tend to be happier
and more productive. Researchers find people tend to seek out life
situations that are compatible with their natural tendencies. Innate
nature strongly influences a person’s nurture and development. People
generally do their best work and experience the most satisfaction when
they can use their natural styles effectively.
Type differences often result in
suggestions for understanding and reducing the inevitable stress and
conflicts caused by Type differences. We have trouble communicating with
someone whose natural cognitive processing is different. It is difficult
to follow each other’s reasoning style. If we know more about other
approaches, we can adapt by translating our communication. In short, I
explain my view by talking about aspects that are meaningful to you. I
don’t just rattle on about what’s important to me, while you tune out to
prepare your rebuttal.
The combinations are important:
Four Scales produce 16 Distinct Personality Types.
This is not
astrology! Nor is it about mental abnormalities. The Myers-Briggs,Ò
a questionnaire that indicates a person’s Type*, has been validated by
extensive statistical research on normal, healthy people. Many of these
statistics were gathered in business organizations. Other research has
been done with students in major universities. Numerous factor
analytical studies have identified a similar set of four primary pairs
of personality factors. The 4 scales represent opposites or dichotomies.
Most people have a distinct preference for one end of each scale. All
healthy people can do both sides of a scale, generally not at the same
time. In the 1920s, Carl Jung named the first three pairs. Fifty years
ago, Myers and Briggs added a fourth pair.
Preferences are not evenly distributed.
Thinking/Feeling preferences differ between men and women. Extraversion
and Sensing are more common than their opposites.
Attitude and Orientation develop early.
Functions develop in a distinct order of preference.
for Focus and Order are seen in toddlers; the less preferred styles
develop with maturity. Models for type development and personal growth
are useful from childhood through retirement. Least preferred functions
may not start to develop until middle age.
All 8 preferences are valid, important
styles better? Absolutely not! Type looks at the normal range of
differences in human behavior. Each cognitive skill is essential to the
well being of the human race. We all have the ability to do "generalist"
reasoning. In many circumstances, it improves survival chances if a
highly developed specialist is available to cope with a crisis, so some
humans evolved each cognitive specialty. A variety of strengths helped
us survive. Contributions from each cognitive strength will continue to
be needed for efficient, effective problem solving. For peak
performance, each preference must be used appropriately.
Typing is not
stereotyping! It promotes personal growth and encourages tolerance. We
are all capable of moving beyond the limitations of our natural
reasoning styles by purposeful self-development. We can use
non-preferred styles, but it takes extra work. An important part of
normal adult growth is recognizing situations where our natural
strengths have become handicaps. We then observe how others handle such
situations in a more effective manner and use them as models for
Type is not a
useful tool for manipulating others. To use the techniques, you must put
yourself fully into the other person’s frame of reference and truly see
their viewpoint. In fact, people report that knowledge of Type is
helpful in recognizing other people’s attempts to manipulate a group. By
allowing the team to communicate more effectively, it also tends to
disrupt such maneuvers.