1. I fell and hit my head….

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    On returning from a working trip to Europe, I reached for my luggage piled up on the luggage carousel, pulled on it, and landed you know where and then hit my head on the floor! Ouch! I had been traveling for 20 hours and was a bit foggy to start with, and the decision to quickly grab my luggage was not a good one. I had 3 hours before I had to catch the domestic flight. What was my rush? Well, it was habit and old messages to ‘get my luggage before someone else did.’ Apparently the wheels got stuck and it pulled me forward. Never happened to me before, but it sure has been a pain in the butt, neck, and back. The good news is that it was just a slight concussion and not any brain damage…at least from the CT scan. Now the reason I’m writing you about this is not to tell you about my woes. The reason is to share the lessons I learned afterwards about my own energy. Lessons Learned For a few days, I was tired and disoriented and even a little dizzy, yet, a mere 5 days after the accident I had one...
  2. Why am I in this?

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    Every now and then I ask myself why have I devoted so much time and effort to the study and applications of personality type information. It is almost an obsession. It is definitely a life work. So here is my story. I grew up in the 1950’s in a small farming community in Kansas, population 1100. 134 in my high school and 28 in my graduating class. 27 graduated. Like most young girls, I was going to be a nurse, then I took a one semester psychology class and knew I wanted to be a psychologist. I was fascinated with why people do what they do and my friends often confided in me. But really, mostly I felt like a misfit, as many teenagers do. I got good grades, was a president or an officer in every school organization except Future Farmers. I played in the band and was the head drummer for 6 years, starting in sixth grade. Yet I never seemed to find ‘my people.’ In 1962 I went off to college and it was harder than I thought it would be. I lost a scholarship, but gained a husband. We married after he graduated and we moved to...
  3. Happiness and The Communication Zone®

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    This was the title of my 2-hour general session at the Association for Psychological Type International Conference, July 22, 2015. I was honored to be able to engage the attendees in this topic and I want to share some of the basic ideas with you here along with some additional thoughts I didn’t cover in the session. “Don’t worry, be happy!” Easier said than done! Happiness is not just an upbeat mood. True happiness comes from a sense of well-being. Well-being is influenced by many factors including unconscious drivers of our behavior and of how we make meaning of the world. When these drivers are not satisfied, our capacity for effective communication suffers and we pop out of the Communication Zone and don’t communicate as effectively as we intend. Because we are social beings who need to have at least some sense of relatedness, good communication contributes to that sense of well-being.  The basic problem is one identified years ago by my colleague and friend, Dr. Sue Cooper. We all suffer from BLM Syndrome (Be Like Me). We expect others to be like us and when they aren’t we are sometimes pleased, but more often surprised, or angry, and worse—blaming and judgmental...
  4. Self-leadership, Type, and Getting into The Communication Zone(R)

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    Adapted from an article published in Volume 38.4 of the “Bulletin of Psychological Type,” March 4, 2015. Linda Berens and Stephanie Berens-Kiler Maybe this is familiar…At dinnertime, they had some leftovers and she said to her partner, “You don’t want the spaghetti.” She noticed that he seemed confused and somewhat irritated. He even said something about why was she so negative? Obviously she wasn’t in the communication zone like she usually saw herself. Read on to see how she used type to help her develop more self-leadership. It is said that leadership starts with self-leadership. It is also said that we all need to do more self-management as our organizational systems flatten and we receive less direction. Self-leadership requires self-awareness and the capacity to step outside ourselves. Self-leadership is most like what Robert Kegan called the self-authoring mind. Jennifer Garvey Berger describes it in this way: People with a self-authored mind are those who own their own work, make their own decisions, and mediate among different perspectives with relative ease. Communication is the medium for this development. Communication involves how we listen to others, how we interpret what they say and do and make meaning of it, and how we...
  5. Human Agility: What’s Type Got to Do With It?

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    Why is personality type information useful or helpful? One reason is that it can help increase our agility. I hope you enjoy this video where I share why I think sharing type information using the Berens CORE Approach can really help us be more adaptable and flexible when we need to be and still stay true to who we are at our core. Many people learn about psychological type through the MBTI® instrument or through the work of David Keirsey. The models and the instruments used are not as important as the approach and how it is delivered. An Integral approach that honors whole type is what I am talking about when I talk about how type awareness can contribute to Human Agility. I hope you enjoy this video, which is a part of a series that will continue. To be sure you are alerted to new videos, you can sign up to our mailing list from this page or subscribe to my video channel.
  6. What Is a Type?

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    Sometimes people misunderstand what a ‘type’ is and tend to call a type as having a preference for a certain kind of process or a certain trait. While we can use this in everyday language, I put forth a different holistic and systems based view of type. In this short video I explain how we have a core self, a contextual self, and a developed self. This conceptualization helps us realize that there is something constant at our core, yet, we retain the capacity to adapt, grow, and evolve.   I hope you take a look and let me know what you think. I’ve enabled comments on my YouTube channel: Linda Berens.  
  7. Happy Spring—Renewal, Rejuvenation, and Type

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    Today is Easter Sunday, a day celebrated by many as a reminder of rebirth and regeneration. Whether you celebrate Easter or not, it is spring and a time when there is new growth. It is a time that can remind us of the benefits of ‘letting go’ to ‘let come.’ Fall is a time of letting go as the leaves change color and drop off the trees and as plants slow down. Then in winter there is a kind of hibernation. And then in spring comes reemergence of leaves and blossoms. The beauty of the new leaves and spring flowers can only happen after the letting go. But this happens only when there are nutrients and water. Born in California, I lived in Kansas from age 2 until nearly 20, when I got married and we moved to California. I often am nostalgic for the markers of the seasons. Last weekend, I found lilacs in Trader Joe’s and bought 2 bunches. They are my favorite flower for the scent and the colors. And they remind me of joyful times in my grandmother’s garden and making May baskets. Oh, the joy of having them sitting in my line of sight as I...
  8. Exploring Human Agility—Part 1

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    Last year, we began to focus on one of the outcomes of our work—human agility. Since that time we made this visible in our certification program description. We have received some questions about human agility so we decided I would do a series of videos explaining more. This blog links to two of them. In this first video, I identify some key aspects of human agility and suggest a little about how type awareness contributes. In this second video, I share with you the importance of self-management and its relationship to perspective taking. I also talk about how type knowledge can help you with self-leadership and self-management. Actually I believe it opens the door to human agility in ways that a direct focus on ‘developing’ human agility doesn’t. You can read more about Human Agility on this website and I will be adding more to that. Also I suggest you read the following blogs: Leadership Starts with Self-Leadership Perspective Taking—Opening the Doors And an article I wrote a long time ago (and needs updated graphics, but the content is still solid). Stay tuned for more in this series. I hope you enjoy them.          
  9. 3 Domains of Self-Leadership

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    Notice that I didn’t say, “The 3 Domains…,” there are many domains of self-leadership, but in this blog, I want to share with you information about three domains of self-leadership that seem to have been forgotten in the current literature. Self-Leadership There are many articles, blogs, books, and websites devoted to discussing self-leadership. Their definitions and guidance range from checklists with ‘rules’ to follow that focus on setting goals to a focus on self-awareness and self-management. All of these have some value. Of course I favor the ones that focus on self-awareness and self-management. I also like the ones that cite the evidence that leadership development and organizational change programs need to start with self-leadership of not just the leaders, but also the individuals at all levels. And they also cite evidence that organizations are more successful by traditional measures when they do provide coaching and training that develops self-leadership. So how do we develop this self-leadership across an organization? How do we approach development of self-awareness when the focus is on actions to take rather than self-reflection? We can develop a great deal of the self-awareness needed for self-leadership through the Berens CORE™ Approach to introducing the multiple lenses...
  10. What Your MBTI® Results Probably Didn’t Tell You

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    By that I mean, what the results alone didn’t tell you and what you may not have experienced in your interpretive session. For more information than what is in the video read the following updated blog post from 2010: Getting the Most Out of the Type Code The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® self-report instrument was developed by Isabel Myers to help individuals find their best-fit type. In order to develop the instrument, the J-P dichotomy was added. Now the four-letter type code that results from her work has become a standard for referring to the 16 types no matter how you arrive at determining the best-fit. Traditionally, type has been approached by explanation of the four dichotomies of Extraversion vs Introversion, Sensing vs iNtuiting, Thinking vs Feeling, and Judging vs Perceiving. By exploring preferences for one or the other pole of the dichotomies most clients get some very valuable information that they can use in their personal and professional lives. A growing number of type practitioners have found it useful and powerful to understand the type code in terms of other, related models that provide different information about important aspects of the 16 personality types. They use the four temperaments or Interaction Styles or...