Best-Fit Type Self Discovery With or Without Using An Assessment such as the MBTI® instrument

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by Susan Nash

In my eighteen years of introducing individuals, teams, leaders and organizations to the rich theory of personality type, I have explored using the Interstrength Self-Discovery process both with the MBTI® assessment tool and without.

Overall I have found that using the Self-Discovery process without an assessment works better for me for the following reasons:

It can be too easy to use the “test and tell” approach, relying extensively on the instrument rather than linking this knowledge to Jung’s underlying principles. When time is limited, or you are working with a large group it is easy to neglect the self exploration process.
When individuals try to assess their innate preferences, there can be a tendency for them to give a written “test” more credence than their individual qualitative assessment.
As a trainer and coach, using the self-discovery process without a written assessment, forces me to focus on recognizing individual behaviors that might indicate the use of specific function-attitudes.
I find the self-exploration process in a group to be more rich as individuals use the multiple lenses of type to review temperament, Interaction Style and function-attitudes without being limited to the “four-letter”code.
Using this self-discovery process seems to overcome the objection of being “put in a box” and instead replaces it with a more fluid discussion of innate versus learned behaviors.
I have learnt a lot about questioning techniques that can be used to help individuals navigate this process.
So that works for me – what are your thoughts?