1. A New Year and a New Way of Thinking

         Wishing you all the best for the new year… As 2018 starts I want to share with you a little history and afew thoughts that inform how we are transitioning into this new year. A Little History… In the 1990’s I presented type information at an ASTD (now ATD) meeting and became known as the ‘type lady.’ At that time, I bristled at the label because this work wasn’t just about type, but it has taken me a while to name what it is about. In the meantime, new trends have emerged using terms like vertical development (transformative with new capacities), horizontal development (refining what already is there), wholeness, self-organization, mindfulness, Holacracy, and more. Now I’m deep into those other trends and am ready to share some thoughts about type and how the ‘type-movement’ can shift in order to achieve its purpose of honoring individual differences. My life work has been around a purpose of enabling contexts where people thrive and are free to be all of who they are. It is one of honoring diversity, which, if not honored, triggers feelings of being ‘less than’ others. From a personal perspective, learning about my type released bound up energy...
  2. Human Agility: What’s Type Got to Do With It?

    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.
  3. What Is a Type?

    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. [jwplayer mediaid=”6721″]   I hope you take a look and let me know what you think. I’ve enabled comments on my YouTube channel: Linda Berens.  
  4. Happy Spring—Renewal, Rejuvenation, and Type

    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...
  5. 3 Domains of Self-Leadership

    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...
  6. Leading Edges of Type

    Yes, you read that right! I said ‘edges’ not edge. So much is emerging right now that we have to say leading edges, not edge. In the last few years, we have seen some major shifts in the world of personality type. From an increase in the number of typology instruments available, to increased criticism of the MBTI® instrument confusing the theory and unethical practices with the brand and the instrument itself, to a focus on the Cognitive Processes instead of the letters of the type code, to the emergence of the Interaction Styles lens and more. What is now on the leading edge? Groundbreaking research in neuroscience, looking at type development in relationship to ego development, a deeper look at culture, and an integral approach to type though the Berens CORE™ Approach and Integral Type. So how are we to keep up? Here are few suggestions. Start by reading my recently updated article, The Leading Edge of Psychological Type, to put all of these changes in context. The roots of type are deep and much older and broader than the MBTI® instrument alone. In the article you can get a brief overview of the rich history behind type as...
  7. Types, Typologies, and Polarities

    I’m gathering my thoughts for a formal paper on a meta theory of type that is due May 15 that I’ll be presenting at the Integral Theory Conference July 19 in San Francisco. So I thought I’d share some of these with you. What is a type? A type is often thought of as a classification according to a group of similar characteristics. However, there is another meaning to type that is deeper down in the definitions on dictionary.com: “the general form, plan, or design distinguishing a particular group” When I look at personality type, I am referring to the pattern or form of a group, not a random cluster of characteristics. I would say that a type in this sense is an organizing system. There is an energy field that self-organizes around a core of some kind. I think of it as an unconscious operating system, with a core driver of the system and ‘talents’ that maintain the system. What is a polarity? One definition, again from dictionary.com, describes a polarity as “the state of having or expressing two directly opposite tendencies”. In other words, the two tendencies are there and energy flows between the two. There is a...
  8. Does Type Get in the Way of Development?

    I have just attended the European Association for Psychological Type conference in Paris. The presentations I attended were stimulating and highlighted a need for a shift in how psychological type is traditionally presented—something I’ve been saying for a long time. About 50 percent of them focused on development, especially ‘vertical’ or transcendent development. One of the most talked about presentations was that of Steve Myers. His topic was “Can Psychological Type Be a Barrier to Individuation?” As I understand it, Individuation involves a growth process. Steve defines it on his website as "Individuation is a process that leads to a more mature, balanced, 'rounded' person." Since writing the material on his website, he has further articulated what is involved in this growth process. Currently, Steve differentiates between Myers Briggs Theory and Psychological Type Theory as Jung meant it to be. He frequently quoted Jung’s writing on this topic so I want to share some of these with you. lassification is nothing but a childish parlour game…  My typology is… not in any sense to stick labels on people at first sight… ny typological terminology superficially picked up… serves no other purpose than a totally useless desire to stick on labels. ...
  9. MBTI® and Other Instruments and Second Order Change

    If you are a coach or organization change professional you may be wondering if you can use the MBTI® instrument or other typology instruments to get second order change? My answer is yes, IF you know type theory beyond the instrument results and beyond simple dichotomies. You cannot get transformative change by depending solely on the results of the instruments or reports based on simple dichotomies. The very way type is introduced can lead to limited first order change or to more transformational second order change. (Note: this blog uses a lot of short-cut terms that are explained in my article, The Five Lenses of Coaching.) What are First- and Second-Order Change? I found the following simple explanation. First-order change is doing more – or less – of something we are already doing. First-order change is always reversible. Second-order change is deciding – or being forced – to do something significantly or fundamentally different from what we have done before. The process is irreversible: once you begin, it is impossible to return to the way you were doing before. I also found the following useful, brief explanation by Michael Perez First order change: Remedial change. This is a more functionally...