Self-awareness can be like getting the keys to a Ferrari- but it’s worthless if the…
Welcome again to Portland, Maine where I have just finished day 2 of the MBTI Step III training. To review, yesterday the theoretical basis of the instrument was discussed including the allocation of mental energy based on type, type development theory and defining what is considered good type development versus ineffective type development. Also a general overview of the factors that generate the Step III interpretive report were discussed, namely, sufficiency scales, developmental scales and patterns that trigger “rules”, which ultimately create an interpretative report of statements (verbal descriptions of current behavior) and corresponding suggestions for personal growth. It is worth repeating that even as the construction of this instrument is highly complex, the end product is user friendly and highly personalized for the client. The ultimate goal of the instrument is to initiate and give some direction to a productive dialogue between the client and the counselor/coach regarding personal growth and insight.
Construction: The questions that make up the MBTI Step III come from 3 sources: the items from the MBTI Form M; the items from the MBTI Step II Form Q; and questions from the MBTI Form F. The reason for the inclusion of the Form F items is that they were used to produce the original “Counselor Report” in 1972, a report that described how well a person perceives and judges. Recall that type theorists assert that the basis of good type development and ultimately, success and satisfaction in life was based on optimally developed perception and judgment. Furthermore, a large archived data base of Form F responses had been gathered by Isabel Briggs Myers that provided evidence to back this assertion up. This was in fact her unfinished work, developing patterns and scales of behavior that described type development
The MBTI Step III was constructed using MBTI forms M, Q, and F. However the interpretative report needed updating from it’s precursor, The Counselor’s Report, so that the language describing a client’s current behavior (statements) and the corresponding suggestions for personal growth were understandable irrespective of a client’s knowledge of type. This is perhaps the greatest strength of the MBTI Step III, the notion that often complex patterns of behavior based on how well a client is using his perceiving and judging functions can be described in layman’s terms with easy to understand suggestions for self-improvement.
Validity: Meanwhile, in order to test the validity of the instrument, the MBTI Step III was compared with instruments such as the The Adjective Checklist (self-report), The California Psychological Inventory, and the Benchmark from The Center for Creative Leadership. The correlation between the MBTI Step III and what it purports to measure and these other instruments is significant. Regrettably, my understanding of statistics is sufficient only to understand these concepts at a basic level. Ironically though, it was among my most important questions when I decided to take this training. Is this tool valid? After studying the manual, listening to the lecture as well as conferring with one on my co-participants in this course, (a very nice ISTJ type who performs research and therefore HAS to have a grasp on statistics), I was comfortable that this tool was indeed valid.
Interpretation: The day ended with real case studies using the MBTI Step III as well as the opportunity to have a private dialogue about our own reports with one of the presenters. Since the interpretation/report piece is the most clinically relevant part of the training, I will hold off giving any examples until I have more opportunity to practice it tomorrow.
So in summary, today’s learning gave me a full understanding of how the MBTI Step III was constructed as well as assurance that the tool was indeed valid. I gained a deeper understanding of how the interpretative was generated and some opportunity to use it in a practical way. Tomorrow we will continue practicing the interpretation of the reports as well as techniques to stimulate a dialogue with a client. I think it will be very instructive for me to share elements of my own report and feedback session with Dr. Quenk but that is material for a subsequent blog.