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MBTI Step III in a Nutshell

Many people have encountered the MBTI either at work, at a career center, or in counseling.  Several online tests incorporate MBTI principles.  The MBTI I describes the broad strokes of an individual personality with the goal of identifying people with similar cognitive preferences.  The MBTI II (Form Q) serves to capture individual differences in people who have the same personality type. The newly released MBTI Step III measures how effectively you are using the unique qualities of your type.

The Rationale: Most of us are using only a fraction of our talents and gifts. In addition, we are frequently dissatisfied with home life, career choices, and relationships.  This can lead to burn-out, lack of motivation, or resigned acceptance that we are about as good as we are going to be in this lifetime.  With self-knowledge, energy is released and new paths and solutions are unveiled.  The MBTI Step III is a personalized road map  to begin this journey.

The Design : The MBTI Step III is a questionnaire that has 222 forced choice items that not only uncover an individual’s psychological preferences but also examines type development. How effective are psychological preferences being used so they are manifested as strengths in everyday life?  How are environmental factors influencing opportunities to use and develop psychological type? Ultimately overall satisfaction with career, relationships and home life hinge on effective use of psychological type. The MBTI Step III instrument generates both positive statements about what is functioning well  in an individual’s life and statements that might suggest a need to improve in a certain area.  While knowing your strengths and continuing to use them effectively is the best way to use mental energy, it is also helpful to know which areas need increased self-regulation, development, or assistance from others to optimize an outcome. The Step III is written in everyday language and serves as a springboard for discussion between a coach/counselor and clients seeking to uncover their potential.

The Theory: There is a finite amount of mental energy that one has available to take in information (perception) and draw conclusions about those perceptions (judgment).  How that energy is allocated, according to type theory, is based on psychological preferences.  The dominant function has access to the most abundant and readily available energy, followed by the auxiliary or assisting function, then the tertiary or third function, and lastly the inferior or 4th function (everyone uses all of the functions: sensing, intuition, thinking and feeling but at different levels of  frequency and competence, hence the terms: dominant, auxiliary and so on).   Effective use of type preferences insofar as perceptionand judgment are concerned  is often dependent on both theopportunity to use a a natural  function and support from the environment to foster it’s development. According to type development theory, “good type development”  is comfort and effectiveness in the processes that come most naturally to your verified type AND the ability to use the processes that go against one’s natural tendencies.  Knowing which process is most adaptive to the task and the ability to shift among preferred and non-preferred functions is also critical.

Applications: The MBTI Step III is a comprehensive inventory covering your approach to:  Yourself and Your World,  People and Relationships, Responsibility and Work, and Problem Solving and Decision Making.  It is newly released and unique in it’s scope and capability to illuminate what is working well for you and what isn’t and what to do about it.   It has the potential to streamline the coaching/counseling experience especially in the early stages of the coaching alliance. It is also a potential reference tool to return to when setting goals and evaluating progress.

The MBTI Step III is a stand alone instrument. There is no need to have taken previous MBTI assessments.  Step I and II data are an inherent part of this instrument and can be highlighted separately as needed. At this time, there are relatively few practitioners of the MBTI Step III due to the professional prerequisites required to become certified in the use of this instrument..

For more information: Coaches can contact me to assist in using this tool with clients on a consultation basis or interested individuals can contact me directly to take the assessment. MBTI Step III feedback sessions are available in person, via phone, or Skype. Current MBTI practitioners can also contact me if they are interested in learning more about the MBTI Step III certification experience (What did I learn? How am I using this instrument now?).  Inquiries about certification criteria and to sign up for the class can be directed to The Center for Application of Psychological Type/ .

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Thank you. Valerie. This would be a very helpful tool for vocational counselors. I am happy to administer the tool on a consultation basis then the client can continue working with his/her vocational counselor. I am also happy to give a presentation on this topic.

  2. Wow.

    I have been reading about and learning about the MBTI, fairly deeply (I thought) for a couple of years now. I took the Step I & II certification course the first week of February.

    This is the first time I’ve heard of Step III. (I wonder why it’s not at least mentioned in the MBTI certification class?)

    Something to add to my goals list…

  3. That is interesting that they didn’t bring up the Step III in that certification. It’s a very different tool for self-development and coaching/counseling. However, I don’t think it has been marketed very well. Join our Step III group on Linkedin!

  4. Dr. Hammer is absolutely right. Understanding your own peionsalrty type and being able to recognize other’s type is very helpful in working with others and personal relationships. When I was reintroduced to type theory/MBTI in the late 1980 s it opened up a whole world of understanding for me. For one thing, my type, INTJ, at that time was less than 1% of the U.S. population. Finally, I understood why I rarely met anyone that thought and felt the way I did.

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