October has been a month to add new skills and perspectives so that I may assist clients as effectively as possible. Earlier this month, I learned the use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Step III instrument. Recently, l attended a seminar titled, “Using Type in Coaching”. This was an excellent class that I would recommend to anyone who is certified in the administration of MBTI instruments. The course materials were particularly informative with many practical suggestions to enhance type maturity and effectiveness. In addition, behavior that suggests an individual is operating from the 4th or inferior function or behaving out of character was discussed. This is also known as the grip. It also raised awareness that coaches and counselors need to be aware of their own biases and mindsets, characteristic of their own types, in order to provide effective guidance to those that they serve.
In order to illustrate these concepts, I will use myself as an example. My MBTI type is ENFP which means that my dominant or strongest cognitive function is extraverted intuition. Therefore, I am inclined to view the world by noticing patterns, relationships, and new angles. My tendency would be to extravert my thoughts via brainstorming rather than experience them as “psychic flashes” or a vivid imagination as an introverted intuitive (INTJ, INFJ) would. My auxiliary or supporting cognitive function is intoverted feeling. That means as I am actively generating possibilities, seeing connections and patterns, I am also quietly appraising these ideas in terms of my internal value system, or my subjective judgment (as opposed to an extraverted feeler, such as an ESFJ who tends to wear his heart on his sleeve). My tertiary, or third cognitive function is extraverted thinking. So when I am trying the evaluate the plausibility of an idea through thinking, I am likely to do this out loud although it may not appear as smooth or as a logical as an argument put forth by a dominant thinker such as an ENTJ. Finally, my inferior or 4th function is introverted sensing. Introverted sensing is an individual’s archive for past experiences especially facts and details. Since it is my least preferred function, I have to really concentrate to use this effectively. ENFP’s tend to be optimistic about tapping the potential of other human being and that is their strong suit, seeing a bright future for others. However, they must also guard against unbridled optimism that has no consideration for logic or details. An ENFP must ask how can I fulfill this vision?