Hile Rutledge from Otto Kroeger Associates is a well known and respected author, consultant and trainer specializing in using assessment tools such as the Myers Briggs Type Indicator for organization and leadership development. A few days ago I attended a webinar sponsored by TypeLabs that Hile presented on making type presentations interactive. Hile walked us through some rich and specific examples of the “why” “what” and “how” of involving participants in exploring aspects of the MBTI to give them both understanding and ownership of the material.

However one thing that stood out for me was a Hile’s directive to the type practitioner in presenting MBTI theory and that was our responsibility to make the case for the less preferred preferences and attitudes in a business context.

What you need to champion as a type practitioner

I am assuming that you, like me, were trained to approach all aspects of the MBTI as neutral so that we talk about all the preference and attitude pairs as being equal. In the business world no one would question the value of the Thinking preference. It is a given. There is a subtext that it is “the better way.” No doubt that business runs on the ability to be objective. What Hile is saying is that in doing interactive exercises as well as presenting type theory, it is incumbent upon the type trainer to show how Feeling contributes to good business practice and not to assume that people will value both equally.

This also holds true for the attitude pair of Judging and Perceiving. We don’t question that the organization and structure that is natural to those with the Judging attitude is good for business. Not only is it possible that certain businesses will have a predominance of those who prefer Judging, the infrastructure is built on that preferred way of being. So take the time to brainstorm with your audience about what Perceiving can contribute to the bottom line. It is also important to point out that people do not have to have that preference to attend to how these behaviours that will enrich their business processes.

Affirmative action in the MBTI – what do you think?

Category: Best practices / MBTI Facts
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2 Responses to “A Wee Bit of Wisdom for MBTI Type Practitoners”

Hile Rutledge October 29, 2009

As the author/presenter of the webinar that Sandy referenced, I was excited to see that she both had attended and taken such an important nugget away. Just today I was working with leaders using type, and in this group of mainly Thinking deciders, there was a subtle diminishment of Feeling decision making. “T’s make tough decisions, and Fs think about the people’s needs.” The business reality–if this statement were true–is that T is a business necesity and F is a “nice to have” (icing on the cake). If we remember that only the Feeling function can answer the question of what is good or bad–only the Feeling function can be passionate, excited and loyal, for each of these requires subjective attachment and assessment–if we remember these things, we see that F is as much a business requirement as is T.

It is not F I feel the need to advocate for; it is the practice of making sure that I do everything I can as a trainer/consultant to level a playing field within each dichotomy. These are playing fields that rarely are level on their own. Go in armed with examples and data so you can work to balance the scales when so needed (and it will be needed almost always).

And thanks to Sandy for spreading this important idea (and giving us Inner Landscapes–great book Sandy).

Hile Rutledge