I was surprised to visit the Personality Plus in Business facebook page to see a new look. It was like coming home and having all the furniture rearranged by a gremlin or fairy. That was the momentary bad news – the good news is that when things change abruptly you get a chance to have fresh eyes. It was like looking at the sofa and seeing just how faded it had become in the south facing exposure.

Basically I decided to make the most of the new decor and fluff the pillows, so to speak, on my “info” page. What I realized while doing this is that when I talk to people one on one about the MBTI and my book “Inner Landscpaes II”, I typically talk about why I am doing what I do. I tell them the story behind making paintings of the MBTI.

I am not sure that I make that story clear when I am writing. Just this week I was talking to Tara Chapman at the Kingbridge Conference Centre and Institute situated just north of Toronto (in the beautiful rolling hills of King township) about interactive learning environments. As I told her my story as an illustration of interconnectivity, I realized just how unique my approach has been.

Assessment tools like the MBTI and Enneagram have contributed so much to my own personal development that it seems natural for me to want to pass that benefit on to others. What I realized through conversation with people in various business contexts is that many people (who aren’t self development junkies in the same way that I am) often are somewhat interested in personality typologies, but that after the first glimpses of understaning they move on and quickly forget such things as their MBTI type. “I know I did something similar to that once but I can’t remember the name. I know I have the report somewhere in my files.” “Arrrrrrgh” that kind of response is painful to someone passionate about leadership development and I want to DO something memorable.

I had the idea to do an art show of paintings based on the Myers Briggs that was informed and inspired by people who knew their type. I had a pretty good idea that it would be successful becuae I had previously had a similar show of paintings that depicted the Reiss Desire Profile as part of the activites during “Coaching Awareness” month sponsered by the GTA ICF chapter in Toronto. People can charge through 30 paintings in a gallery in 3 minutes flat – nod and walk out. Imagine my delight when gallery visitors took off their coats and stayed for half an hour or more arguing and laughing as they explored the different aspects of the Reiss paintings.

During the preparation for doing the paintings, I had people come into the gallery after hours to explore themes that were related to their MBTI preferences through art based activities. Their sketches and paintings provided insight into how they were “experiencing” a particular situation. One example that stands out is a sketch that a person with a preference for Introversion did that shows her retreating to an inner sanctum with a series of barriers in a maze that keeps her IN and others OUT.

After I completed a series of 33 paintings to represent the preference pairs, the 16 types and some of the Step 2 distinctions I mounted a show at the RedEye Gallery in Toronto’s Historic Distillery District. During the show itself people went through a process using the images and verbal desrciptions in order to self select between the different painting pairs in order. Once they had worked through the four pairs of preference paintings they had a possible type code. They then moved on to a wall of 16 paintings – one for each type. They could see if the type description matched their sense of what they knew to be true.

Again through this process, the gallery rang with discussion and debate. Many people stayed to use the art materials on display to add their images to the whole experience. It was so alive that one woman turn to me and exclaimed “Sandy – this is theatre.”

The story does not end there, the painting of the solitary figure now graces a wall in a psychotherapist’s office where clients often comment on how it captures something for them. It isn’t about the accuracy of the image it is more that it invokes a further exploration of a spark that the painting ignited. The meaning that comes out of that conversational investigation is where the real value lies.

I thought that this experience was too rich to end when the show came down and that inspired me to create a book and related materials such as a powerpoint presentation. A mini version of the Inner Landscapes II show was featured at the MBTI conference sponsered by Psychometrics in Ottawa this Fall.

Which brings me back to today and, for me, the story continues as people engage and contribute their perspectives about the MBTI here on my blog, on twitter, and on my Facebook page . It is becoming a valuable learning opportunity for me personally as I am challenged to dig deeper into this subject matter. If I had a magic wand, I would like my work to contribute to an ongoing learning community where I can continue to grow and be inspired.

With that end in mind I have fluffed the pillows and put on a pot of tea to invite you ro stop by my Facebook page and share somthing of your self. If you have a moment to spare please share your MBTI related insights, pictures, videos, and/or some personal info as well such as your twitter or LinkedIn contact info.

The more I know about you and what interests you the better I will be able to direct what I write about the MBTI. But most of all by sharing knowledge and wisdom we can all learn from each other.

Category: Social Media
  • Share/Bookmark

2 Responses to “Facebook has rearranged the furniture on my MBTI related page”

Laura March 8, 2009

Sandy, I love that you’ve told the story here. This really enriches the whole process for me – lets me into your creative process, and how you discovered what it meant to others. As one of those people who has had a spirited discussion while looking at your Inner Landscapes book, this post brought some memories alive for me! From one self-development junkie to another, thanks for telling the story.

Sandy McMullen March 8, 2009

Ohhh Ohhh Laura David Whyte tells about the executive who had an ephiphany during “Take your child to work day” when his son reported that all he saw him do all day was talk. The man realized that he was the chief storyteller – helping to shape the story of the organization.

How could I have omitted telling my story? I am thrilled that you recognized it as having some merit…and most of all thanks for continuing the tale.