I was wondering if you could give any advice on the best way to become a Personality Type professional?

An answer that is 100% opinion:

Hmmmm… this question brings even more questions to mind.

  • Why? What is important to you about this?
  • Is a singular focus such as type professional even a viable option in this day of shrinking training dollars?
  • If the MBTI, for example,  is a tool, what is the ideal context for someone to invest in developing themselves in this area through training?

My thinking on this is that the MBTI or DISC or Enneagram or Social Styles or Insights  are all wonderful tools that are adjunct to other areas of expertise. In an organizational setting for example these tools can be of value for team building and / or for leadership development. The question I have is what else do you need to bring to the table in order to facilitate this kind of experience so that the corporate sponsor gets the benefit from their investment. It seems to me that it is a challenge to rely on knowledge of a tool alone. These tools are best used in context. If you have experience working in an HR capacity or as a consultant or coach with additional experience working in organizational settings and in training design, then you begin to have something to bring to the table. It is a hard “go” to come armed only with an assessment tool and have someone recognize that or you as a solution to a current problem.

Having laid out my cautionary message, if you are truly interested in any of these tools, I would recommend immersion until you have ownership of the theory combined with a long list of experiences using the tool with others. It takes time and experience to see that how something may appear to be in written form often takes on a different flavour in the nuanced world of real life. Once you have ownership of one tool you may see that there is another assessment that will compliment the work that you are doing and the needs of your clients: for instance, I  found that using the MBTI together with the Hay Group’s Emotional Competency Inventory provides a solid platform to support leadership development.

For every type tool there will be a training that suits your needs best. Some things to consider are reputation, location, advanced training and support as well as cost of the training organization you are considering..  Since I am a Canadian, I often make decisions based on what is offered in Canada and whether I prefer what is available  in the US.  (e.g. this would be Psychometrics for the MBTI and a trip to an Enneagram teacher of choice to the US.) This is partially personal preference as well as what fits the needs of your clients. If you collaborate with other professionals who LOVE and use DISC with their clients, you might want to consider how much work you will be doing together and the value of having a common language.  Research your options by talking to the people you wish to collaborate with, by researching what is already in place in the organizations you work for or hope to work with. Finally investigate the trainings offered by the publishers of the tool that interests you, find out about other specialized training organizations that may offer training (I am thinking here of  the great work done by Otto Kroeger Associates) and type specific associations such as the Association for Psychological Type International.

Do you describe yourself as a Personality Type Professional? What is your experience and recommendation?

Category: Consulting/ training / Other Assessments
  • Share/Bookmark

4 Responses to “Becoming a Personality Type Professional”

Pam Hollister May 10, 2010

Your recommendation of “immersion until you have ownership of the theory combined with a long list of experiences using the tool with others” is right on Sandy. When I was re-introduced to personality type in the late 1980’s it answered so many problems I’d encountered in relating to people. I totally immersed myself in the theory, reading and studying everything I could get my hands on, and then applying the tool with others for many years.

Sandy McMullen May 10, 2010

Pam – Thanks for sharing your experience with Jung’s theories. It looks like your attention to applying the material has resulted in a great resource http://www.thepeopleprocess.com/index.php