Consulting/ training



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 | Blog

Challenging assumptions is a good thing. Keeping leaders engaged in learning and expanding perceptions is more than good…it is critical. Context Consulting has been host to a five star resource for leaders in the twice yearly Remarkable Leadership Series.

This April Mary Stacey and Bill Torbert marry Torbert’s developmental model “The Seven Transformations of Leadership” with inquiry and application to give individuals the key to unlocking change in their organizations.

Mary and Bill have teamed up on previous occasions to deliver this program which is anchored both in research and “hands on” experience in the workplace. The response has been not only positive but people have expressed gratitude for the shift in their perceptions and the approach they were able to implement.

My personal experience with this work is limited to a one day event plus reference to the material in day to day interactions with colleagues at Context Consulting. Even with this brief exposure to the material, I was left with the huge AHHHA of how embedded I am (and how many organizational structures are) in holding the EXPERT stage in reverential regard. This level of development is but one in Torbert’s model, and is often seen as the end point totally missing the limitations of this narrow view of the world. In levels beyond EXPERT the leader is able to see and appreciate where others are in their own developmental path, and and understand how to work with them to encourage development rather than imposing their expert opinion on others. The approach of the expert often shuts down open communication and limits possibilities and real innovation.

If you are seriously interested in your development as a leader, this series offers not only rich content and learning opportunities, but a community of people from across North America who are thought leaders in business.

This is not an ordinary offering. If you are restless and ready, here is something to take you to places you haven’t yet imagined.

Category : Consulting/ training | Leadership | Blog

Money is tight and time is tighter.

What that means for training is cutting back on both quantity and unfortunately that often impacts the quality as well. Consultants are often willing to dance to the tune of the sponsor. “If you lower the bar and need the limbo we can do that because we want to pay the bills and because we may think that something is better than nothing”. The consultant or type practitioner sees that the client is in need of assistance. Those of us who use type tools know the benefits of understanding type, so we agree to “do what we can” withing the framework that is given.

In a recentTypeLabs webinar Hile Rutledge of Otto Kroeger and Associates provided a bit of a wake-up call around this issue. That was not his intent but what he suggested was that a type practitioner needs to be very clear about knowing the purpose of any type training. In doing MBTI training he suggests that type practitioners need to contract to have the first training designed specifically around helping participants understand MBTI type theory well enough to make an informed decision about their “best-fit” type. That’s it – a single focus.

Then, applying type awareness to improving communication, decision making or conflict resolution for an intact team would be contracted for a second session.In the end trying to crunch introduction and application into a shorter and shorter single session timeframe doesn’t serve the client well.

The bottom line is that the type practitioner or consultant needs to be very clear about the implications of lowering the bar to limbo standards and they need to make sure that the sponsor understands exactly what outcome they can hope to achieve for each level of investment.

It is better to elevate the discussion to focus on results rather than budget alone. Anyone wanting to use type in their organization is well advised to budget for the time required to build a strong foundation and to introduce a mechanism for reinforcement in applying the knowledge.

The waltz has a 1 2 3 count and type practitioners need to take the time to present the case for quality instead of agreeing to shortcuts in a knee-jerk fashion. I understand that what I am suggesting flies in the face of current economic reality however it is important to stop and reflect on what’s required to provide a good outcome.

Without the investment of time in training and integrating into the common language of the team, the MBTI is filed at the bottom of the cabinet under MY WHAT? “Oh that was something we did last year if only I could remember what it said”

Category : Best practices | Consulting/ training | Blog