Respect for difference

Once you have completed your MBTI® (Myers Briggs Personality Type Indicator) session with a Myers BRiggs Practitioner it is useful to remember two of its main ingredients:
· Respect for difference
· The I in MBTI®. means Indicator

For example: It is not respectful to charge into another person’s life telling them you know all about them because you have ‘done Myers Briggs’.

Even if you know a person’s profile, it is useful to remind yourself that there are a number of selves. Here are three: True (innate) Self, Developed (cultural, psychological) Self and the Contextual (where you are, who you are with) Self.

Having an idea of a person’s profile does not give you access to their Developed Selves and no right to enter their lives in a Context outside of their comfort zone.

It is fine to charge up to Jon Doust (ENFP) because he tells the world who he is, but he is an exception to the rule and, after all, it is part of his life’s work to be transparent and obvious to all.

But ponder for a moment what life might be like for those with a preference for Introversion.

a) They probably don’t like to be the centre of attention
b) They probably keep themselves to themselves and a small group of very close friends
c) And before discussing anything they might consider personal and private, you will probably need permission.

(My partner has, from time to time, reminded me that she has a very firm line drawn and that sometimes, in my exuberance to inform the world of my personal life, I not only step over her line, I mangle it as I pass. I am very lucky and privileged and it is a mark of her courage, that she has given me as much freedom as she has).

Even if a person has shared a passion with you, once you are in a different Context, in a different setting, a different place, then that person may not be comfortable discussing their Indicated profile. And, since those sessions, they may have pondered further and decided their profile was a little different to the original Indication.

It’s all about relationships. If you have the kind of relationship with someone that allows you to discuss matters such as their Inner Selves then that is a wonderful thing. If you are not sure, then use the old fashioned method and ask for permission. And remember, Every Individual is an Exception to the Rule.

And don’t forget this: psychological profiles are averages and the more you average people, the further you get away from individuals.

One thought on “Respect for difference

  1. Hey Jon, It\’s Clint from Lead On. just to let you know, i\’ve been reading your blog and all this personality stuff is very interesting! I did a Consumer Behaviour unit at uni, and it explores the various \’selves\’ we have in relation to consumption decisions, so im intrigued to hear more about the \’selves\’ in non-consumption contexts. keep it coming!

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