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ARE ALL TYPES THE SAME?
PEOPLE PATTERNS™ VS MEYERS BRIGGS – PART I
This is from Marilyne Woodsmall and her Blog over at www.TheScienceOfIdiots.com. If you want to get deep into understanding sales, why people buy and don’t buy, how to manage customers, employees, contractors, and even understand all of those people around you that you interact with on a daily basis, this is the cutting edge thinking that is fast replacing the old worn out theories. The wonderful thing about what she teaches it that it makes sense and will add to your bottom line.
From time to time students and clients will ask us about the other typologies in relation to our People Patterns™, in particular Myers-Briggs. Many of you have probably heard about the Myers-Briggs Inventory at some point. It is a tool that has been used for understanding what are considered to be behavioral preferences and yet, it can be quite limiting in its scope. Meyers-Briggs presents four categories of these so called preferences:
1)Introvert – Extrovert
2)Sensor – Intuitor
3)Thinker – Feeler
4)Judger – Perceiver
However, before I briefly go over these types, it will be helpful to explain three things: 1) the concept of typologies 2) the different forms of typologies 3) the concept of contextuality and 4) the concept of refinement and deep structure, the latter two which we’ll consider in our next article.
First, let me mention the concept of typologies. There are three fundamental methods or approaches when discussing typologies. The first approach is the one we will mention in this article. It is based on a method of formal logic. It is the one upon which Meyers-Briggs, with its four categories, is based. As with all typologies based on formal logic, Meyers-Briggs says that types are immutable. There is nothing that you can do to change the types. You have to accept the category you are in so that you are literally boxed in for life. You have to accept the box and you are stuck in the box forever.
The problem with this is that such absolutes go against reality. According to Meyers-Briggs, each one of these four types is a preference for which there is nothing you can do. You have to accept where you are even though you can prove you can change it. So the bottom line is that with the Myers-Briggs types you are trapped in an argument of formal logic. You are in the box once and for all and you can never escape out of the box. Thus, you are frozen in either an introvert or extrovert box. You are forever labeled a sensor or an intuitor. You are an indisputable thinker or feeler and you are in the immutable zone of judger or perceiver.
This results in one of 16 types and this is simply what you are forever labeled on your chest with a behavioral Scarlet Letter, or in this case, Letters: an INTJ, an INTP; an INFJ; an INFP; an ISTJ; an ISTP; an ISFJ; an ISFP; an ENTJ; an ENTP; an ENFJ; an ENFP; an ESTJ; an ESTP; an ESFJ; an ESFP. You are forever labeled as one of these and many people proudly wear these labels through life.
Many personality typologies reflect this approach of the immutable type. In our work in Neuro-Linguistics, however, we know that it is possible to change the types. More on this at a later time.
Second, there are several different forms of typologies. There is what is known as a developmental typology (which we have also been teaching for years and have written about) and a horizontal typology. Both Myers-Briggs and People Patterns™ are horizontal typologies in that they put people into boxes. In this way, they are similar.
It is with the third concept, that of contextuality, and with the fourth concept, that of refinement and deep structure, where these two typologies, People Patterns™ and Meyers-Briggs, differ. We will consider these points next time.
Want to find out more about what Marilyne is talking about?
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