Article originally posted @ www.annholm.net on December 2, 2011
Understanding personal strengths and cognitive style is an important part of being effective in our work, relationships, and communication. There are many tools and instruments that can be used to measure these strengths and preferences. Some measures, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator have stood the test of time as being both valid and useful in creating this self-understanding.
Despite being a highly accurate and validated tool, there are still some cases where individuals will have reported types that differ from their actual type. Or they may have different results each time they take the MBTI. Therefore, they may require extra dialogue to arrive at a verified type. Others may have an accurate reported type but want to understand their type more thoroughly without having to spend too much time reading. In other instances, particularly when trying to apply type to communication and relationships, an easy way to compare different types might be helpful.
Enter the Personality Puzzle, a multiple use card system to assist in all of the above tasks and more! I became acquainted with Sue Blair, the developer of the cards, at the Association for Psychological Type International Conference in San Francisco in August 2011. I was talking to another convention goer about her book The Eight Colors of Fitness , a book that uses psychological type to plan a fitness program. After all, we are not all motivated by the same forces. I had mentioned that psychological type might be a useful tool for planning effective rehab plans for brain injured people. The problem was, that the standard MBTI might be too complicated for these individuals.
I was taken to Sue Blair’s table and introduced to her card system. It was thorough yet simple in it’s design. As I started to work with the cards, I began to see the enormous possibilities in using these cards in multiple situations. I also purchased a set for my daughter who is MBTI certified and a teacher. She also saw the many possibilities for the Personality Puzzle.
So what are these cards? They actually have 2 steps:
1. There are pairs of cards representing each of the MBTI dichotomies (introversion v. extraversion, sensing v. intuition, thinking v. feeling and judging v. perceiving). The client chooses which card of the
two mostly fits their preference. With this exercise, you can arrive at a possible type.
2. Next, there are 16 cards that represent each of the MBTI types. You can verify your type based on the above exercise or you can learn more about your type if you are fairly certain about what it is. You can also compare several types either to clarify your own or to see how you might be different than another type. You can also see your major strengths and blind spots on these cards. If you are working with a certified type practitioner, these cards make it easy to clarify major points for the client during a dialogue.
Pretty elegant, eh?
Since that time, I have arranged to distribute these cards in the United States – my idea, because I was so impressed with their usefulness. You may also like to know that Sue has other projects in the works using some of the same principles as her original product. Stay tuned for that!