Today is national Poem in Your Pocket da

April 26, 2012

Today is national Poem in Your Pocket day. The Bridgebuilder is my favorite. What’s in your pocket?

Looking forward to speaking at TADVS tom

February 20, 2012

Looking forward to speaking at TADVS tomorrow!

Resiliency and Type Development

March 2, 2011

Can you develop resiliency through type development? I say a resounding “yes!” As I continue to research elements and models of developing resiliency, common themes emerge that directly relate to the mental functions, our source of energy and orientation to our outer world.

Research indicates four protective patterns which resilient people tend to demonstrate: Disposition –our sense of autonomy and self-reliance; Relational – how we can engage and manage a broad range of roles;  Situational – our ability to assess, evaluate, problem solve and make decisions; and Philosophical – finding meaning, purpose, a sense of hope and the reality that change is inevitable.

In addition, resiliency building skills also focus on our ability to make connections and build relationships, accept change, move actively towards goals, look for opportunities of self-discovery, keep things in perspective, maintain hope through a positive vision of the future, evaluating and assessing information and appropriate responses and managing our physical health and a balanced lifestyle.

So, how do we develop resiliency skills across this spectrum of patterns? Where do mental functions “fit?” What could be the link between resilience and type development?

A few examples:

Moving actively towards goals.  When we think of goal orientation we may automatically consider two aspects of type – a “J” orientation to the world which prefers structure, process and future-focus as well as perhaps, the mental function, Extroverted Thinking – designing and coordinating action steps to achieve an outcome.

Accepting change – on the other hand, resiliency may require our ability to be flexible, go with the flow, and develop a “P” orientation to the world. And then perhaps, take a logical approach to the world understanding that change is going to happen and creating a forward focused plan – sound like Extroverted Thinking?

Keeping things in perspective – We must gather information and then also assess the information in regards to the “big” picture. Is your information accurate? Using your mental functions of Introverted and Extroverting Sensing to gather data – current and past experience engages the management of perspective. Determining what or how to act or respond or manage a decision, may require use of Introverted Thinking.

Building relationship, connecting with others – Effectively connecting with others may require developing our Extroverted Feeling mental functions to create a sense of warmth, harmony, reaching agreement and tolerance.

Developing type through the process of self- awareness of personal preferences and development of mental functions and facets may help us achieve individuation, a totally integrated personality capable of managing situations effectively and a concomitant improvement in our resiliency skills.

Strive and Thrive!

Plan, Do, Check Your 2011!

January 6, 2011

Well, it’s that time of year again! Organizing, sorting and setting goals for the new year! As I wandered through the aisles of Target salivating over the extra-extra low year end clearances, I remembered I actually went shopping for a new journal to begin my log of 2011.

Well, not exactly a journal. A 6.5 X 9.5 Five Star spiral notebook, two sections with nice pockets to stuff extraneous items throughout the year. This is my adjunct dayplanner to my Blackberry and Outlook and I love my process.

Some people theorize day planners, either electronic or hard copy, are for “Js” – people who already have a propensity for organization and who thrive on newer and better methods to stay organized. Hence, the wide variety of size, shape and content of the FranklinCovey day planners and Daytimers to insure we are efficient, timely and task-driven. There are pocket size, desk size, daily, weekly, and monthly variations on a theme for structuring  and organizing life. Read the rest of this entry »

The Power of Pairs

November 2, 2010

Ten days ago, our cat, Baxter, could not be found. The last time I saw him was on the roof begging to come down.  I chided him a bit because I knew he knew exactly how to go to the back of the house, take a short leap to the back fence, jump ever so slightly to the garden bench and then off to the ground. On Saturday, we departed for a cycling trip and left our three cats in the care of a neighbor. Baxter never returned.

My husband’s preference is ISTJ and  my type preference is ENFJ. It was quite interesting sharing the experience of designing a cat locator plan, contacting web services and creating signage for our street corners and flyers to share with our neighbors. Our approaches were opposite but most complementary.

Read the rest of this entry »

Develop to the Eight

September 15, 2010

My second career has been in Human Resources, specifically, recruitment, development, retention, rewards and recognition and succession planning. As I research my profession and its transition from “personnel”, to “employment” to Human Resources to some variation of human capital management, additional changes have occurred within the industry in regards to the job duties, responsibilities, and skill sets required of HR professionals. The function of HR has moved from transaction and task-oriented work to a culmination of strategist and consultant with general HR expertise on a quest for a seat at the table or an invitation into the “C” suite.

As a functional area of an organization, Human Resources provides services, i.e. recruitment, compensation, benefits employee relations, performance management, retention programs and training. In some organizations HR may also provide wellness services. From a Type perspective, individuals in these functional areas may perform best if their personality preferences align with the functional area and the skills and competencies required of the position. Example, managing compensation plans requires attention to detail, managing concrete data and logical and critical thinking. There are most closely associated with the ST functional pair. An individual with an NT or NF functional pair preference with highly development Sensing and Thinking functions may be very successful in compensation, but a natural preference for Sensing and Thinking may assist an individual in naturally excelling in this functional area. Read the rest of this entry »

Up Close and Personal

August 23, 2010

As I completed prepping for a workshop on networking, I had this revelation why networking may be  so difficult sometimes, and challenging at best. Yes, there are those of us that just love a crowd, love the mingling and the connecting, but are we effective? Consider this:

  • Do you “go with the flow” when entering an event or do you have a method or process, or perhaps both?
  • Is your networking purposeful and goal-oriented, or are your expectations more fluid?
  • Do you respond in short, concise specifics or do you share “what-ifs” and theorize?
  • Do you prefer sharing facts rather than creating a broad-brush overview?
  • Do you try new techniques or do you use tried and true methods?
  • Do you reach out first or do you wait for the other person to extend a hand in greeting?
  • Do you express enthusiasm or do you maintain a quiet demeanor?

Networking puts you out there for critique. We want to be perceived in a positive light especially if we are networking up close and personal. Although social media allows us an opportunity to network without a saying a verbal word, our goal is to invoke a positive response and create a lasting impression.

As we move through the networking process, connecting and building personal, professional and business relationships, we may find ourselves using a vast majority of the 20 subscale facets of type in a very short period of time. Depending on the situation, we may find the need to think logically, express empathy, share details, collaborate on an idea, initiate, receive, be practical but also imaginative, sit back and listen, be attentive, reflective but questioning to engage a contact.

Are you tired yet??

Effective networking isn’t just about being yourself. Being yourself just may be too much. We have to read the person we are connecting with – listen  and understand their viewpoints, acknowledge, communicate, care enough to go beyond the superficial, see the contact as a human with wants, needs, desires, passions and yes, even imperfections.

Happy Networking!

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An Entrepreneurial Spirit

August 5, 2010

One of the NSA’s discussion questions this last year was “What was the most costly mistake you made early in your speaking career?”  One of the responses written by Stan Walters, CSP described a thoughtful execution of goals so as not to get overwhelmed with juggling too many tasks and action items and not achieving results, i.e. getting the tasks done. Quoting Chris Clarke-Epstein, Stan suggested designing projects in the following manner:

1)      Short term goals – 3-4 weeks projects that provide quick wins to keep you motivated.

2)      Longer- term goals – 3-4 month projects that help you put money in your wallet.

3)      Year-long goals – 8-12 month projects to see the business grow.

I loved this structure to setting goals and I would venture to say individuals with a “J” or Judging preference in regards to their orientation to the worls might this think this process is fabulous. For those with a preference for “P” or Perceiving, this is an excellent tool to provide structure to goal settings and hopefully achieving if not exceeding personal objectives. Read the rest of this entry »

Dollars and Sense of Purchasing Decisions

July 19, 2010

I love websites that have great developing mental functions type development tools. Our personality type preferences can drive what we do on a daily basis – our communication, our interpersonal skills, our decision making, and purchases.

The website I visited today  is Learnvest. The website has a pretty good process flow or decision making tool to help an individual differentiate a luxury versus a necessity.

From a type perspective, this is a great sample of an activity to develop the mental function of Extroverted Thinking – organizing and categorizing things, thoughts or arguments to draw a conclusion. In addition, by nature of this activity, an individual is practicing several other type functions. For example,  Extroverted Sensing, i.e. gathering concrete current data through direct questioning such as  “do you have one already? “,  “do you have something similar…?” Read the rest of this entry »

Puzzle Me This

July 7, 2010

One of my focuses with TypeandLife is to help readers see how we use type functions in everyday life and to find fun ways to develop the mental  functions. Type theory indicates we have all eight mental functions, we have several natural preferences or gifts, have the potential to develop the unconscious or least natural functions and be able to call upon the least natural when the situation arises. Opportunities to devleop the least natural or unconscious functions can happen in every day – through personal life, professional life, spiritual life and yes, through fun and games. Consider our couple for today, Sarah and Allen.

Sarah has a type preference of ENFJ so Sensing and Thinking are not her natural strong suits. Her husband, Allen, has a preference for ISTJ. Susan loves to watch Allen observe, analyze and think through processes, problem-solve and make decisions and has been looking for ways to develop her least preferred functions. The couple enjoys an occasional beer and discovered that Lone Star beer has a new campaign using picture puzzles inside the bottle tops.

Allen is very quick in solving the puzzles. He is a natural. He reads the details of the pictures and uses his internal thoughts processes to solve the puzzle. Allen is using his gifts of Sensing and Thinking. Sarah, on the other hand, struggles a bit more but sees the puzzles as fun ways to develop her least preferred functions. She “sees” a picture – a design framed by a bottle cap. Sarah has to consciously make herself walk through every picture, letter or word out loud to solve the puzzle. The first one is difficult, but as she practices, it gets easier. Then, she comes to the conclusion that designing a picture puzzle is the Intuitive complement to solving the puzzle.

 To practice more, she goes to the company’s website and continues to practice and then moves on to other online puzzle and brain teaser sites.

So next time you are working on your puzzles, word games, Sodoku, backgammon or the like, think about your type preference in relation to the activity.

  • How is your type preference contributing to the activity?
  • How is it being challenged and developed?
  • As you progress with the game, does it become easier?
  • How can you apply this game activities to daily life?

Answer: East of the Sun, West of the Moon


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