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    TYPE-TEMPERAMENT THEORY:
     ORIGINS AND CAVEATS

    Type-Temperament Theory is scientifically based, tracing its roots back nearly a century to the seminal work of Dr. Carl Jung, the great Swiss-born analytic psychologist.  Since Jung, thousands of psychologists, human resources specialists, educators, clergy and others have expanded and clarified the work, until now it is the number one approach to understanding individual differences in the world.

    Type-Temperament Theory describes the biological cornerstones of your self: how you prefer to take in information, how you base your decision-making, which of those two processes you prefer, and whether you are inclined to deal with the world in an extraverted or introverted attitude.  By characterizing yourself and others in these four ways, you open the door to powerful insights about all the relationships in your life.

    Prior to the development of The Insight Game, determining your four preferences typically involved the use of paper-and-pencil psychological testing, usually the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (the MBTI)™Consulting Psychologists Press.  While Isabel Myers and Katharine Briggs' contributions to the development of Type-Temperament Theory cannot be overstated, using their psychological test posed practical and ethical problems in terms of helping people discover their personality type.

    Psychology has a dark and well-deserved history for personality testing, since most of it has been based on the assumption that there are proper traits to exhibit, and the more of the trait you have the better a person you are.  People understandably feel intimidated by the process of exposing their souls to strangers.

    Myers and Briggs tried to assuage people's fears by calling the instrument an "indicator," rather than a "test."  They explained that there are no right or wrong answers to the questions on the MBTI: that all types are equally good.  But people did not necessarily believe those protestations when they saw a booklet of questions, a computer-scorable answer sheet and a sharpened pencil sitting on the desk waiting for them. They remained intimidated.  That intimidation, in turn, caused many to answer the questions cautiously and often inaccurately, leading to personality descriptions which were often incorrect.

    Some people abused the MBTI, assuming that the portrait of personality it provided represented a comprehensive view of the individual.  But Type-Temperament Theory never was intended to be used in that way.  It makes no effort to describe people's intelligence, abilities, drive, ethics, or mental balance—and all of these contribute to the overall view of personality.

    Some organizations used the MBTI to rule people out of particular positions in the working world.  Type-Temperament Theory wasn't meant to be used in that way either, even though it can provide some valuable insights into how an individual will approach a particular job or task.

    Recognizing the type- or temperament-related aspects of various careers can save people a lot of grief by helping them avoid certain positions which will not make the best use of their natural gifts.

    By the same token, recognizing the personality type of a consultant you are considering engaging will help you decide pro or con with your eyes wide open as to key behaviors he or she is likely to exhibit over the course of the relationship.

    Some counselors actually cautioned couples against marriage on the basis of their MBTI results!  Even though Type-Temperament Theory can predict important ways in which people will agree and disagree in a loving relationship, it is certainly no comprehensive measure of attraction or compatibility.

    In too many businesses the MBTI has been abused by pigeon-holing people, reducing their individuality to a four-letter code.  In the worst cases, misguided human resources specialists actually forced all the people in a business or team to take the instrument and then summarized the group with only a sixteen-celled chart.  Such "type charts" are incredibly useful and informative to groups learning about Type-Temperament Theory, but, by themselves, they scarcely describe the humanity of the people or the particular challenges facing them as a group.

    Type-Temperament Theory is a tool.  Some people have used it as a crowbar or sledge hammer, not as a mirror or paintbrush—the way it was intended.

    All of those abuses exist potentially for The Insight Game.  The purpose of this file is to advise against succumbing to such pitfalls.  Used appropriately, kindly, and with a generous spirit, knowledge of this system will elevate your self-esteem and increase your appreciation of others in your life.  It will put you more in charge of all your relationships. 

    The corporate philosophy of RoBards Counseling & Consulting speaks to the best use of Type-Temperament Theory and The Insight Game.

    "Until you are on your own side,
     you have no chance of winning.
    As long as you are opposing others,
    you can experience only defeat.
    Insight is the discovery that
    you can take care of yourself
    and support your fellow man at the same time.

    You do not exist apart from the rest of the universe
    You are a ray of its energy,
    a potential for initiative and creation.

    Goethe said:
    'Whatever you can do,
    or dream you can, begin it.
    Boldness has genius,
    power and magic in it.'

    If you retreat from your creation
    because you cannot envision
     the means of its support,
     then surely, no support will materialize.

    Find your role.
    Commit your self to its playing.
    And you may find the theatre you need.
    A producer may emerge.
    Other actors may arrive.
    And an audience may assemble
    to help you realize your dreams
    and accomplish other destinies."

    Jung


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