18 March 2013

Day 84 / 102 - What's Your Type?

Once upon a time my husband and I worked for a non-profit ministry organization.  During our ten years with this organization we worked on, and with, various teams.  Lots of teams.  Eventually, we stepped into leadership with this organization and one of our responsibilities was helping others realize how they could truly be an asset to their team, as well as learning how they could work well with others.  One of the ways we did this was using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

The MBTI is an assessment designed to measure psychological preferences in how people see the world and make decisions.  It measures: how you get your energy (outward focused or inward focused), how you gather and process information (concrete or abstract), how you make decisions (logically or empathizing with the situation), and how you approach the outside world (with a plan or as it comes).  Taking all that into consideration, each individual fits into one of the 16 personality types, with four different letters, pictured above.  I love this concept and believe in it.  I could talk (write) for days about how I've seen the preferences played out in my life or in the lives of others.

After a few recent conversations with friends, my husband and I revisited some of our Myers-Briggs materials.  I have taken the assessment profile many times.  In fact, I even try to fool it, because I know exactly what it's looking for.  However, I always come out with the same four letters.  If you know me well, you will read a detailed description of that type and know without a doubt that it's describing me.  Same for my husband.  But since this blog is to document my homeschooling, I wanted to tell you how I've approached this recently with my children.

While wondering about their 'types', I came across a few online assessments to help us begin the process.  I took each quiz once.  Then, my husband took the assessment with our children.  I want to go on record saying how much I love homeschooling because of how well I know my children.  I also want to mention that I believe my children, even though young, are fairly self-aware.  The results of the assessments I took and then my children took were nearly identical.  A child's profile usually consists of three letters, because how we process information isn't fully developed until adolescence.  However, by revisiting some of our materials, we have accurately identified the four-letter type for our son, and we are quite close to identifying our daughter's.

My son, especially, has loved this exercise.  He enjoys hearing more about his type.  Now, while reading a book, or watching a movie, he tries to recognize the character that is most like him.  One night my husband and he were reading a more detailed description of my son's personality type.  They followed it by reading my husband's.  I interrupted them by saying to my husband, "Yours is so boring compared to his!"  My son's is full of action and adventure and fearlessness.  My husband's focuses more on strategy and intelligence.

Like I mentioned earlier, I could discuss this concept forever.  However, I'll begin to wrap things up.  I've learned through this how to more successfully school my children as well as being a better parent to both of them.  My son is the only 'P' in our family, which means he's extremely flexible and diverse, not adhering to schedules, plans, or commitments and taking life as it comes.  He's the only one!  My daughter is the only 'F' in our family, meaning she's the only one who makes decisions personally and subjectively, she is sensitive towards others, and she is unsettled by conflict.  Both of these truths influence how my children see school work and their school day.  This quote from Isabel Briggs Myers sums it up for me, Whatever the circumstances of your life, the understanding of type can make your perceptions clearer, your judgments sounder, and your life closer to your heart's desire.

If you are at all interested, the best way to take the assessment is to pay for the real one.  However, if you want to take some similar ones, this one is for adults, and this one is for children.

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