OKA’s Focus is Type Development
Too much energy is devoted to simple MBTI testing and not enough to individual Type validation—independent of what the assessment reports, what is your true Type? But less energy still is spent on the most important effort at hand, which is the development of my Type—in light of my preferences, how do I gain greater awareness and then even comfort and skill with all the functions—even those I don’t prefer?
OKA’s primary focus regarding Type has become training and supporting the development of Type—not only discovering what your Type is but how you can be more effective in your life, work and relationships using Type.
What is Type Development?
Jung said that Sensing tells us that something IS, Thinking tells us WHAT it is, Feeling gives it value, and iNtuition gives it meaning.
So much surrounding Type emphasizes the preference for one end of a dichotomy over its opposite, but Type theory is actually a holistic theory of human cognitive development that illuminates the path we are each most likely to follow as we experience, develop, and ultimately build toward comfort and skill with all four cognitive functions (S, N, T and F). Type theory suggests that our Type preferences are hard-wired and unchanging, but our Type development—the degree to which we can access and the skill with which we use all the elements of Type—is continually changing, and hopefully increasing.
Sometimes an individual or organization’s Type development—good or bad—leads to predictable outcomes and observable behaviors that can signify Type development successes and challenges. It is important to note the positive—indeed essential—qualities for effective individual and organizational life that each function provides. Sometimes the underdevelopment of a function can block us from even seeing the value or even the existence of that function. A great first step in any Type development effort is to establish the existence and the value of each of the functions and their respective, unique contributions.
What are the details of iNtuition?
The iNtuitive function helps us discover all the possibilities—all the ways in which we might change the situation, our approach, or other people’s attitudes. The iNtuitive function helps us to see what is not evident and might go against our natural assumptions. With iNtuition we see patterns suggested in the whole and project them to a possible future. The iNtuitive function gives us abstraction, imagination, inference, theory, and originality.
Individuals with well-developed iNtuition tend to be:
- Imaginative, future focused and visionary
- General, figurative, and big picture when they speak
- Generators—writers and/or talkers—of concepts, trends, and patterns
- Sources of new ideas and multiple courses forward
- Curious about future possibilities
Organizations with well-developed iNtuition tend to have:
- A well-defined, future-focused vision that unites the organization
- An ability to conceptualize possibilities—both good and bad—and plan for them
- A sense of the future and the possibilities within it that await cultivation
- An innovative way—or many—to project its face to the world and thrive in the marketplace
- Historical events and past performance details placed in the context of future trends and longer-term metrics
Individuals with under-developed iNtuition tend to be:
- Pessimistic with a negative or overwhelming vision of the future
- Distrustful of future possibilities
- Blind to the patterns they may find themselves in, focusing instead on individual cases, mistakes, or problems
Organizations with under-developed iNtuition tend to have:
- Stale or outdated products or services
- No unifying vision
- Tactics that are not wrapped up into a larger strategy
- A discounting or distrusting opinion of visionaries and idea-smiths within the organization—labeling them as dreamers or airheads
The following are ideas to use in helping individuals improve access and skill with the iNtuitive function:
- Let go of assumptions about change over time and consider new visions
- Articulate and examine the theories and trends that underlie their actions
- Conceptualize your life/career in one year, five years, ten years
- Imagine different possibilities for what a statement or action meant
- Create a vision
- Let your mind wander/daydream into the future
- Brainstorm possibilities
- Generate three times the options than you have time to actually complete
- Have a discussion that flows from one topic to another
- Ask someone an open question and follow up their answer with another question
To learn more about Type Development and the willful activation of all your type preferences, take OKA’s new course, Type Development for Professional Practitioners. OKA’s new experiential two-day course, designed and delivered by Hile Rutledge, is perfect for anyone interested in putting Type or the MBTI to practical use. In addition, in the spring of 2014 OKA will publish Hile Rutledge’s new Type Development Workbook, the latest in OKA’s series of trainer and practitioner support tools.