Five Factors of Effective Training

Many of you reading Type for Life are experienced trainers or facilitators and that experience likely includes sessions that went wonderfully and those that did not quite meet your own standards. And since learning is so important in one’s career and one’s life (continuing to exercise your brain can keep you young(er), remember?!), undoubtedly if you haven’t run a training class of your own, you’ve attended one.  Here’s a five-factor framework I use to evaluate training sessions:

1.  Format 
This is the training design.  Does the session include the “right” theories (NT), ways to help participants develop their potential (NF), opportunities for participants to feel “at home” with their fellow “classmates” (SF), and efficient and clear ways to get the material across (ST)?  Is there time for reflection (I) as well as action (E)?  Is there structure (J) to cover the essentials as well as options (P) to meet needs as they arise?  Is there a mix of activities that appeal to different types?

2.  Facilities 
Is the venue conducive to learning (and to fun – remember when learning is fun, it more likely sticks!)?  Can people see and hear (not only the trainer but each other), and be physically comfortable?  Here’s hoping there are no pillars in the training room, loud construction noises outside, terribly uncomfortable chairs, power failures, etc. Tuning into the Sensing function helps here.  SPs seem particularly adept at finding those facilities where fun and learning can combine.

3.  Facilitator 
Does this person know the material along with how to get it across?   Are participant questions encouraged and respected?  Is the facilitator able to use Perceiving (keep it flexible and follow the group’s needs) as well as Judging (know when to keep it on track and moving)?  Every type can potentially be a wonderful facilitator.  If it happens to be you, it is important to be true to who you are, however, and not try to become a style that is not your own.

4.  Fellowship 
Has the training group coalesced to the point where they are free to share their views, laugh at themselves, admit their mistakes or vulnerabilities?  I’ve always liked the concept of “the Courage to be Imperfect” from Rudolph Dreikurs, an Adlerian psychologist.  Participants can learn so much from one another when that fellowship is there and when they are willing to risk making a mistake for the sake of learning.  Where there are a variety of types who have achieved fellowship, the training (at least if the topic is type) almost runs itself.  Good fellowship can overcome or at least mitigate problems with all of the above challenges.  

5.  Fate 
There are certainly things beyond anyone’s control.  I’ve had a participant collapse in a session from ill health and require paramedics.  I’ve had hurricanes threaten to blow in and the participants spend more time rearranging their travel than concentrate on the material. I’m sure you have stories too.

Are there other factors you would add?


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Type in The Galapagos

I just took a trip of a lifetime and I travel extensively so that’s saying a lot—seven days in the Galapagos onboard a National Geographic/Lindblad ship.

I travelled with another ESTJ, an ENFP, an ENTJ, and an ENFJ.  We all had a lot to say about our experiences, and we did!!  We were in a magical place. We had a wonderful time enjoying each other’s company and respecting each other’s needs for some quiet down time.  We are all in the second half of our lives, embracing our introverted sides.

We focused on our Sensing sides with small details about the differences of the birds, iguanas and turtles on different islands.  The broader issues of the effects of global warming and trying to grasp the essence of the area called upon our Intuitive sides.

Please indulge my Sensing side for a bit while I check out yours with some details.  Probably everyone has heard of the place—600 miles off the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean.  And you might know that three ocean currents converge there bringing together an unusual assortment of wildlife.

And probably everyone has seen pictures of its animal inhabitants and knows they are not fearful of people.  It was so strange to walk up to a bird and not have it fly away, and in fact, watch it try to get closer at times.  There was one particularly determined bird trying to pluck one hiker’s gray hair for her nest.

And probably everyone knows about Charles Darwin’s observation of how the finches were different depending on the island they lived on, which led him to the theory of natural selection.  Did you also know why Darwin wanted to be on shore while his ship, the HMS Beagle, went in search of water?  In addition to being a curious person, he also suffered horrible seasickness!

We were very impressed with the management of the Galapagos. Yes, Sensing and Judging were needed by all.  Luckily all of the rules made logical (T) sense – stay 6 feet from the wildlife (although they didn’t always stay 6 feet away from us – there was a tortoise so fascinated by a woman’s pink tennis shoes that he began “stalking” her! Our presence is not supposed to interfere with their lives so no engaging with the animals.  You had to hold yourself back from “baby talk” with those super cute baby sea lions.

The rules go on… Travel only with a Galapagos national park guide in groups of 16 or less.  Land on an island in only designated times (we often had 8-10 am slots) and only in designated areas, staying on the marked paths with your guide.  That was tough for some of the passengers who were clearly used to wandering off on their own. This is not a time to use your Perceiving side to explore something else.  Areas are often off-limits so as to minimize the environmental damage any visitor causes.

And the pay-off for following the rules: seeing things you will never see anywhere else!  One 40-minute snorkeling session included swimming with birds (penguins), reptiles (turtles and iguanas), mammals (sea lions), and multiple kinds of fish.

We got to see blue-footed boobies doing a courtship dance and, at another time, dive bombing for food in the ocean. (Boobies are beloved birds with blue feet in case you were wondering.) We saw different kinds of both land and sea tortoises (after which the island area is named) and different kinds of iguanas (they have the only sea-going iguanas in the world).

It was a challenge to kick our internet habits – we were either out of range or had very slow connections.  I visited a school on one of the islands; they pay $1400/month for 3 megabytes of data.  Students have to surrender their cell phones and forgo YouTube.
The islands include active and inactive volcanos.  One night in 1954 an area simply rose about 15 feet (uplifted is the technical term) due to volcanic activity.  Geologists love the Galapagos, too!

And yes, climate change is impacting the area.  Currents are getting warmer which will drive away some of the wildlife.

And human impact on the area is resulting in feral cats, feral goats, and blackberries, among other things.  There are programs to eradicate these invaders.  Some turtle populations have disappeared on a few islands, so there are programs to bring them back.

All of us, but particularly the two ESTJs, were concerned with the efficiency of the operation.  Many ships in the area are smaller but we chose a larger one because it was a good compromise for various individual needs.  How were they going to get 95 of us off the ship, on to zodiacs, and on the island.  It was wonderful to watch!  We lined up with our life jackets on, the cruise manager counted us off (including any groups), the crew gave us a hand on and off the zodiac (wet landings can be tricky), and the guides miraculously spaced us out on land.

We were awakened each morning with the most wonderful voice saying, “Good morning, good morning.”  Our cruise director would frame everything in a positive way, even the early morning wake-up times.

The food crew were similarly efficient.  One of our travelers had allergy issues, and the waiters always found her with dishes made to accommodate, no matter where she was sitting.  The attention to detail was incredible! And the kindness of the crew was so appreciated. 

I had heard wonderful things about the Galapagos, and they are true. Visit if you possibly can, no matter what your type.

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Peter Myers: In Memoriam

Peter Briggs Myers, a physicist and co-owner and developer of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®), a widely used personality type assessment, died peacefully at age 91, surrounded by family members in St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Towson, Maryland on February 17th. He was a truly gifted man with a generous heart. Those of us who knew and loved him will sorely miss his insight, wisdom and caring.

Peter Myers

Mr. Myers, a Rhodes scholar who held a doctorate in nuclear physics from the University of Oxford, was the son of Clarence Gates Myers and Isabel Briggs Myers. Isabel and her mother, Katharine Cook Briggs, created the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator instrument as a practical application of the personality type theory of Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, beginning their work in the 1940s.

When Isabel Myers died in 1980, she left the copyright to the MBTI to her son Peter and his then wife, Katharine Downing Myers. At the time of Isabel Myers’s death, the instrument was not yet widely known although she had worked on its development for more than forty years with support from the Educational Testing Service.

Peter and Katharine spent the next several decades ensuring the scientific rigor and overseeing the continued development of the assessment, along with the publisher CPP, Inc., now based in Sunnyvale, Calif.

Today the MBTI instrument has been taken by millions of people around the world to help them better understand themselves and others and is in use by 88 of the Fortune 100 companies. The instrument has been translated into more than 25 languages and its use overseas has grown rapidly including Europe, Asia, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand.

Peter and Katharine helped to fund the Center for Applications for Psychological Type® (CAPT®), in Gainesville, Florida, a nonprofit started by Isabel Myers and a colleague and it continues to provide research and training in the use of the MBTI. They also established a non-profit, the Myers & Briggs Foundation that funds research on type and its application.

Imposing, at 6’4” tall with a soft measured voice and a slow speaking delivery, Peter often gave speeches on type at conferences and worked closely with the publisher of the MBTI well into his eighties.

He was born on April 24, 1926. He enrolled in George Washington University before enrolling in a Navy program for engineers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He spent seven months on a Navy submarine, the USS Sanborn, and later entered Oxford as a Rhodes scholar in September, earning his doctorate in nuclear physics from Oxford in 1950.

He was highly influenced by his maternal grandfather, Lyman J. Briggs, who served as a scientific advisor to President Franklin Roosevelt and was appointed director of the National Bureau of Standards by Roosevelt in 1933. Roosevelt also appointed Lyman Briggs as chair of an Advisory Committee on Uranium, linked to the Manhattan Project, which developed the atomic bomb.

Peter married Elizabeth “Betty” Monk on July 28, 1948 and began work as a physicist on transistors and semiconductor devices in the Switching Research Department of the Bell Telephone Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey. The couple later moved to southern California where Peter was employed by Magnavox Research Laboratories for more than ten years, working on radio and satellite navigation. They divorced in 1971.

Peter soon married Katharine Downing Heisler, his high school sweetheart, and moved to the Washington area where he had been reassigned by Magnavox. He then joined the National Academy of Sciences, where he served as Bureau Director of Radioactive Waste Management. In that capacity, he headed a scientific committee to determine long-term storage of radioactive waste, retiring in his early 70s. When his mother developed cancer, Peter Myers helped author her main book on type, “Gifts Differing.” The book offers an in-depth explanation of the MBTI’s 16 personality types. He also cared for his father, known as “Chief”, a partner in the Philadelphia law firm of Duane, Morris and Heckscher.

An avid sailor, Peter grew up sailing on Lake George in upstate New York and in recent years, sailed on his beloved wooden ketch, “Sea Cloud.” He loved the wilderness: He was an Eagle Scout as a youth and for many years was a Sierra Club leader, leading many river trips down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. He contributed generously to multiple charities throughout his life and is leaving a large bequest to Oxford University.

He once rescued Albert Einstein on Saranac Lake in Massachusetts, as described in Katharine and Isabel, Mother’s Light, Daughter’s Journey, The Story of the Making of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator by Frances Wright Saunders. Peter had taken a canoe out on the lake when the water became choppy and he noticed a small sailboat with a single sailor who was desperately trying to lower the sail.

Peter paddled up next to the man and held the tiller, allowing the man to lower the sail. When the man turned around, he realized to his delight it was his hero Albert Einstein. Peter paddled both of them to shore with Einstein holding the bow of the canoe after which Einstein invited him back to their cottage to dry out and have a cup of tea. Einstein turned out to know Peter’s grandfather, the physicist Lyman J. Briggs.

Peter Myers

Peter leaves behind his son, Jonathan Briggs Myers, a coffee grower in Hawaii, and two daughters, Jennifer Myers Yerkes, a homemaker, and Michele Heisler, a physician and professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He also leaves three stepchildren, Roly, Hugh and Katie Heisler, five grandchildren and one great grandchild.

His niece and nephew, Kathleen Hughes, a freelance writer and former staff reporter for the Wall Street Journal, and Douglas Hughes, a lawyer, also survive him. They are the children of Peter’s sister, Ann Myers Hughes, who died in 1972. He is also survived by his partner, Jane “Emma” Mannes, who lived with him in his last years at Blakehurst Retirement Center in Towson, Maryland.


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Dealing with Loss…with Death

I just got the news…another friend has died. Patricia was an ENTP who was raised in the foster care system in England.  At one point, an ad was put in the newspaper, “Difficult child needs academic home.”  She got one and became both a brilliant architect and a brilliant judge.  Yes, ENTPs do change jobs and careers more than any other type.

I’m also in the midst of planning a memorial service for my Dad, an INTJ who died at the age of 102 and who had the satisfaction of seeing many of his ideas on nutrition finally accepted as correct.  Yes, INTJs have the longest future-orientation of the 16 types; he knew trans fats were bad back in the 1950s and he hung on long enough for others, including the FDA, to see that as well. (See my article, Lessons Learned from my INTJ Father. You may also search for his name, Fred A. Kummerow, and read his obituaries in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and Chicago Tribune.)

Synchronicity appears once again in my life - I attended a conference recently in which one of the presentations was on Grief and Loss. The presenter was Timothy S. Hartshorne, a professor at Central Michigan University and a college classmate of mine many years ago. 

As he pointed out, “learning how to deal with loss is what life is all about.”  Our life is a series of losses, some small (my doll broke) and some large (my Father died).  You cannot escape loss.

Tim continued:

  • Grief is a journey
  • Grief is individual
  • Certain emotions predominate
  • No one describes it the same way.

He pointed out that healing:

  • Is a long-term process that culminates not as a return to a pre-grief state, but as a growth process
  • Includes thinking of the person without pain but not without sadness

He adds: “Asking when mourning is finished is a little like asking how high “up” is – there is no answer.” *

If you are in a work setting, think about how much time off a grieving person needs and the level of support you can provide.  Be aware that the return to work may be difficult and check on what might be helpful.  Be aware that there may be questions related to meaning and motivation at work.

With friends, the feeling may be of wondering if anyone really understands what you are going through.  And your friends may be wondering what to say and not to say. 

Many people feel awkward about bringing up a death, being afraid to say the wrong thing or to make the survivors sad.  They are already sad. 

Say something to the person: bring it up.  Share a memory, a story about the person. Ask for a story.  Tell what the person meant to you.  Watch the non-verbal signs - they will give you clues for how far to go.  You are likely to be forgiven even if you stumble.

However, please don’t say things like, “It is better now that they are no longer suffering.”  Or “They are in a better place now.”  “It’s part of God’s plan.”  “Cheer up.” 

And with your partner or spouse, figure out how to support one another.  Be aware that there may be changes in the relationship. 

How does one learn to cope with grief?

  • You experience it
  • You get support from others
  • You tell your tale
  • And you might go to therapy

Tim looks at each year of grieving in these terms:

  • Year 1: A year of firsts and disbelief
  • Year 2: A sinking in and coping with the reality of the loss
  • Year 3: Getting used to it and good at it
  • Year 4: Starting to move on
  • Year 5: Healing over the wounds

Life goes on.  I have been blessed with wonderful parents and wonderful friends.  I have lots of memories to sustain me.  And I will experience many more losses in my life, and hopefully get through them, never expecting to get over them. 

 * From Worden, William J. (2002) Grief Counselling and Grief Therapy; A handbook for the mental health practitioner. Springer Pub.


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Is looking at nationality and citizenship (synonyms in the dictionary, by the way) the same as looking at a personality typological system like the Myers-Briggs® theory?

When I used to teach the MBTI® Certification course, we’d always search for real life examples of typologies (versus traits).  A typology is a category, like ESTJ (my type) or INFP.  Traits are distinguished by measuring how much you have of a particular characteristic, such as dominance.

And then there’s nationality and citizenship – a typology.  Are you an American or a Brit? Even though we all speak English, there are differences!  Perhaps some might argue that they are more American than another American. Both people would be in the same category and the “more” or “less” label is irrelevant.  (And yes, I know there are dual citizens, but bear with me, please)

In the present political climate, the issue of citizenship has come to the forefront.
Many of us, including me, take citizenship for granted.  We are born into it.  My Father was not – he was a German immigrant in 1923, but he was awarded citizenship as a minor when his parents received their citizenship papers.

I volunteer in an ESL (English as a Second Language) class and occasionally the topic of citizenship comes up, although that is not our focus. We often have discussions like this to encourage the use of language. 

Once we were talking about why people volunteer and one student piped up, “because it makes you look good for the citizenship process.” 

Another time we were discussing famous women in the world, including Susan B. Anthony.  Those who had recently taken the U.S. citizenship exam knew that she was an early leader in the struggle to gain equality for women, including the right to vote. 

Recently some European friends of mine looked at their citizenship status and decided to make some changes. Both were British and both really liked and were proud of being part of Europe.  With the European Union, they could easily go between different countries and work anywhere in Europe.  They felt comfortable being Europeans! 

That feeling came crashing down the day after the Brexit vote, when Great Britain voted to leave the European Union (EU).  Suddenly that comfort was gone. 

Patricia held British and Canadian citizenship papers, but she wanted to be part of the European Union.  She found a way to gain Irish citizenship which keeps her in the EU.   

Ki is a British citizen married to Guenther, a German citizen and they have been together nearly 30 years.  In fact, one of their first dates was in Berlin the day the Berlin Wall came down in November 1989. 

Ki decided to apply for German citizenship; she wanted to remain a European. She had lived in Germany for at least eight years, she knew the German language, and she knew the German legal system and society.  This past Spring, she was awarded it. 

Here is what Guenther wrote about this momentous occasion and I include this with their permission:

“Greetings from a truly European couple:
Against the dark background of both our parents’ countries' history I feel especially thankful that Ki, myself and our children have been privileged to enjoy more than SIXTY years of relative prosperity and peace in Central Europe.

And happy that our continuing love for each other has proven that there is a different way to hatred, division, war and bloodshed that our parents had to go through!!
 Let us not take any of that for granted,
 Let us fight to preserve what has been achieved,
 Let us work for improvements where changes are needed.
 Without destroying and betraying the ideals!!”

Perhaps the typology of citizenship is not what is important here.  What is important is the peace that is achieved when differences are overcome. As I.F. Stone wrote, we look for “… the hope of someday bringing about one world, in which men [and women] will enjoy the differences of the human garden instead of killing each other over them.”

The typology of personality type may help us understand what is in that garden and the importance of those differences.



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