Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Analytical Profiles or Reality

I was asked by a corporate team building client the other day if I provided analytical profiles on participants to the ropes course and being a good sales person I said of course we do, but it will cost you! We dove into quite a long discussion then on the merits of profiling and the pitfalls. Yes, the Myers Briggs Type Indicator is available. Yes, it is expensive as you need someone “qualified” to administer it. But is it really necessary?

According to Myers Briggs, the purpose of any personality inventory is to make the theory of psychological types described by C.G.Jung understandable and useful in people’s lives. People who act on instinct or believe their actions to be random in certain situations, in reality, these actions might not be random at all. The answer could be that in reality their actions are an instinctive part of their character making up their individual inventory of strength and weaknesses, or their perception of these. These ingrained personality traits make up your character and how you react to circumstances. For example: analytical people like to problem solve and think things out. People with a nurturing trait care for people. Whereas goal getters or activists very much have the goal in mind when going through a task. The interesting part of all this comes when stress is present and these character traits change. An activist when questioned why things went wrong, may revert to be an analyst and go back to the drawing board to determine why his brilliant idea did not work. Although this is interesting, it’s only theory.

On the other hand the ropes course deals with reality. Yes people perceive that they may fall and they could be right. On our team building ropes course, we see real reactions, real emotions and reality. This is one of the reasons why I say, “save your money and come to the ropes course.” You will experience people’s real character profile and then you can judge for yourselves which is better, analytical or reality.

1 comment:

  1. Great to read your blog!
    I often feel the same dichotomy - and struggle with personality profiles and applicable understanding. I feel that experiential (whether high ropes,low ropes,props,no props, etc..) add to the understanding. WHat is gained with the experiential componant of a MBTI, DiSC, 360, NEO, Big 5 etc.. is the actual understanding of how others perceive your actions and your responses under stress. Many times I have seen and heard participants taking part in my workshop say, "in the conference room I did not understand the what this meant (MBTI, DiSC) now with the hands on practive I see it!."