Many may be familiar with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Assessment that many coaches use to help individuals understand their problem solving and decision-making personality type. The opposing types are Extraversion/Introversion, Sensing/Intuition, Thinking/Feeling, and Judging/Perceiving (Furnham & Moutafi, 2012). E/I are used to determine where an individual receives their energy from, S/I are used to define an individual’s perception of the world, T/F is an individual’s decision-making strategy, and J/P is an individual’s lifestyle choice (Furnham & Moutafi, 2012).
Extraversion’s main concept is individuals who need to be exposed to many other individuals or high energy social settings in order to be energized themselves, versus Introversion where individuals derive their energy from inner thoughts or deeper intellectual processes (Furnham & Moutafi, 2012). Sensing is the foundation of the physical senses in which an individual draws their experiences from, whereas Intuition is where the individuals may experience things based off of an “inner” sense (Furnham & Moutafi, 2012). Thinking individuals make their decisions after an intensive debate of “logic and reason, truth and fairness” (p. 132), versus Feeling individuals who focus on the aspects of the effects on others and personal values (Furnham & Moutafi, 2012). Judging individuals like to be very quick with their decisions and maintain a very structured and ordered lifestyle, whereas Perceiving individuals are more of a “go with the flow” type of lifestyle depending more on their skills of adaptation (Furnham & Moutafi, 2012).
The assumption is that if a coach and a client were to have opposing personality viewpoints then they might not be able to understand or communicate with each other. While this theory is sound and true for the average population, I feel that a good coach would be able and willing to step outside of their personality, if only for a moment, to meet the other person in a “neutral” type zone so that they are able to look at all aspects of the situation and goals that are wanting to be achieved. Only then, can two individuals find answers to questions that have them reaching for more than where they are at the current moment.
Furnham, A., & Moutafi, J. (2012). Personality, age, and fluid intelligenceajpy_36 128..137. Australian Journal of Psychology, 64, 128-137. doi:10.1111/j.1742-9536.2011.00036.x