Ygolo asked me the "orthodox" way to help someone find best-fit type and I thought I'd start a new thread. This applies to people who are using "official" Class B psychological instruments such as the MBTI, Golden, PTI, etc.
- A "client" should take the instrument before hearing about type theory. Obviously, a lot of people already have some knowledge of type. You ask them to take their "shoulds off" and answer the questions as they prefer to operate
- Before they see their results, provide a thorough explanation of type theory and let them self-select the four preferences that they believe best describe them. The explanation can be done in a group setting and may include exercises that illustrate type differences. They could also be provided with readings.
- Then, compare instrument and self-reported type. If they match, provide a full type description and have them decide for themselves if it seems to describe them. If they aren't sure, ask whether there are any preference pairs on which they feel less certain and read the alternative description. So if they're debating ENFJ/INFJ they'd read both...
- If they differ on letters, every trainer has their own bag of tricks for helping people figure out which type describes them best. Here are some of mine
- Read the first 3-4 paragraphs in the appropriate type chapters of LifeTypes (Hirsh/Kummerow) which describe childhoods of each type. There are stories written by adults looking back and a lot of people can see themselves.
- Ask about work style/home style/family of origin to help them think through the factors that influence the behaviors they've learned vs. their natural preferences.
- Ask them to think back to high school to consider how they acted then (especially effective past midlife...)
- Use dominant and auxiliary function characteristics to help them sort through their childhood and adolescent preferences. Since the type formulas are tied to the order in which preferences develop this can bring clarity.
- Go at it from the inferior function standpoint--what gets them in trouble the most
- Or, the dominant function. One way is...Which is most upsetting? S--when people doubt your command of facts? N--when people ignore your ideas? T--When people fault your logic or competence? F--When harmony is destroyed?
If people still aren't sure, I usually want to get them involved in experiences so they can see how their preferences play out. For example, I worked with one INxJ school leader. While I was pretty sure she was INTJ based on the issues at the school, ethically she needed to reach that decision herself. For a conflict exercise, I suggested she first join the TJ group and come on over to my group if it didn't seem a good fit. She stayed with the TJs and later, when another colleague asked her about it, she turned a bit red and said, "It was a blast working through the issue with them. No handholding, no nice guy nonsense...I'm INTJ..."