What do you get when you fill a room with MBTI enthusiasts?

Posted 07 July 2016 by
Penny Moyle, CEO at OPP

Following on from our recent MBTI user conference, we want to celebrate the magic that happens when MBTI practitioners get together. 

As an MBTI practitioner myself, I always find that attending these events reinvigorates and enthuses me. More importantly, these events are an opportunity for me to reconnect with some of my favourite MBTI experts and OPP customers, to learn from colleagues, and to meet new people who share my passion for people development. The enthusiasm is infectious! 

MBTI user events are an opportunity for us at OPP to share new research, new exercises, information and ideas, as well as hear from our MBTI practitioners about what’s going on in their worlds. For me, a highlight is always the opportunity to engage in ‘Type Alike’ exercises where we can revel and relax in the gifts, and the sometimes embarrassing blind spots, of our own Type. I particularly enjoyed John Hackston’s session which shared new research about Type and our approach to emails. I loved the table discussion with other 'Director' Core Characters (E_TJs), where we could speak frankly (some would say bluntly) about what we do and don’t like about emails – and then to hear from other Types about their perspectives. It is an indulgence, but a really powerful way of learning in a safe and supportive environment – and something we only get the opportunity to do when larger groups of MBTI Type practitioners gather together. 

You can start to get an idea about how other enthusiasts felt about the event from the word cloud we created using the feedback forms.

2016 MBTI user conference summary

A theme that ran through many of our presentations this year was how to integrate the Core Characters into our MBTI work. As you can see from our recent blog posts, the Core Characters have been designed to demystify Type dynamics by cutting straight to insight and application, and bypassing the mechanics and theory. In the conference setting, we were able to talk about how these can be used in all kinds of applications – both with individuals and with teams, including demonstrating and sharing ideas about how to use the various new free MBTI practitioner resources. There were also several particularly well-received sessions relating to coaching, including coaching with MBTI Step II (by Gil Parsons) and a deeply insightful session on midlife (by Betsy Kendall).

MBTI users conference 2016 Maclean quote

One of the sessions this year gave MBTI practitioners the opportunity to receive feedback on their FIRO profile. What we hadn’t anticipated was the extent to which the result of the Brexit referendum was going to impact on the content of the group discussions about Inclusion, Control and Affection. With many emotions running high, Alice King’s facilitation using the FIRO framework provided some alternative perspectives and fascinating insights to help us make sense of our own reactions. And of course, this session also showcased how the FIRO tool can be applied in groups, teams and organisations via some fun and high impact exercises.

In the coming weeks we’ll be sharing some short videos filmed at the event to bring you more of a flavour of the day. The videos touch on sessions including influencing, managing everyday stress, responding to critics of the MBTI framework and exploring some of our recent case studies. 

MBTI users conference 2016 Bradley quote

So after a couple of decades working with the MBTI framework, do I still get value from the MBTI user events? 

Yes. Absolutely. 

I mentioned earlier in this post that these events reinvigorate me, but they are also the source of inspiration. The MBTI framework continues to have many and varied applications and when practitioners get together there is almost always a kind of magic where together we uncover new applications, and better ways to convey MBTI insights. I never fail to be blown away by the creativity and generosity of our community.  We ran a similar event in Amsterdam earlier in the month, with another planned for Paris in September. We’re also considering taking some elements of the event on the road in the UK.

If you missed the event, have an idea for future content or you’d like to help us host something nearer to you, do get in touch. We’d love to see you! 


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