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    Feb 19, 2016    |   Aidan Millar

Interview with a Type Guru – Dr. Jean Kummerow

Jean Kummerow It’s time again for another edition of Interview with a Guru – where we get a chance to share some tips and tricks, according to MBTI® experts and long-time type practitioners. We had a chance to ask business owner, MBTI Master Practitioner and author of several Step II resources, Jean Kummerow to answer some of our questions regarding the Step II tool and keeping type relevant in her practice.

In your opinion, why is Step II such a valuable add-on for practitioners to use? What does it provide over and above Step I in terms of development for teams, leaders, individuals?

The purpose of the Step II assessment is to identify and describe a person’s individuality within his/her type. It does so in several ways. First it provides 20 ways or facets in which the preferences are expressed, five per preference-pair. On those facets, one can score in-preference, that is with a facet result that one would expect for that preference, such as an Extravert scoring at the Expressive pole and an Introvert scoring at the Contained pole. That would be similar to what we would expect on E-I on Step I. But two more possibilities are available on Step II. One could score out-of-preference. An Introvert could score Expressive and an Extravert could score Contained. The latter is my pattern. I rarely share my innermost feelings and thoughts with others, preferring to keep my reactions to my self. And one could score in the midzone on the facets that is a situational use of either pole depending on the circumstances. In our example, these are sometimes people who are talkative using their Expressive and sometimes work things out inside themselves using their Contained.

Furthermore there are additional decision-making patterns that come out of the Step II. On Step I, one makes decision using either their Thinking or Feeling process. On Step II, there are six different combinations that take into account different ways people may access their T-F facets. For example, I often have clients who are Feeling types working in organizational settings they describe as Thinking oriented. They often feel tension in their decision-making when their initial Feeling judgment intersects with the Thinking logic of the organization. They score on the Step II in a pattern called Empathetic-Reasonable in which they use both Feeling and Thinking. Sometimes just understanding their unique pattern can be helpful.

People of the same type may look at one another in a team setting and think they couldn’t possibly be the same and thus believe the Step I is invalid. But they will see real differences in their Step II results and then understand those differences.

With individuals, sometimes it seems daunting to think about developing one’s opposite. But with the facets, it becomes easier to think about developing one facet of that preference as needed. An Introvert may need to develop skills in Initiating or connecting people to one another. The skills associated with that facet are much easier to develop than trying to develop one’s entire Extraverted side!

Finally, when using Step II, I get so much less pushback with the off heard, “But I use both!” — the implication being that something is wrong with the instrument. Step II shows ways in which both sides are used and that argument is no longer valid.

Because I’ve found that Step II is so much more helpful than Step I, I now exclusively use it in my work with type. I don’t even think of it as an add-on, but as essential.

What is the most important thing you have learned in your time as a type practitioner?

That different perspectives really are helpful!

Yes, as an ESTJ I like to get to the point, and that’s the point!

How would you recommend practitioners help keep themselves relevant and in-demand with a tool that – despite its popularity – is facing age and a competitive market nowadays?

Make type relevant! Use it to help people leverage their strengths. Keep using type in all aspects of your life so that you understand its power and its limitations. And continue to avoid the knock-offs on line and the type products that are MBTI assessment look-alikes but don’t have the extensive research behind them.


About the Guru:
Jean Kummerow, Ph.D is a psychologist/consultant/author/trainer with her own business in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. She has a particular expertise in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® instrument (both Step I™ and Step II™ versions), training professionals internationally in its use, and writing extensively on its applications. She is co-author of the recently “refreshed” Step II Interpretive Report, Understanding your MBTI Step II Results, User’s Guide to the MBTI Step II, and Working with MBTI Step II Results.  She uses type in leadership/management development and coaching, team building, and career counseling. She can be reached at

Are you currently using – or ready to use – Step II in your MBTI practice? For more information, please visit our website.