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    Oct 02, 2015    |   Aidan Millar

Interview with a Type Guru v 3.0

DanRobinsonIt’s time again for another edition of “Interview with a Type Guru”! This week, we sat down with Dan Robinson, a certified MBTI practitioner who has not only contributed to the developiment of the current Form M assessment, but has served as president for the Association for Psychological Type International and has served on the Advisory Board for CPP, the American publisher of the MBTI instrument. Besides his MBTI-related accolades, Dan has served as a faculty member and administrator at Iowa State University for 42 years, while remaining an Emeritus University Professor/ Professor of Higher Education Administration in the School of Education in the College of Human Sciences. Needless to say, we were thrilled to pick his brain about using the MBTI tool, specifically in the context of culturally diverse groups and settings.


1.Can you tell us a little bit about how you use the MBTI® assessment in conjunction with cultural considerations and diversity?

I have used the instrument in a variety of ways; for example, in the areas of teaching and learning styles in educational settings with its changing student demographics. In these settings I often use as a foundation one of the first books on TYPE: “People Types and Tiger Stripes”, written by one of my mentors – Gordon Lawrence.

I have also used the instrument in Veterinary Medical Education in schools across the country. That profession has moved from being male-dominated to female-dominated which has raised some complex issues in the classroom with teaching and learning styles. The MBTI tool has also been useful in teaching communication skills, team building and leadership skills specific to women. As well, I have conducted a number of Leadership Development sessions in the community with African Americans and other diverse groups.


2. Why does the MBTI assessment work so well with this field and context?

The instrument is universal; it celebrates and appreciates individual differences when used correctly. The MBTI tool works well in a diverse range of applications, largely because it is a positive look at human behavior where all types are equally valuable. In addition it has applications in every aspect of the individual’s life.


3. What has been the most profound moment for you in your practice with the MBTI assessment? What has been the biggest challenge?

In my practice, the most profound moment with The MBTI assessment was at the East meets West Conference in Hawaii which attracted members of the TYPE community from all over the world. Another great experience was participating in an invitatioal session at the Korean Studies Institute, located on the campus of the University of Hawaii; we were reviewing all of the current translations, in addition to the standardized process of translation. We also discussed additional translations which are being worked on for future use. In addition, I was honoured to be selected by CPP Inc. to serve on the MBTI Advisory Board in the development of form M of the MBTI instrument along Allan Hammer, Peter and Katherine Myers, Dick Olsen, Roger Pearman and others.

My biggest challenge has been being an African American member of the TYPE community in the U.S. There are very few of us, which is surprising given the nature of the instrument which celebrates and appreciates individual differences.


4. Any advice for practitioners working in the multicultural/diversity setting?

Learn as much as you can about the culture and the people that you use the assessment with. It is extremely important to build trust and be sensitive to cultural differences. Assure your clients that personality type is universal and make them aware that the instrument has been translated into a number of languages with sensitivity to the culture in which it is to be used. Read the literature in the areas of cultural differences and personality type. Beyond the instrument your client’s interpretation in making meaning from the results is extremely important. Make a point of learning from the international TYPE community.