Type Tips: Coaching and Development Coaching often focuses on helping people recognize the contributions of their natural preferences while also learning to operate outside them when necessary. This allows individuals to be behaviourally agile, equipped to cater appropriately to a variety of people and situations. However, coaches and consultants alike often have difficulty helping their clients pinpoint ways to flex. In many ways, it can be hard enough for individuals to conceptualize a non-preference – let alone come up with practical action plans around these (potentially) foreign behaviours. Therefore, if you are using the MBTI instrument with a client to explore some development opportunities, it helps to remember the following in case your client asks for some suggestions for targeted development: People with a preference for Extraversion can practice Introversion by: Letting other people speak first. Counting to 10 when feeling driven, and reflecting before acting. Before starting tasks ask “Have I given enough thought to this?” People with a preference for Introversion can practice Extraversion by: Soliciting input from other people, and sharing what you think. Making a practice of getting out and about at work. Asking others for assistance, even if you prefer doing it alone. People with a preference for Sensing can practice Intuition by: Practicing creative thinking techniques such as brainstorming. Making an executive summary describing the trends your data suggests. Considering where you want to be in five years and how you will get there. People with a preference for Intuition can practice Sensing by: Staying in the present – what is happening now? Practice relaying direct, specific facts. Focusing on reality in its most concrete form. People with a preference for Thinking can practice Feeling by: Keeping track of your ratio of compliments to criticism. Try to maintain an appropriate balance. Finding ways to be more appreciative. Telling people what you value about them without discussing their accomplishments. People with a preference for Feeling can practice Thinking by: Practice giving simple, direct feedback to others. Remembering that to some people, business means business, and they would rather not establish friendships. Asking yourself if-then and cause-effect questions. People with a preference for Judging can practice Perceiving by: Adding some contingencies to your planned processes. Giving yourself some extra time to gather information. When solving problems, think of several options beside the one you think is correct. People with a preference for Perceiving can practice Judging by: Placing limits on yourself by setting a deadline for generating ideas and gathering information. With less-important tasks, practice completing them a day or two before the deadline. Resisting the temptation to attend to “just one more thing.” If you would like to learn more about how personality type can be used in coaching, read “Introduction to Type and Coaching,” by Sandra Krebs Hirsch and Jane A. G. Kise.