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Written by: Donna Dunning

Practitioners new to the MBTI® assessment, and even seasoned experts, are looking for innovative and practical ways to apply the MBTI Step II™ instrument with clients. The MBTI Step II Interpretive Report is complex and, unfortunately, without proper interpretation, many clients may skim through it and not benefit as much as they could from the valuable information.

Our role as practitioners is to facilitate a rich understanding and application of the information offered. We need to present the MBTI Step II model accurately and then encourage our clients to reflect, analyze, integrate, and apply the data presented to them.

Facilitating Reflection and Analysis

Our society often encourages us to take things at face value, especially when information is presented as a computer report. However, as practitioners, we understand that self-report, for many reasons, may not always be accurate and that people are constantly adapting and developing. We also know information is most useful when thoughtfully analyzed and then applied.

The Step II provides an excellent starting point for clients to step back and make an in-depth analysis of how they present themselves when communicating, taking in information, making decisions, and carrying out tasks.

But how do we encourage our clients to reflect deeply and to question what they are reading? Whatever process you use, the key is having clients analyze the relevance and importance of the data.

Areas to explore include:

  • Are all aspects of the report true for me?
  • What doesn’t fit?
  • What do the facet results look like in my daily life?
  • Do I see strengths I want to nurture?
  • In what situations might I want to express myself in different ways?
  • How might I develop and grow?

Of course, asking all of these questions about every facet and aspect of a client’s report would be tedious. What we need to figure out is what key aspects of the report to highlight and explore.

Some strategies for exploration include focusing on out-of-preference and mid-zone preferences, walking an individual through a process such as problem solving or decision-making, or having a discussion with others who have a different approach. Whatever strategy you use, provide an opportunity for your clients to think through or share how they typically approach situations.

Facilitating Integration and Application

Too often people are given a wealth of information with little time or few activities to help them link the information together or apply the concepts to real-life situations.

There are several helpful ways to facilitate integration of Step II report information. Some areas to explore may include having your clients:

  • Summarize their results
  • Find themes or patterns in their results
  • Determine what stands out as a highlight for them
  • Assess what they have learned from processing the report

Moving into the application phase, we can help clients to use and apply the Step II information in their day-to-day life. This might look like defining an area to improve, determining a specific action to take, and making and following a learning/development plan. Fortunately, the Step II interpretative report has a multitude of ideas and tips for applying the learning. However, without a concrete plan, the information may simply end up in a desk drawer or filing cabinet, unused.

Donna Dunning PhD is an author, consultant, and trainer specializing in the areas of personality type, career and personal development, learning, and work performance.