Open with a brief, personal story that relates to participants' needs and reveals the way type helped meet your similar need. Hone your story to 3 minutes, long enough for participants to know who you are, why you are here, and the benefits you are offering. If the presentation is formal or longer than an hour, give the agenda or objectives in a few sentences.
For example, a 2-day workshop can cover the following objectives, which are described in this article:
- Learn what energizes and drains you.
- Identify strengths of self and others as well as predictable pitfalls.
- Make constructive use of differences.
- Gain greater flexibility and perspective.
A shorter workshop cannot cover all the material in this article. When a type instrument is used, it is necessary to give a brief background of the instrument and to point out that unlike many psychological instruments, a type instrument assumes that the person taking it is the expert. Emphasize privacy rights and the complexity of determining type; it is okay not to decide upon a type during the workshop but still participate in the group activities. Participating in these groups helps identify type preference and sort the diverse ways people give meaning to their experience.
Determining type is a four-step process:
- Experience type differences
- Self-select preferences
- Correlate self-select preferences with instrument results
- Verify accuracy of type description.
As participants move through these steps, they will also be accomplishing the workshop objectives.
Step 1: Experience type differences
After explaining the I-E dichotomy, point out typical misunderstandings between introverts and extraverts. I use a handout of communication tips, such as Talking in Type (Kummerow, 1985). Participants pair up to discuss which tip they'd most like others to use with them. In report-outs, many are surprised that introverting can be a source of energy and gain new respect for what had been regarded as a lack of social skills.
After similar discussion of the S-N dichotomy, participants again pair up to discuss which tip is most helpful and which may be hardest for them to use with others. Usually they see that those who prefer sensing try to clarify meaning by first giving many specifics whereas those who prefer intuition focus on the context first. (When explaining the functions, it's important to use descriptors that apply to both introverted and extraverted orientations.) I rely on Lenore Thomson's definitions of the functions as cognitive orientations to life:
--With Sensation, we process information consciously, recognizing manifest opportunity and the means to make use of it.
When we do this in an Extraverted way (Se), we're guided by conscious perceptual experience, and our focus is on exploiting a situation's immediate creative potential. Se asks: What can I do with this?
When we do this in an Introverted way (Si), we're guided by conscious perceptual impressions, and our focus is on the realistic relationship of new perceptual events to existing bodies of meaningful information. Si asks: Where does this belong?
--With Intuition, we process information unconsciously, recognizing contextual meaning and inferred potential.
When we do this in an Extraverted way (Ne), we're guided by unconscious perceptual experience, and our focus is on the contextual pattern that relates otherwise disparate facts to each other, increasing possibilities for change. Ne asks: What does this mean?
When we do this in an Introverted way (Ni), we're guided by unconscious perceptual impressions, and our focus is on alternative interpretations of existing perceptual meaning. Ni asks: What's been left out?
--With Thinking, we analyze information impersonally, determining cause and effect.
When we do this in an Extraverted way (Te), we're guided by goal-oriented logic, and our focus is on the efficient cause, the principle or agent that will move a chain of events from a past outward condition to a specified result. Te asks: How does this work?
When we do this in an Introverted way (Ti), we're guided by a sense of intrinsic logic, and our focus is on the formal cause, the inherent structural principles that underlie a process. Ti asks: What is essential (the a priori cause)?
--With Feeling, we relate to information personally, accepting some things and rejecting others.
When we do this in an Extraverted way (Fe), we're guided by relational values, and our focus is on bringing people together in common cause and fostering responsibility to shared ideals. Fe asks: How do I relate to this?
When we do this in an Introverted way (Fi), we're guided by a sense of intrinsic value, and our focus is on responsibility to fundamental human values by way of affective and experiential identification with others. Fi asks: What if that were me?
- Lenore Thomson, 2008 personal interview