Monthly Archives: September 2013

Using the MBTI to Make Life Easier

There are at least a hundred personality assessments on the market today – all with the promise that if we know ourselves better we will be happier and more successful in both our personal and professional lives.  We can take Emergenetics; the DiSC; the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI); Skill Scan; StrengthsFinder 2.0; Career Liftoff; Knowdell’s Motivated Skill Sort; the traditional 360° Assessment; Personal Branding surveys; Emotional Intelligence self-assessments and the list goes on and on.

But are they worth it?  Can they help us learn something about ourselves that we didn’t already know?  And how can we use the information to make our life a bit easier each and every day?

My answer is yes!  A bit of self-knowledge wisely applied can go a long way.  But first make sure to ask and answer these two questions for yourself ahead of time:

  1. What do I want to learn about myself?
  2. How will I apply that learning to my life today?

The answers to these two questions may be more difficult than you think.  That is why it is important to take the assessments under the guidance of a certified administrator that can clearly delineate the differences in the assessments, what you can expect to gain and then help you clarify how the resulting knowledge can benefit your goals at this time in your life.

But what about all the on-line assessments?  Yes, they have certainly gotten better in the last few years with many providing you with a robust report with more detail than maybe you even wanted.  A word of caution – be careful of the freebies.  You may be left with more questions, be more confused and more vulnerable for them to sell you a bigger package.  Look before you leap!

I am biased though and believe that nothing takes the place of talking with a real live professional that knows and cares about your own goals.  I want to know that they really know what they are talking about.  Over the years I’ve obtained certification in several of the well-known assessments.  I weave them into the beginning of the leadership or career transition coaching that I’m doing and people love them.  Maybe it’s the mystery of figuring out “Who am I really?’ or maybe it’s just trying to figure out what makes their husbands tick?

My favorite is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).  It’s the best-of-the-best because once we know and really understand our own innate “preferences” life really does become much easier.  And the icing on the cake, is now we know what motivates and energizes other people both in our families and in our work settings.  We also become a little less critical and a lot more appreciative of the “gifts” we all bring to the table every day.

Posted in Career Tips & Strategies, Communication Tips, Emotional Intelligence, Inspirational Leadership, Navigating Change, Personal Development, Your Time & Energy | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Are You Really Saying?

The Power of Non-Verbal Communication

Wild HorseDid you ever wonder why you and your boss, colleagues or direct reports Horse seem to misunderstand each other so often? Everyone thinks they are being perfectly clear in their communication but still there are disconnects. We find ourselves saying “But I thought you meant . . .”

Often these disconnects arise from a misunderstanding between what we say verbally and what we are saying non-verbally. And research has always shown that our non-verbal body language is far more important to effective communication than our verbal words – about 93%!

Here’s where we can learn a lot from horses. Annette Miller helps us understand that horses are acutely aware of their surroundings because they are prey animals. Since humans are perceived as predators, horses react to our attitudes, behaviors and feelings immediately. By instinct they are very accurate in reading our body language and therefore able to give us immediate feedback to what we are actually communicating to one another.

Now most of us don’t have a horse easily available to us to practice on . . . so if you think that your non-verbal body language has gotten a bit sloppy over the years practice these three simple tried and true behaviors every day all day. They are magic!

  1. Maintain friendly eye contact – this connects you with the other person.
  2. Stop talking and really listen – this is the only way to really understand.
  3. Smile – it says more than any words.


Posted in Kit's Tips | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Horses Don’t Lie

Horses Don’t Lie: What Horses Teach Us About Our Natural Capacity for Awareness, Confidence, Courage and Trust, by Chris Irwin, Da Capo Press, Cambridge, MA, 2001.

This book is fascinating for its insights into what horses can teach us about the gaps in how we think we are communicating with our professional colleagues and how we actually are communicating. Irwin is one of the most successful horse whisperers in North America and his work with hundreds of horses is truly inspirational. As Irwin shares his own personal story you will be thinking about yourself and what you can do better to connect with others. It’s a great read!

Posted in Kit's Resources & Book Reviews | Tagged , | Leave a comment