Systems Thinking and Personality Types LO24607

From: Sandy Wells (
Date: 05/15/00

Replying to LO24580 --

Good evening,

Jeff, allow me to clarify something from your post. MBTI does not define
WHAT a personality is--it provides insights on preferences. The "Why" you
are looking for would be a complicated explanation: insights could be
determined through analysis of the person and use of other tools such as
the CPI (California Psychological Inventory). Psychologists learn of and
become versed in these tools as part of their practice in helping their
clients understand "why."

One clue as to the depth of the tools used in analysis--check the kind of
certification is required to purchase the instruments. DISC and MBTI are
not intended to be used for deep personality analysis and thus, can be
purchased with some minimal levels of training.

Some leadership/executive programs advocate use of several different tools
to facilitate client introspection and self-awareness. . . we use FIRO-B
(from Schutz), MBTI, Kirton Adaptability Index, Hidden Figures, and
occasionally, CPI. Each of them used alone would provide an incomplete
personality profile; together they present more useful information for
client understanding, to include an awareness of how one may/may not
interface with others and their world.

I do believe that some individuals may have greater ease in embracing
Systems and Big Picture perspectives: for example it is characeristic of
those who hold Intuitive and Perceptive preferences to be more at comfort
with patterns, alternatives, and large relational approaches.

Best to all,
Sandy Wells

> I have used the MBTI as well as DISC in my practice and have found them to
> be of value. The main drawback I have with both of these tools is they
> define the WHAT of a personality ie.. Extrovert vs. Introvert but not the
> why. For that reason I feel combining tools like these is redundant.
> If however you combine a personality profile like MBTI with something that
> goes behind the curtain of personality and reveals the motivation behind
> the personality there is a greater potential for understanding.
> Jeff Selzer
> E-mail:


"Sandy Wells" <>

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <>

"Learning-org" and the format of our message identifiers (LO1234, etc.) are trademarks of Richard Karash.