Systems Thinking and Personality Types LO22518

Philip Pogson (
Tue, 31 Aug 1999 14:36:14 +1000

Replying to LO22512

Dear Liz,

I can understand your skepticism on personality-style tests which is
healthy, but openness to feedback is also a key ingredient for learning,
and one which I do not want to pass up on.

>Personally, I'm dubious about the use of personality typing in a work
>setting. I doubt the validity of the tests used to determine >personality
>types. These tests tend to be very vague and offer few >options for

I am not MBTI accredited, but I do use MBTI as part of a good number of my
interventions and the validity is very high across a range of factors, and
draws upon a huge database collected over 50 years. I also use DISC,
Situational Leadership, Centre for Creative Leadership and various other
instruments to the same ends: improving self-knowledge both for myself,
and for those I am working with.

Edwards Deming once said, "all models are wrong; some are useful." This
is a healthy attitude to take to all personality profiling/work preference
tools. Be careful sure, but even if the feedback is only 50% correct, why
pass up on that opportunity to learn?

Finally, Ed Schein's new book "The corporate culture survival guide" has
some interesting case studies of managers and management teams who applied
their own unconsciously held and unchallenged values/practices to mergers
and takeovers with disastrous results. Unexplored values/beliefs are
often the result of people not being prepared to understand their own
personalities, belief origins and take regard of other feedback: we just
assume the whole world is like us and can't see why others see things



Philip Pogson
Leadership Development Strategy Consultant
Staff Development Branch
University of Technology Sydney NSW 2007

ph: +61 2 9514 2934(w)
fax: +61 2 9514 2930(w)
ph/fax: +61 2 9809 5185 (h)
mobile: +61 0412 459156

"Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always
ineffectiveness...Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now."



Philip Pogson <ppogson@uts.EDU.AU>

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