Type Talk: The 16 Personality Types That Determine How We Live, Love, and Work

Type Talk: The 16 Personality Types That Determine How We Live, Love, and Work

by Otto Kroeger, Janet M. Thuesen

Paperback(10th Anniversary Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780440507048
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/28/1989
Edition description: 10th Anniversary Edition
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 176,005
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Otto Kroeger, ENFJ, is the founder of Otto Kroeger Associates, a consulting firm based in Fairfax, Virginia, working exclusively with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. A former Lutheran clergyman, he has been working in organizational development and the behavioral sciences for more than two decades. He has lectured on Typewatching extensively throughout the United States, and in Europe and Asia, and has worked with hundreds of corporations, including AT&T, Xerox, IBM, Marine Midland Bank, Ford, Exxon, and the World Bank. He has worked extensively with the Defense Department, presenting Typewatching for all four major branches of the military; his seminars are now required course work at many military schools and training facilities.

Janet M. Thuesen, INFP, president of Otto Kroeger Associates, has had an extensive career in education, business, and counseling. She has taught at grade levels from preschool through college and has worked with emotionally disturbed adolescents and chemically dependent women. She also served as assistant director of Organizational Development at the White House and at the Department of Education in executive and management development. She has trained hundreds of professionals in administering and interpreting typewatching skills and has spoken extensively on the subject.

Read an Excerpt

“There are three fingers pointing back at you.”
This is a book about name-calling. In one way or another we do it all the time. You know the lines: “He’s such a space cadet.” Hey, smarty pants, what’s the answer?” “She’s such a brain!” “My boss is so uptight.” “She’s such a big mouth.” “He’s a real mover and shaker!” That’s just for starters.
The point is, it’s almost second nature for us to pigeonhole and catalog people around us, though not always accurately or positively. But name-calling isn’t necessarily bad. Without labels and pigeonholes, a lot less communication would likely take place. Name-calling creates communication shortcuts that often facilitate our dealings with one another at work and at home, with friends, relatives, and veritable strangers. If someone tells you about a friend who is a “bundle of energy” or who is “happy-go-lucky,” you know pretty much what that means. Unfortunately, such labels can also lead to negative stereotypes and misunderstandings, sometimes hindering communications and creating self-fulfilling prophesies.
Why do we name-call? It starts when we become aware that someone displays a distinctive, identifying characteristic, whether it’s something we like or dislike. Name-calling is a method of cataloging people—much as we catalog animals, buildings, and types of art—a handy device to help us remember those identifying characteristics and store that information for future reference. You know that co-worker who likes things explained thoroughly and in detail before she can try something new? You’ve likely dubbed her a “slow learner” and made a mental note to take five minutes to explain to her something you could grasp in three. That friend who insists on reading every sign out loud during a car trip is the “chatterbox.” You learn to think twice before asking him to take a lazy Sunday drive to the mountains. And then there’s the “administrator,” the friend who can walk into a room and organize something—the furniture, a business, an event—in a matter of minutes. That’s someone you like to have around when chaos abounds, but not necessarily when you want to have a lazy day.
Convenient and natural as this business of name-calling is, we tend to have mixed feelings about it, especially when it is done in the name of science. When a psychologist or other behavioral scientist creates a personality “coding” scheme—even one based on sound research and psychological theory—many of us become resistant and negative to the idea of typing while continuing our own personal classifying and name-calling. The response itself often involves name-calling: “Those shrinks—what do they know with their touchy-feely stuff?” In one sentence, someone resistant to being categorized unfairly categorizes an entire profession and belittles the good work many in that profession do.
The Scientific Approach
Typewatching is a constructive response to the inevitability of name-calling. It is based on the notion that as long as we’re going to do it, we might as well do it as skillfully, objectively, and constructively as possible. That’s what Type Talk is all about.
Type Talk is about Typewatching, an organized, scientifically validated approach to name-calling that has been used for more than forty years by individuals, families, corporations, and governments who want to communicate better. Typewatching is easy to learn and natural to use. With even moderate practice, it can help teachers teach and students learn, workers work and bosses boss. It can help lovers love, parents parent, and everyone to accept themselves and others more easily. Best of all, Typewatching can be fun.
One curiosity about name-calling is that it often says as much about the caller as the callee. It’s like that old adage: When you point a finger at someone there are three fingers pointing back at you. Try it. And so it is with name-calling. Often, when you put another person in a box or use a label, especially a negative one, it reflects as much on you as on the one you’re describing. Typewatching, then, is also about self-awareness.
Who We Are
The ideas in Type Talk stem from the work of a small cast of characters—more about them in a moment—but they also come from a cumulative total of fifteen years of personal and professional Typewatching on the part of your authors—not to mention many more years of people-watching. Otto came into Typewatching by a rather circuitous path. He was a clergyman in the late 1950s and a psychologist and behavioral scientist in the 1960s. The 1970s were spent as a consultant in “organizational development,” a discipline that assesses the impact of human behavior on productivity in the workplace, during which time he was introduced to the psychological instruments on which Type watching is based. In the late seventies, as an organizational development consultant, he helped to establish the Center for the Application of Psychological Type (CAPT), which is now the largest research center on psychological type in the world. In 1978, he focused his business entirely on Typewatching.
Janet, too, has a varied background, which includes teaching—everything from preschool to elementary school to high school, and everyone from emotionally disturbed adolescents to chemically dependent inner-city women. In the late 1970s, she received a degree in counseling and organizational development, which she then put to use while working at The White House as assistant director of organizational development—the first time “OD” was formally used at that level of government. She spent a year at the Department of Education before becoming associated with Otto in 1981.
That association became more complete in 1985 when we were married. Together, through our seminars, lectures, and individual counseling, the two of us have introduced more than ten thousand people to Typewatching, from Pentagon generals to parents and their teenage children. We apply Typewatching to everything, including friends, associates, children, pets, and the plans for our own wedding.
One of the great advantages of Typewatching, as we’ve learned over the years, is that it is a judgment-free psychological system, a way of explaining “normal” rather than abnormal psychology. There are no good or bad “types” in Typewatching, there are only differences. Typewatching celebrates those differences, using them creatively and constructively rather than to create strife. Typewatching removes negative attitudes, highlights obvious differences, and fosters inter- and intrapersonal growth. It enables us to view objectively actions that we might otherwise take personally. With Typewatching, the tendency for a friend to be frequently late, for example, might be viewed as a typological characteristic rather than a personal affront or a character defect, Typewatching elevates name-calling from a negative, “put-down” tactic that mainly produces distance and distrust between people to a positive, healthy exercise with the potential for producing, not just harmony, but synergy at home as well as in the workplace.
A Brief History
Typewatching’s roots date back more than sixty years, when the Swiss-born psychiatrist C. G. Jung suggested that human behavior was not random but was in fact predictable and, therefore, classifiable. At the start, Jung was out of step with many of his colleagues because he suggested that the categories he proposed, for which he coined some new words, were not based on psychological sicknesses, abnormalities, or disproportionate drives. Instead, Jung said, differences in behavior, which seem so obvious to the eye, are a result of preferences related to the basic functions our personalities perform throughout life. These preferences emerge early in life, forming the foundation of our personalities. Subsequent issues of life are translated through each of our basic personality preferences. Such preferences, said Jung, become the core of our attractions to and repulsions from people, tasks, and events all life long. (Jung’s 1923 work Psychological Types brilliantly outlines his classifications. However, unless you are either a very serious student of psychological typology or a masochist, the book is not likely to appeal to the lay reader.)
Fortunately for Jung’s work, two women, neither of whom were psychologists, became very interested in classifying people’s observable behavior. One of them, Katharine Briggs, independently of Jung had begun as early as the turn of the century to classify the people around her based on their differences in living styles. Simply put, she came to the conclusion that different people approach life differently. When Jung’s works appeared in English in 1923, Briggs set aside her own work and became an exhaustive student of Jung’s. With her exceptionally gifted daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers, she spent the 1930s observing and developing better ways to measure these differences. Spurred by the onslaught of World War II and the observation that many people in the war effort were working in tasks unsuited to their abilities, the two women set out to design a psychological instrument that would explain, in scientifically rigorous and reliable terms, differences according to Jung’s Theory of Personality Preferences. And so was born the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The idea behind the MBTI was that it could be used to establish individual preferences and then to promote a more constructive use of the differences between people. Jung’s theory has become increasingly popular in the 1980s, due largely to the landmark accomplishments of this mother-daughter team.
More about the origins of MBTI in Appendix One. For now, it is important only that you understand that much of your attraction toward specific people in your life is the result of your personality preferences. In this book we will attempt to identify and understand these preferences, then to show how such an understanding can make your life easier, happier, and more productive. After you are able to identify your preferences (and those of your friends, colleagues, and family), we will show you how to fit Typewatching into your work, home, school, play, or wherever.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1Name-calling: "There are three fingers pointing back at you."4
What Typewatching is
Who we are
A brief history
The birth of a type
Chapter 2What's Your Type?: "Is it three fifty-two, or a little before four?"13
A self-analysis
Chapter 3Celebrating Differences: The Eight Preferences: "I know the answer. Let me start talking until it becomes clear."
Sensors vs. iNtuitives
Thinkers vs. Feelers
Extraverts vs. Introverts
Judgers vs. Perceivers
Everything is relative
Too much of a good thing can lead to trouble
Chapter 4A Typewatching Shortout: The Four Temperaments: "Ready. Fire. Aim."49
Chapter 5The ABCs of Determining Someone's Type: "Whoa, this isn't the same person I've known in the office."62
Expressive Extraverts vs. Reserved Introverts
Rigid Judgers vs. Flexible Perceivers
Exact Sensors vs. Theoretical iNtuitives
Objective Thinkers vs. Subjective Feelers
Chapter 6Typewatching From 9 to 5: "Somehow I'd like a little more margin for error."75
How types set goals
Making goals work
Type and time management
How the types view "time"
Hiring: Who hires whom?
Avoiding organizational blind spots
Resolving conflicts with type
Typewatching and team building
Why Feelers are underpaid
Chapter 7Friends, Lovers, and Type: "At last, someone who will help me get my life in order."123
How types play the dating game
Do opposites attract?
What's a "small" wedding?
Gift giving
Fair fighting
Love, sex, and type
Chapter 8Parent-Child Typewatching: "Would you please look with your eyes instead of your mouth?"158
How Introverts and Extraverts invade space
Sensing-iNtuitive communication problems
Thinking and Feeling role models
Judgers shape kids up; Perceivers lack guidance
Some case histories
Chapter 9Typewatching Everywhere: "Have a cookie. You'll feel better."180
Type, teaching, and learning
Who does well on tests?
Career choices of the sixteen types
How types behave at parties
Money management: Who saves, who spends?
Weight: Who gains, who loses?
Humor: How types tell jokes
Sexual antics
Sports: winners and losers
Religion: the true believers
Politics: Who make the best leaders?
Chapter 10The Sixteen Profiles: "How could we lose when we were so sincere?"214
ISTJ: Doing What Should Be Done215
ISFJ: A High Sense of Duty218
INFJ: An Inspiration to Others222
INTJ: Everything Has Room for Improvement226
ISTP: Ready to Try Anything Once230
ISFP: Sees Much But Shares Little234
INFP: Performing Noble Service to Aid Society238
INTP: A Love of Problem-solving243
ESTP: The Ultimate Realist247
ESFP: You Only Go Around Once in Life251
ENFP: Giving Life an Extra Squeeze256
ENTP: One Exciting Challenge After Another261
ESTJ: Life's Administrators265
ESFJ: Hosts and Hostesses of the World269
ENFJ: Smooth-talking Persuader272
ENTJ: Life's Natural Leaders276
1A Brief History of Typewatching
2Dominant, Auxiliary, and the Complexity of the Introvert
About the Authors290
About Otto Kroeger Associates290
Suggested Readings291

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Type Talk: The 16 Personality Types That Determine How We Live, Love, and Work 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
younity521 More than 1 year ago
It's easy to go through life thinking we have all the answers, associating only with people who are just like us and not understanding why everyone else is so wacky. This book really helps you to look at things from the perspective of someone who sees the world a little differently from you, and how their strengths can offer you a new perspective.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is so boring and i hate it do much. I was FORCED to read this book, read one chapter and absolutly hate it. I do not reccomend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book to read. While it explains the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator in enough detail for anyone to understand the basics, it's breezy enough to be entertaining reading. I've purchased many copies over the years in order to always have one one hand to lend. If you're baffled by things people sometimes think or do, try reading this book!