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MBTI: Understanding Our Actions
Photo by Craig Faris
A few weeks ago, I presented a
workshop on character development using the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) as a
guideline. I've offered this workshop several times now and received positive
feedback from the participants.
CPP (the organization that develops the MBTI assessment and related materials) provides their certified instructors with great resources. One of these is called Type
Heads. Each of the sixteen types has words associated with behaviors of that type. This can be a valuable tool if you have some basic MBTI knowledge.
In my workshop, I explained to writers the importance of understanding how people behave normally, so readers will not toss your book due to inconsistency in a character's actions and behaviors (I have put books down for this very reason). Yes, a person can act out of their normal behavior, but there needs to be a very good reason for them to do so.
Below are the sixteen Type Heads:
Head images provided under a non-sublicensable license. All Print & Share Rights Reserved by
If you want access to a quick overview of the MBTI,
check out these earlier posts:
Interested in more
information? Your organization, writing group, or church
group will gain valuable benefits by taking the assessment and participating in a workshop. An understanding of the natural differences between people through an MBTI workshop can improve communications, teamwork, leadership, and many other interpersonal skills. For writers, it provides a blueprint for creatiing believable
characters. For church groups, the assessment can help you discover more about your spiritual gifts. Contact Barbara for
In my last post, Character Development: the Johari Window , I introduced the Johari Window as a tool for developing your characters. It's important that your character not know everything about their situation. These unknowns can lead to an intriguing story and create possibilities for conflict within the story. How do you use the Johari Window? In this post, I thought I'd provide a simple example of the Johari Window with a character most people know: Harry Potter. Below, I have filled out the Johari Window as it might appear within the first few pages of book 1, Harry Potter and The Sorceror's Stone . The Johari Window based on Harry Potter and The Sorceror's Stone Three of the quadrants in this window reveal what Harry doesn't know about who he truly is and what happened to his parents. I could add a lot to the quadrants representing what he doesn't know, but I hope this gives you an idea on how a Johari Window might be used. What do you d
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