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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
For those of you looking for my post on National Buy A Book Day, scroll down below this post (after you read it). In this post, I'm responding to the first challenge in the Platform Building Campaign. Here are the guidelines followed by my story: Write a short story/ flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “The door swung open” These four words will be included in the word count. If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), use the same beginning words and end with the words: "the door swung shut." (also included in the word count) Absence The door swung open, creaking on unused hinges. Rachel leaned forward and studied the man slumped in the chair across the room. “Sam?” Her voice croaked. She swallowed and tried again, a little louder. “Sam?” The balding, elderly man jerked awake, snorting. She giggled at the memory of the sound. H
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
Last week’s post celebrated several conflicting interpretations of a flash fiction piece I wrote. Unfortunately, we rarely experience miscommunication issues with joy. When I speak, I want synchronicity of understanding with my audience. Is that hard to achieve? Yep! An incorrect interpretation creates a miasma that fills in the lacuna in our words. Did you understand that sentence? You might try to interpret what I meant through context, or maybe your mouth oscitated in shock, while you thought, “Barbara's talking about communication issues, and she tosses difficult words in the mix?” A simpler version of my sentence above might be: An incorrect interpretation creates a stinky mess that fills in the gaps in our words. (FYI, oscitated means gaped .) Simpler words increase the chance you’ll mirror my meaning, but they don’t guarantee it. We bring our own experiences to the conversation, throwing everything off because the significance of a word for me is different