Skeptics Corner

TypeCoach FAQ

TypeCoach for Skeptics

Rob Toomey, Co-Founder of TypeCoach, responds to some of the more common questions and concerns he hears from potential clients at the beginning of their partnership with TypeCoach. Have a concern not answered here? Email us at support@typecoach.com.

Here at TypeCoach, we are most commonly confused with the Myers Briggs Type Indicator® also known as the MBTI®. And, while it is true that we use some of the same terminology, there are a host of concerns our clients have with the MBTI® that simply do not apply to TypeCoach.
Two of the biggest differentiators are:
(1) We are not an assessment; TypeCoach is an interactive learning experience designed to be used prior to a coaching or group training session.
(2) Temperament is a key part of what we do, which is based on the work of Kiersey and builds on the language developed by Carl Jung.
TypeCoach tools are not designed for or permitted to be used in the context of pre-hire screening. We are purely for existing teams to use in order to improve interpersonal communication. Graduates report a greater appreciation for and tolerance of the different personalities in their professional and personal lives.
There is a lot of deserved criticism in the market for the MBTI® itself having to do with:
    1. Years of mis-use which unfortunately has led to a widespread dismissal among certain communities as to the utility of the methodology.
    2. The emphasis on validity, reliability and other psychometric elements that the MBTI® has not done a great job defending. 
    3. The permitted use of the instrument in pre-hire screening (despite corporate claims to the contrary).
Some people are quick to throw the baby out with the bathwater and view the underlying framework Jung articulated as problematic due to the failings inherent in the MBTI®. We have found the model to be an excellent articulation of what we see in human behavior globally. It is not the only framework we use in our approach – we also incorporate Dr. David Kiersey’s work involving the 4 Temperaments which correlate and connect with the Jung/Myers model and act as a central element in our training and online tools. There is some early evidence of biological wiring differences in this model, with brain scans showing neurochemical differences in the brain between Introverts and Extraverts as one example. This is an emerging space and we hope to see further evidence in the future. A leader in this space is Dr. Dario Nardi with UCLA who has correlated brain activity research with the Jungian model.
However, there are three things to clarify:
  1. At this point, neuroimaging technology is not quite there for us to lay claim to biological basis for all aspects of personality in the Jung/Myers/Kiersey model.
  2. We at TypeCoach do not make such claims and, as described further below, our programs are not psychometric in nature and are not trying to do the same things as traditional assessment programs.
  3. Our online tools and training describe very basic differences in people that are observable and actionable. Our clients do not object to the content we introduce because it is consistent with their own experiences and explains at a very simple level the common communication challenges they face while giving practical advice that produces real results.
When introduced properly, participants in our programs appreciate that we are only describing certain aspects of their personality, particularly those that relate to communication styles. Specifically, “type” does not describe the limitation of one’s ability to use a non-preferred function, only that the activity using a non-preferred function is less energizing and natural than the preferred function. There is no limit on someone’s capability based on an understanding of their preferences. This is a key theme woven throughout our programs and is consistent in our own data which shows a high diversity of personality across leadership within our client organizations.
For these reasons, we do not permit our tools to be used as a screening approach for hiring or selection as it is not an appropriate use of this framework. As we drum into the ears of our workshop participants, these elements of personality do not determine performance or the capacity to do any job or activity well or poorly. For us, the utility of the Jung/Myers/Kiersey framework has to do with how we communicate effectively with others. 
It is worth noting that our most active client (a Fortune 50 global consumer goods company) uses TypeCoach under the Diversity Equity and Inclusion banner, viewing “cognitive diversity”  as a foundational element in their broader diversity and inclusion efforts. More than 20,000 people from their organization have been through our tools and training.
Ninety percent (90%) of individuals who complete the TypeCoach Verifier do not change their best fit type after they attend a training on this model of type and have a 1:1 conversation with a certified practitioner. This statistic is based on 2,500 individuals from a wide range of organizations, genders, ages, and ethnicities who completed the Verifier, and then experienced a 5-hour training session as well as a conversation with a certified practitioner to verify their best fit type. They were given encouraged to read the second most likely type description at a minimum.
When people are under extreme stress, they frequently don’t feel or act like themselves. That is because they often revert to using parts of their Personality Type that don’t call on their natural strengths. For example, a Sensor who is normally quite realistic might revert to their less developed Intuitive side and can only see negative possibilities. Or a Thinker, who is usually in control of the logic, gets highly emotional because they are using their undeveloped Feeling side.
While people change a great deal during their lifetimes, we believe that their personality types do not change. Rather, as we age we begin to “embrace” our non preferences, thereby developing better balance. To say it another way, behaviors change as people mature, but the underlying preferences do not.
TypeCoach is an adaptive communication system that helps you make small adjustments to more effectively get your message across to different types of people. TypeCoach improves:
Sales • Communication • Influence •
Leadership Development • Trust •
Team Effectiveness • Collaboration •
Change Management • Motivation •
Engagement • Cognitive Diversity • Etc.
Comparison Docs
TypeCoach is an adapative communication tool...
… and this sets us apart from personality type assessments on the market. Want to know more? Click on one of the comparison doc links.
A personality assessment versus an adaptive communication tool? TypeCoach and the MBTI® Type Indicator are very different, but we are built on the same Jungian framework. Learn more here.
Like the MBTI®, Insights® Discovery
helps individuals learn about their innate preferences. TypeCoach relies on the same Jung/Myers model of personality type. As a result, participants who have previously experienced the Insights® Discovery program generally have an easy time connecting the two models and using our tools. Learn more here.

Both models are well-researched and widely-used among large organizations. The main distinction is the focus. The DiSC® model emphasizes an awareness of our outward work behavior, which may or may not line up with our underlying natural personality type. By contrast, the model of personality type used in the TypeCoach programs focuses on the four aspects of our personality type that are in-born. Learn more here.

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