Supervisory Leadership

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What do you think of personality styles instruments in supervisory training?

I've been doing supervisory leadership training for a couple of decades now. In that time I've used and experienced several of the "personality styles" instruments.

There are a variety of instruments with a variety of names and "hooks" but they're all based on Carl Jung's personality types. Probably the best marketed system is Carlson's DISC. The most comprehensive and documented is the Myers Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI).

All the systems use a limited number of dimensions (usually two or four) to develop a larger number of styles (4 or 16). Presuming that the underlying system is properly developed, a larger number of dimensions increases the diagnostic accuracy, but also increases the difficulty of use.

When I use such a system in supervisory leadership training, I want two outcomes. I want the people in the program to understand how their style affects communication and a common language for discussing it. And I want them to be able to tailor their supervisory communications so that they increase the odds of success.

For that reason, I prefer simpler systems like the one found in Tony Alessandra's Platinum Rule to more complex systems like Myers-Briggs and its variants.


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