Appreciating Differences - Jack Falt - Ottawa area, Ontario, Canada

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Book Review by Jack Falt

Fields, Margaret U., & Reid, Jean B., Shaping Up Your Program: Tips, Teasers & Thoughts for Type Trainers, CAPT, Gainesville, FL, ISBN 0-935652-50-7, 1999, 117 pp

This book is designed for trainers/facilitators of the MBTI® instrument who are looking for a specific exercise to demonstrate a type related concept. This is a collection of over 60 “experiences” (for those who are rather phobic about doing “exercises”). Some of them are ones you probably did in your basic qualifying program, while others are ones the authors have gleaned from various other authors, newsletters and other sources.

Each exercise is written in a standard format that identifies: purpose, time and format. What I found missing, that some other books of exercises have, is that no information about what numbers of participants might be needed to properly demonstrate the concept in question. In some training situations, leaders may have only a small number without sufficient diversity to be able to perform the exercise.

Some exercises are for teaching the concept rather than demonstrating the concept after it has been explained. One has participants describe a prepared collage. Then the group is divided according to individual descriptions (S - N). This might be a useful exercise to do before actually releasing the MBTI® instrument scores to the participants.

Some of the exercises have a few notes as to how the groups are likely to react. These notes are very helpful to the beginning facilitator. Unfortunately, only a few exercises have these notes. It would have been helpful to have included them for all the exercises.

Some of the exercises are hardly worth the name of exercise. In one, the group is divided into function pairs and then told to define the word “conflict.” That’s it. There are no notes to indicate possible responses.

There are a couple of “change your mind” exercises where the group is divided into Js and Ps. You give them a task and then half way through the time allotted, you change your mind and tell them to do something else. It is a good demonstration to show that Js do not take kindly to this capriciousness; Ps may thrive on it.

There are a few cartoons that you can copy from the book for your use, or you can go to and download them directly. The artist, Pat Marr, has placed them in the public domain and only asks for recognition. There are also a few aphorisms sprinkled throughout the book that you may want to share as well.

This is a book that anyone who does a lot of workshops with various Jung/Myers theory topics should have. Unfortunately, it is very expensive (close to $50 Cdn.) for the size of the book. It has some very good exercises and some that are rather mediocre. I know that there are many more good exercises out there, and for the price you have to pay for this book, they should have been included. I suppose the problem is copyright, etc. I guess you will have to keep collecting exercises from your other readings, and attending conferences and workshops lead by other facilitators. There is a resource section at the end of the book, but it only lists related psychological organizations. It did not list any other MBTI books that might have more exercises.

The book begins with tips on using exercises and also answers commonly asked questions about Jung/Myers theory. Most of this material is in other Jung/Myers theory books so it is not particularly new. I felt that it was mainly filler.

At the end of the book is a chart developed by Charles Martin of 1996 percentages for each type. Since the book was published this year (1999), why weren’t the new From M statistics used?

Overall, I would suggest that you add this book to your resource library, but be prepared for the “sticker shock” when you pick up this oversized “booklet.”

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