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

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Book Review by Jack Falt

Dunning, Donna, Introduction to Type® and Communication, Palo Alto, CA: CPP, Inc., 2003, ISBN - none, 34 pp.

This booklet is an excellent resource as a handout at a ‘communications at work’ training seminar. It is something that participants would take away and refer to later many times. The booklet is the latest in the Introduction to Type® series. These booklets provide a sound background for type and specific topics.

The booklet begins with an introduction to type. I have read so many basic type descriptions and it is interesting to see how each author can some up with yet another way to present the basic Jung/Myers concepts. Dunning looks at the four preference pairs in point form, giving a slogan for each of the eight preferences. She then discusses type dynamics and development, grouping the sixteen types into the eight dominant functions. For each of these pairs she has a cartoon character she had commissioned to be drawn for her.

Having covered the basics of type, the booklet moves on to how the theory applies to communication. There are two pages devoted to each of the preference pairs, giving specific examples of work environment communication problems relating to the preference. There are lists of point on the strengths of the preference, its communication approach, and tips on how to communicate with that preference.

Next the booklet discusses the types by dominant functions, giving examples of problems between the introverted version or the extraverted version of the function pairs, e.g. extraverted Sensing - Responders - (ESFP and ESTP) and extraverted Intuition  - Explorers - ENTP and ENFP. There are communication tips for each of these communication pairs.

The main portion of the booklet looks at communication styles of the sixteen types. There is a preamble on how communication relates to type, and how communication skills are essential in the workplace. It briefly looks at communicating as a leader, with teams, with the boss, and how communication relates to conflict.

Having grouped the sixteen types into eight categories based on the dominant function, now each is described by looking at the two variants of each pair. For the Sensing-Intuition dominant types, the auxiliary is identified as logical (Thinking) or compassionate (Feeling). For those Thinking-Feeling dominant types, the auxiliary is identified as practical (Sensing) or insightful (Intuition). Thus, for example, ESTP is identified as a Logical Responder.

Each of the sixteen types has two pages of point form information on the type, making them a quick reference to use when preparing to talk with a specific type. The type dynamics of the type is listed and the type table showing the relative position of the type is given. The first page lists communication highlights, how the type is at first glance, what the type wants to hear, how the type expresses its thoughts, how it likes to give and receive feedback, and its interpersonal focus as to how it views other people. The second page looks at dos and don’ts when communicating with this type. Finally, communication tips for this type are given.

This booklet covers the topic in a concise manner. The eight cartoons characters are playful and catch the spirit of each of the eight dominant functions. Even if you are not likely to facilitate a communication workshop, I would recommend this booklet for your own use. You might also give this to a client in a counselling situation where communication is an issue (which it usually is).

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