Last month I met with a Jungian analyst to talk about Myers Briggs Typology. The goal was to determine my personality type so that he could recommend an appropriate analyst for me to see. I've always wanted to give Jungian analysis a shot--and mid-life seems an appropriate time to embark on such a trip. I've known people who have gone through analysis and I think it sounds difficult, but rewarding and interesting.
That said, I've tried to get through various Jungian texts numerous times--and I never really succeed. I want to have read Jung more than I want to read him. Most of what I know about Jungian analysis and theory I have learned not by actually reading Jung's work--but by reading about him and his work. This makes me a bit of a Jungian poser, I'm afraid.
Soooo.....I haven't decided if I am going to pursue analysis. It's costly in terms of time and money--and I don't have a lot extra of either. And I really think I need to make it through at least one of his texts before I decide such an endeavor is a good choice for me, don't you?
Anyway. The meeting with said Jungian analyst did re-peak my interest in personality type--and I had my MB type revealed to me once again. I test as an ENFP.
This is probably not shocking to you if you know me at all and you know anything about the MBTI.
I have also tested as an INFJ and and ENFJ in the past. But mostly and most often I test as an ENFP. I just don't want to be an ENFP, so I think on occasion I have purposefully answered questions so I would not come out as that type.
I will make the distinction for you:
Bill Clinton is (supposedly) an ENFP.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was (supposedly) an ENFJ.
(The supposedlys are especially for you, Zac! :)
See what I am saying here? I actually adore Bill Clinton, but it would feel slightly more noble to share a personality type with MLK....you know?
I write all this because I have been thinking about coaching, and the personality types of those who decide to coach. I don't think it's a stretch to say that there are certain types who gravitate toward coaching--just like there are those types that gravitate toward swim/bike/run. And the intersection of the types that choose to coach with the types that choose to compete... I find that interesting, and also worth study.
It seems to me that knowing your own type and knowing the type of your prospective coach might help you understand each other, which might make working together easier and more productive. For example, if you are an NF, like me, and you are working with an ST, like I am, it might be that you clash a bit (or more than a bit) and you need to understand the other's perspective in order to stay in a working relationship. NF's are gushy and like to be gushed over. ST's think gushing is truly annoying and don't bother with it, assuming that you understand they think you are doing just fine unless you tell them otherwise. So an ST coach is not going to say Super job on that workout! You nailed that! when you do, in fact, nail a workout. He assumes you know you nailed it, and so what is there to say? The ST coach is more likely to clue you in to what you are doing wrong so you can correct it than to praise you when you have done something right. An NF may correct you too... but they will be gentle about it. ST's can be a little... harsh.
I think most people have more of an idea of who they would like to be as a coach or an athlete than who they actually might be. For example, I am a cheerleading type who has disdain for cheerleaders. I admire and would like to be like those who are cold and scientific. What ends up happening, though, is that I cheerlead in my comments to my athletes, and then do my analysis of their workouts behind the scenes. Because I like to be praised, I assume others require that, too. I assume less often that they need to understand how I am using the data they provide from their workouts to determine their future workouts. I'm sure this frustrates some of my NT or ST athletes, who really could give a shit if I tell them they did a good job. They just want to know what they did wrong so they can fix it.
This is probably the MOST boring post ever if you do not know anything about MBTI and you don't know your type. Here is a link to a quick test that will give you an idea as to what you test as. It's a short version of the test--not the actual MBTI--but it still works pretty well.
Click here to take the test.
Personality theory is enjoyed and utilized by some types (like most NF's) and thought of as a sublime waste of time to others (STJ's and STPs.) I would argue that whether you like it or not, however, it is worthwhile to understand who you "are" and who your coach "is" so you can better understand why certain aspects of your relationship seem to work, and why others don't. Likewise, it's important to know what you require from a coach before you decide on one. Joe or Bob or Sue might be the best coach out there--but not if they don't provide what it is you need and want from a coach--no matter what that might be.
Okay, now that I have blathered on and on, can you just take the test and tell me what you are and what type you think coaches you--if you are coached? AWESOME! Thank you. Good job. Well done. You nailed that! (No need for you to know why or how I will use the data... ;)