Delivering your first MBTI® feedback is often anxiety prone for practitioners. While the MBTI® framework and resources might make it easy to get started, doing it for the first time can be unnerving.
I mention below some key points that I kept in mind to prepare for my first one-on-one MBTI® feedback conversation. It would be great to hear if you agree or disagree with them in the comments section –
- Use a checklist: You will find an easy reference for a checklist in your “Participant Reference Folder” and the MBTI® Manual. You may make changes to it to suit your context. A checklist can help you become better prepared and reduce your own anxiety.
- ‘Contracting’ early on in the conversation: Effective feedback sessions start with a clear contract regarding why the client took the test, what the MBTI® instrument is (and is not) and in what kind of mindset the instrument should be taken. The earlier contracting is done, the better it is.
- Be cognizant of the MBTI® instrument version: Make a note of the fact that the online version and the self-scorable version work slightly differently. It is important to prepare in a manner that is best suited to the choice of the administration. If you are working with self-scorable forms, more effort, time and preparation may be needed.
- Prepare a script: Having a script is a great way to build confidence and structure your conversations. Even the best practitioners start with well crafted scripts. The script can be narrated to the client during the feedback or can be used to practice the handedness exercise and introduction to the Type preferences. You could also use the “Introduction to MBTI® Type” slides as needed.
- Use the ITT Booklet: The “Introduction to Type”® booklet is a great resource for MBTI® conversations. It gives structure to your conversation and provides time-tested narratives. It is a great resource for the participant which helps the client continue self-exploration after the conversation.
- Build rapport: Receiving feedback can be anxiety inducing and so, rapport building is important. Start with introducing yourself, reminding them of the contracting done earlier (or doing it if not done before), asking the client to reflect on what their strengths are, assuring confidentiality and remembering to smile.
- Clarify your role in the conversation: A good feedback conversation depends heavily on the psychological location of the client and the practitioner. I often find it useful to tell the client that the feedback is about their self-exploration and they will be in control of it, as they are an expert on themselves. This puts the client in the driver’s seat. I then go on to clarify my role – helping them understand the report and facilitating conversation with questions wherever required.” Remember, the report does not tell the client their type, it just lays out a hypothesis for it.
- Observe your own Type and biases: This one is hard to plan for and even more difficult to practice. Your Type influences how you think and act. This may lead to being blindsided by your own biases. For example, your bias for N preference may come through as you describe the N preference with enthusiasm. You may lack the same energy while explaining the S preference. To counter this, craft a neutral narrative, work with other certified professionals (preferably with different preferences from yours) and ask them to point out any biases in your feedback narrative.
- End on a high note: It’s important to keep in mind that the MBTI® instrument is an affirmative tool which should make people value themselves, their uniqueness and individual differences. An effective feedback conversation should therefore, help clients see their Type as a valuable tool for change and growth. Leaving the feedback on high note also opens door to more conversations.
This list is by no means exhaustive or prescriptive. However, these steps have improved my experience of facilitating MBTI® feedback and I hope they do the same for you.