The InterStrength™ Self-Discovery Process is an experiential exploration and integration of different personality models to help people find their best-fit type patterns. The models (aka lenses) can be used together or introduced independently and later integrated seamlessly. This process provides practitioners with a competitive advantage over other professionals who may use a single lens that is limiting or multiple instruments based on different theoretical bases that do not interrelate. Each model used in The InterStrength™ Self-Discovery Process has wide-ranging personal growth and business applications such as career development, change and transition management, sales, conflict, communication, stress…etc.
What is InterStrength™ Self-Discovery?
The InterStrength™ Self-Discovery Process is a method of helping individuals discover their best-fit personality patterns. It can be used with and without the help of self-report instruments. We like to give people as many data points as possible to find their best-fit type pattern, so we sometimes use a self-report survey in conjunction with the exploratory process. The InterStrength™ Self-Discovery Process uses three different psychological models: Essential Motivators, Interaction Styles, and Cognitive Dynamics. Each model can be explored independently as a stand-alone lens and then later integrated with other models as appropriate.
The Essential Motivators lens explains the ‘why’ behind behavior and sources of deep psychological stress. Essential Motivator patterns reveal individuals’ core psychological needs and values as well as the talents they are more drawn to develop.
Similar to popular social styles models and DISC, Interaction Styles is based on observable behavioral patterns. The Interaction Styles lens helps identify our natural energy patterns, which influence how we are likely to interact in a given situation and our core drivers and aims for those interactions. This lens can help us locate sources of interpersonal conflict.
Cognitive Dynamics is based in the Jungian theory from which the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® instrument was derived. Each of the sixteen type patterns has a distinct pattern of using eight different cognitive processes and our development over time as we increase access to each of the processes. Knowing an individual’s innate tendency to use these processes can help release creative blocks and generate more effective communication.
Each of these lenses (models) lets us see different aspects of the whole type pattern. Each of the 16 personality types can be understood in terms of a holistic theme, so this gives us 4 different lenses to check against during self-discovery.
Key Aspects of the Self-Discovery Process
- Using a self-discovery process tends to increase a sense of safety for individuals as they are in control of their participation.
- The Self-Discovery Process sets the stage for having a mind set that has people open to “trying on” the different patterns, so we engage in a series of explanations and experiences that set a safe environment for exploration. Safety is felt when the following conditions are met and established from the first contact:
- Confidentiality is ensured
- Participation is voluntary
- People feel like they have “wiggle room” and are not being “type cast,” labeled, pigeonholed, or put in a box
- People understand that they have the final say on which pattern is the best fit
We also maintain a safe environment throughout the session by focusing on positive aspects of the patterns. We want people to find the different patterns equally positive in terms of contributions. When a negative characteristic is portrayed about one pattern, a parallel negative is revealed about the others as well.
If an instrument or survey is used, individuals are not given results until they’ve had an opportunity to get a snapshot understanding of the patterns being portrayed—often through graphics, descriptors, cartoons, and real-life examples. In workshops, we also give them opportunities to interact with others of similar leanings in small groups. The same effect is achieved with individuals by giving them first person descriptions and interacting with them around examples from their own lives that they can check out. Key to this participation is a variety of methods, providing reading resources of each of the patterns, and time for the self-reflection necessary to do the reading and reflection. We recognize that different methods work for different people, so we offer a variety of ways to get at the information.
- Setting the Frame
- Presentation of essential qualities of each pattern to generate some hypotheses of some best-fit patterns using graphics and written information
- Interactive experience/activity of some kind where they can try-on the patterns they think fit them
- Debrief of activity to clarify misconceptions and deepen understanding
- Feedback indicated by instrument results (if used)
- Reading of narrative, first-person Self-Discovery Descriptions as an assessment methodContinued dialog and clarifying, often offering other descriptions to read
- Encouraging further exploration as needed
What was it designed for?
The Self-Discovery Process was developed out of a realization that many people were accepting instrument results as being the “truth” for them without actively engaging in self-assessment. We realized that this could be detrimental to the results we were trying to achieve. We wanted a way to truly engage people in coming to know themselves so they got a more accurate result. If people are “mistyped” then an inaccurate type pattern often becomes the story the people tell themselves about who they are. They may make inappropriate decisions based on this false picture. Worse, they miss the powerful gift of gaining insights into who they really are and increased self-awareness. In a work group or a relationship, having an inaccurate picture of someone else can lead to failed attempts to try to improve communication by using different language and yet not really getting through.
What are the benefits?
- Builds self-awareness and teaches skills that are adaptable to any level of the organization.
- Creates more buy-in and ownership of personality diversity information. If people are invested in the process, they are more likely to apply the new knowledge after the session.
- Increased self-leadership. It encourages taking responsibility for one’s own behaviors as well as for getting psychological needs and drives met.