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30 July 2011

Allison enjoyed her annual Barrett Boyz summer weekend and remembered a good lesson from Gordon Lawrence’s People Types & Tiger Stripes.

Tags: allison read, lego lessons, mbti

Recently I had a weekend of fun with my friends Emperor Xbox age 12, Cousin Bling age 11, and Professor LEGO® age 9. We have a Barrett Boyz weekend every summer where I get them all to myself and their parents get to have a weekend away. This year our fun included opening night of Captain America, a little league tournament for Cousin Bling (his team won), Zombie Prom at Live Arts, and lots of time in the pool including diving for $25.81 in change (a great way to improve swimming skills).

As part of all this fun, Professor LEGO coached me through a LEGO construction project, and I’m pleased to report that I assembled The Burrow from Harry Potter in a record (for me) three hours and 15 minutes. I didn’t play with LEGO much as a kid so I’m a bit behind. I don’t much like thousands of little details / pieces of things or following tons of directions so it’s a stretch for me. Enjoy this five minute video and you'll see that the Professor had his work cut out for him! All that got me thinking about preferences and learning and growth, and the things we help our clients with every day.


While there are lots of personality assessments out there and we’re happy to use the ones our clients bring to us, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is the one we use the most at Allison Partners. (You might even have read one of my previous posts where I wrote about Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type and you can visit the Center for Application of Psychological Type if you want to learn more.) In a nutshell, MBTI helps people see similarities and differences in the ways people get energy, take in information, make decisions and live their lives. It’s all based on the notion that if we identity our preferences, we can better take care of ourselves and also flex our preferences to communicate more effectively with others.

So back to my LEGO story. When it comes to taking in information, I prefer what MBTI calls Intuition because I enjoy thinking about the big picture, possibilities, the future, meanings and associations. On the other hand, people who prefer Sensing enjoy data, detail, facts, reality and step-by-step ways of doing things—all stuff that often makes me feel tired. Working on my LEGO skills helps me to practice doing some of these things Sensing people prefer. Trust me… this is actually important. My dislike of details often gets me into trouble, and so when I can find fun ways to develop, it’s a good thing.

And finally, this brings me to a great book for exploring all these concepts. In 2009, the 30th anniversary edition of Gordon Lawrence’s People Types & Tiger Stripes was published and there’s a reason people have been referring to this resource for so many years. Gordon does a great job of explaining the MBTI, helping you figure out how to apply the insights and also giving you tips for development. So if you’re wondering what your “LEGO project” should be, pick up a copy of this book. If you’d like to take the MBTI, we’d be happy to do that with you at Allison Partners or you can take it through CAPT. Enjoy getting to know yourself, figuring out how to have more energy, becoming a more effective communicator and learning what it takes to stretch in an area that’s less comfortable. You’ll be glad you did and you might even end up with some beautiful LEGO art on your dining room table!


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Cathy Harding
Jul 30, 2011

Stretching is good. Thanks for the reminder, Allison. And congrats on the Legos. As a mother of two boys who had A LOT of Lego sets, I well remember how clearly all the personalities in the family would express themselves over a pile of those little tiles and a set of directions.

Aug 02, 2011

Hi Allison-
In addition to appreciating the post, I’m having a chuckle that you and Cathy Harding know each other.

Allison Linney
Aug 02, 2011

Stretching may be good, but it sure is hard too! I say this as I’ve had a big administrative day catching up from two weeks on the road. I’ve got a long way to go when it comes to getting better at managing the details!! I’m enjoying that all three of us are connected here. You might get a kick out this video showing just how hard Professor Lego had to work to help me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pi1ayi8tkes. Take care.


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