I recently had the pleasure of presenting a two-hour session on Teaching Type to all Types at the British Association of Psychological Type Conference in the UK. This is a subject about which I am extremely passionate.
Teaching type to all types represents a combination of using effective facilitation (not presentation!) skills together with adapting the content, style and flow to different temperaments, types and Interaction Styles. Too often in the Type Community I think there is a tendency to follow the more academic style of teaching (one-way presentations). This has two big disadvantages. First it does not cater for the way that adults learn – research has shown that passive learning by lecture tends to achieve only a 5% retention rate. Conversely if you use active learning, for example if you have to teach the content to others you can increase retention to as high as 90%. I had this experience personally when learning about Andy Cole’s movement theory (linking Van Laban to Interaction Styles). Andy presented several times and while I made copious notes I found it hard to explain the model to others. When I had to present this model for Andy at the APTi International Conference in San Francisco in 2011, I discovered that I now have that content internalized.
Second I do not believe that one-way presentation meets the needs adequately of our Artisans/Improvisers or Guardians/Stabilizers. They both tend to like to focus on concrete reality and often want to practice applying knowledge for the benefit it can provide versus enjoyment of the knowledge or concepts for their own sake. Guardians/Stabilizers tend to learn by rote repetition (See Dario Nardi’s content on Type and Neuroscience) where Artisans/Improvisers tend to learn by taking action. Both of these styles (which represent approximately 80% of the population) might tend to lose interest if the practical use of the knowledge is not made more explicit.
I have been lucky enough to verify this premise in a project with which I collaborate with PUMA. We run a complete Train-the-Trainer curriculum for PUMA Retail which combines introducing core content, teaching facilitation skills, and using psychological type to develop expert facilitators. Using this approach, we have raised not only the quality of the internal trainers but we have increased the acceptance and results from participants.
I will explore in further blogs the importance of facilitating not presenting and what key skills can make this a reality.