MBTI, Insights, Belbin, … Now how do they compare?

As I’m interested in psychology, I’ve always wondered how all these known frameworks within the business context relate to eachother. Apparently Richard Sivers already investigated the same question less than a year ago ; http://www.rsaltd.com/relationships-between-mbti-disc-and-insights/

His findings are summarized in the following image ;


(Click to enlarge)

If you are looking for a more nuanced look towards your Insights profile, check the website of “Rob Purfield”, as it summarizes the types very well!

Lingo Explained : Child / Beginner’s Mind

In Zen Buddhism they have a concept called “Shoshin (初心)” meaning “a beginner’s mind”. Sometimes it is also referred to as “a Child’s mind”. It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject.


Due to our experience, we often already have certain prejudgements about the scenarios we are in. These limit our vision, narrowing our view on the matter at hand. Going one step back, starting from a blank slate & posing question is the way to think as a “beginner”. The view of a beginner will make us look at a situation from another viewpoint, thus providing us with additional information to which we may have been blinded.

Beginner’s Mind

Shoshin (初心) is a concept in Zen Buddhism meaning “beginner’s mind”. It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner

Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin

What does it mean? The following parabel describes it quite well ;

Empty Your Cup
A university professor went to visit a famous Zen master. While the master quietly served tea, the professor talked about Zen. The master poured the visitor’s cup to the brim, and then kept pouring. The professor watched the overflowing cup until he could no longer restrain himself. “It’s overfull! No more will go in!” the professor blurted. “You are like this cup,” the master replied, “How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup.”

We all start with an empty cup. Yet during the course of our lives, we fill our cup with preconceived ideas, concepts, techniques and methods that prevent us from receiving the new. The beginner is not held back by this. So it is good to act like a beginner from time to time and take a step back to look at this in a different perspective…

Mimicking doesn’t work! Understand why you do things…

Cargo Cult
Ever hear of “Cargo Cult“?

“A cargo cult is a religious practice that has appeared in many traditional pre-industrial tribal societies in the wake of interaction with technologically advanced cultures. The cults focus on obtaining the material wealth (the “cargo”) of the advanced culture through magic and religious rituals and practices. Cult members believe that the wealth was intended for them by their deities and ancestors. Cargo cults developed primarily in remote parts of New Guinea and other Melanesian and Micronesian societies in the southwest Pacific Ocean, beginning with the first significant arrivals of Westerners in the 19th century. Similar behaviors have, however, also appeared elsewhere in the world.

Cargo cult activity in the Pacific region increased significantly during and immediately after World War II, when the residents of these regions observed the Japanese and American combatants bringing in large amounts of matériel. When the war ended, the military bases closed and the flow of goods and materials ceased. In an attempt to attract further deliveries of goods, followers of the cults engaged in ritualistic practices such as building crude imitation landing strips, aircraft and radio equipment, and mimicking the behavior that they had observed of the military personnel operating them.”

The red thin line throughout this story is that mimicking doesn’t work! Attempting to recreate succesful outcome by replicating circumstances associated with the outcome, although those circumstances are unrelated to the causes of the outcome or insufficient to produce them by themselves, will fail! In our day-to-day lives, we come across this situation frequently. People who repeat a given ritual just because they were told to do so, without knowing why they actually do it. Let’s get down to earth, and reflect by looking towards our own job… Are their aspects where we just repeat things we’re said, without actually knowing why we do it? *silence*

The tail of the fish
There is another, not so known story, that reflects to the same situation.

A mother is baking a fish. Before she throws in the fish, she chops of the tail. The little daughter asks; “Mommy, why do you chop of the tail?”. The mother replies; “Because my mother did so.” The little daughter visits the grandmother a week later and asks ; “Granny, why do you chop of the tail of a fish before baking it?”. The grandmother replies; “Because my mother did so.” That week, the little girl visits her great-grandmother in the nursing home and ask here ; “Nana, why do you chop of the tail of a fish before baking it?”. The great-grandmother replies; “Because the pan was to small for the fish. So we chopped of the tail so it would fit!”.

So know why you are doing this… Mimicking might work out sometimes, yet in most of the cases you will not be working efficiently.

Less is more!

Source : Book Summary – 10 Big Ideas from “The Power of Less” by Leo Babauta

  • #1: Simplicity means identifying what’s essential, then eliminating the rest.
  • #2: Focusing on the essential produces the most results for the least effort.
  • #3: You must set limits – they don’t set themselves.
  • #4: Focus on only one thing at a time.
  • #5: Limit your active goals and projects to no more than 3-4 at a time.
  • #6: Establish three Most Important Tasks (MITs) every day, and do those before working on anything else.
  • #7: Batch similar tasks together to preserve your focus.
  • #8: Installing positive habits is easiest when you start small, then build on your early success.
  • #9: Consciously minimize your active commitments, and don’t be afraid to say “no” to new ones.
  • #10: Slow down, pay attention, and enjoy the process.

Accept every offer!

A while back Garr Reynolds posted an article about the “Tips for creative success from Pixar“.

An interesting quote from this article is the following statement :

Accept every offer. Don’t judge it, you’ll stop it. It becomes a dead end if you judge it, but unlimited possibilities if you go with it.

To be honest, when being a junior engineer, you accept a lot more tasks without judging it. It’s a zen saying that one must approach things with the child’s mind. So approach it without judgement. Creativity & openness is something we have to maintain, as it’s something we loss over the year due to our prejudices & the context we’re accustomed too.