Fosters Clearer Communication through Better Understanding of Diversity

Mountain View, Calif. January 22, 2014—CPP, Inc. (CPP.com), industry leader in research, training, and organizational development tools and exclusive publisher of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) assessment, and the TSM Corporation today announced details of the use of the MBTI instrument by the Wisconsin National Guard Youth Challenge Academy, a military-structured program with the mission of offering at-risk youth “the opportunity to develop strength of character and the life skills necessary to become successful, responsible citizens.”

On January 9, the Academy held its first Leading Through Action Workshop at which members of TSM’s Leadership Foundry guided Youth Challenge Academy staff through a program designed to enhance their skills for working with at-risk youth. The workshop explores such topics as emotional intelligence, generational differences and understanding behavior preferences. The Leadership Foundry, a division of the TSM Corporation, an Academy sponsor, is an engineering and logistics support firm founded by veterans and serving private industry and government. The Leadership Foundry extensively uses the MBTI instrument and other CPP products in its programs, including the Leadership Challenge Program. At the workshop, Leadership Foundry staff employed the MBTI assessment to help Academy staff develop an understanding of how differences between individuals can lead to misunderstanding and alienation.

The Myers-Briggs® instrument is a research-based personality assessment that sorts individuals into one of sixteen personality types indicating preferences for deriving energy, taking in information, making decisions, and orienting oneself to the world. Staff took the assessment with an MBTI certified practitioner and received in-depth coaching on how type preferences shape the differences in people’s behavior and interpersonal interactions.

“We want to give the staff a chance to press the pause button and rethink some of their wired responses,” said Michael Murphy, Director of the Wisconsin Challenge Academy. “We have youth in our program from all over the state, and from highly diverse backgrounds, from urban Milwaukee to some of the most rural parts of the country.” According to Murphy, it is critical for the students’ success that staff understand not only the demographic differences in students’ backgrounds, but personal differences as well; including how individuals differ in the ways they prefer to interact. “The Myers-Briggs instrument is one of the core tools we use to achieve that.”

TSM Corporation Introduces the MBTI Instrument to the Academy
Murphy was introduced to the MBTI assessment’s potential by Gary Murdock, a Senior Instructor with TSM’s Leadership Foundry. “When I told Michael about my own experience of coming to understand the different needs of Introverts and Extraverts and how that plays into relationships, we realized that this could be a great tool at the Academy for highlighting how differences get overlooked, often with pretty negative effects,” said Murdock.

According to Murphy the Youth Challenge Academy expects that, in addition to being able to convey the sensitivity to personal differences that they develop at the workshop, staff will offer concepts from the MBTI tool directly to the Academy’s students. “We hope that the MBTI instrument will become a regular part of our staff development, and our vision is to pair it with other CPP assessments like the FIRO‑B®‑instrument and TKI in the future as well.”

Expansion on the Horizon
Richard Hassan, a VP at TSM Corporation, hopes to expand the program to integrate CPP assessments into Youth Challenge Academy programs in other states. “We’ve worked with CPP’s instruments extensively for our corporate and government clients, and we’ve seen how understanding differences in people can make or break teams,” said Hassan. “When I learned about the Youth Challenge Academy – their dedication and enthusiasm for helping these kids – I was incredibly moved. It was sort of an “ah-ha” moment for me. We’re talking about disaffected youth at the threshold of adulthood a chance to profoundly change their life circumstances for the better. I knew if we could support the Wisconsin program we would have done something special. But if we’re able to expand the Leadership Foundry’s involvement to all the programs throughout the U.S., that will make a remarkable difference."