In 2010, Rinpoche asked Chris and Sydney Jay to design a leadership and management program to “bring the monks into the 21st century.” Based on their work with a large global consulting firm, Chris and Sydney designed a leadership program at Dzongsar Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö Institute in Chauntra (DKCLI) with three broad elements: structured problem solving, relationship skills, and self-awareness. Khyentse Foundation then sponsored three 10-day workshops for the khenpos and tulkus at Dzongsar Institute (2011, 2012, and 2013). Rinpoche then invited 32 participants to the 2014 workshop at Shechen Monastery in Kathmandu, “Excellence in Leadership and Management: Core Concepts and Best Practices.” Attendees included Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche, Dudjom Yangsi Rinpoche, Thartse Khen Rinpoche, and many other rinpoches, tulkus, and khenpos and a select group of lay people.
The workshop was led by Chris Jay, Sydney Jay, Edouard Janssen, Anja Hartmann, and James Hopkins, who generously donated their time and energy. The workshop participants learned about and had the opportunity to train practically in a broad range of core concepts and best practices, such as:
- Leadership versus management
- Intercultural communications
- Vision and mission setting
- Program and project planning: Goal setting and goal statement, issue tree, work plan
- Tools for prioritizing and evaluating projects and tasks
- Models for understanding and describing different levels of thinking and acting
- Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
- Tools for running effective meetings, such as the SALSA framework, performance dialogs, and feedback models
The frameworks for these modules were built on the works of Otto Scharmer, John Kotter, Geert Hofstede, Chris Argyris and Peter Senge, and others. Many of the projects and tasks were based on principles of corporate finance, and participants were introduced to new models for understanding and describing different levels of thinking and acting, such as the iceberg model (systems thinking), Theory U, and the Ladder of Inference.
“This Leadership Training program is very much in line with the aspiration of Khyentse Foundation to create the favorable conditions for Buddha’s teachings to flourish through education.” —KF Executive Director Cangioli Che
Photo: Participants at the 2014 Excellence in Leadership and Management workshop, Shechen Monastery, Nepal. Photo by Stacey Stein.
KF Leadership & Mangement Workshops from Khyentse Foundation on Vimeo.
It is extremely encouraging to see such a leadership programme in place for Buddhist leaders in monastic institutions. As Rinpoche said in the video, we need these kinds of innovations for 21st century monasticism to flourish. I am so pleased!
There are many fairly recent articles debunking the Myers-Briggs test. I suggest that its use in your program be halted.
Here is one link, with a quote below the link: https://www.theguardian.com/science/brain-flapping/2013/mar/19/myers-briggs-test-unscientific
“Many users of the MBTI believe that a straightforward test can simplify them to the point where they can be managed, controlled and utilised to make them as efficient and productive as possible. It’s no wonder businesses are keen to embrace something like that; it would be the ideal tool if it were guaranteed to achieve this.
Evidence suggests it isn’t though. People are far more sophisticated than any basic yes/no test could ever hope to encompass. Employers who assume otherwise in the face of all available evidence run the constant risk of alienating and infuriating those they intend to manage more effectively.”
Nikki, How wonderful that you’ve read about our workshop. It seems to be such an important part of Rinpoche’s vision and we truly appreciate not only your interest but also your input. We have a few short comments in response to your query.
First, we don’t use the MBTI as described in the “Guardian” article that you reference. We’ve used it in all of our corporate training programs since 1998 and none of those companies use it in that way either. Most of the criticism about the instrument comes from two sources: companies that have other assessment instruments that they are trying to promote; and statisticians critical of the dichotomous measurement.
We are fully aware of other assessments—we’ve just found that the MBTI is most useful for our purposes.
Sydney is a researcher with experience in using dichotomous variables (in fact, in her dissertation she used many and the outcome she measured was dichotomous so she knows the methodological issues associated with that). To correct for these issues we’ve chosen a hybrid assessment measuring the same constructs as the original. However, this one asks for interval level responses (the Majors PTI), see link below. This particular assessment has a validity rate of 92% which means it is consistent with how the individual sees him/herself after the debriefing session when we explain what the dimensions mean.
We decided to use this assessment for several reasons that are integral to the pedagogy of our program. We were instructed by Rinpoche to bring the monks’ thinking into the 21st Century. We decided to include some information about and experience in Western psychology as part of the exposure. The assessment measures individual preferences on 4 dimensions that come from Carl Jung’s theory of psychological type—introversion vs. extroversion, sensing vs .intuition, thinking vs. feeling and judging vs. perceiving. Without going into a discussion of what these mean within the context of the theory because of space limitations, these dimensions are insightful to individuals about how they operate in certain contexts and help them understand others. They basically measure how individuals take in information and how they make decisions. The link for the assessment we use is below:
Majors Personality Type Inventory (PTI) – Type Resources
During the program we administer the assessment, in Tibetan, one question at a time, one question per Powerpoint slide and explain any confusion they might have about the language. We score it ourselves, give them their scored assessments and explain what it means to them about themselves personally and how it can help them understand others. We emphasize the following caveats:
• This assessment does not explain everything about how we function or think.
• One’s true type is determined by the individual when they understand what the dimension(s) mean and how much that reflects their own assessment of self.
• The dimensions are preferences and not absolutes. That is, a preference in the context of this theory means that because of biology we are predisposed to, by default, one aspect of the dimension rather than the other. But it is only a preference and we are all capable of and do react in the opposite aspect. Similar to being right- or left-handed, we can print, write or draw with the opposite of our preferred hand when necessary. And similar to this, when we operate out of our preferred aspect of the dimension, it is not as well developed and we experience a certain awkwardness in doing so.
• As a consequence of this we develop patterns of behavior that are associated with information gathering and decision making.
• Knowing one’s own preferences and patterns of behavior helps us to understand ourselves better and helps us understand those that are different from us. This understanding includes an awareness that individuals differ not because they choose to differ and or be difficult (especially in group or problem-solving activities) but because their natural, in-born preferences tend to have them behave in that way. This awareness in organizations has helped reduce the level of conflict and misunderstandings amongst individuals and helps facilitate difficult problem solving activities.
• The four letter dimension preferences are organized such that each individual has a 4 letter type. There are 16 such combinations. When we explained this to the monks and described characteristics of each of the 16 they immediately were able to identify the types of each other, enjoyed teasing each other about their type and have reported it being very useful in their interactions and work with each other.
We hope this helps clear up any misunderstanding about why and how we use this. And again, thank you for being so interested in this effort that you posed the question.