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Kids who are going back to school can learn to use their strengths and stretches to succeed in learning, studying, and test-taking

Back to School: Personality Type and Learning

Sep 05, 2023
Yvonne Nelson-Reid, PhD
YVONNE NELSON-REID, PhD, is the Senior Development Associate at Myers & Briggs Foundation (M&BF®), the publisher for the People Stripes® website, a mother of 5, writer, teacher (BEd, MA), depth psychologist – Jungian and archetypal studies (MA, PhD), and career coach. Parenting, teaching in a classroom, or on the ice as a figure skating coach has taught her a great deal about relationships and the importance of communication.
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Summer is nearing an end, and kids are back at school. By now, school supplies and new clothes have been purchased, registrations for extracurricular activities submitted, classes begun, and daily routines established once again. Now that the basics are handled, how do we best prepare young people for success in learning, studying, and test-taking this school year?

Understanding personalitytype is one way! Type impacts how we learn. We all have a natural style oflearning that feels comfortable—like writing with our preferred hand— which isbased on our personality type preferences. When your child’s learning style isdifferent from their teacher’s teaching style, confusion and frustration mayarise. It can feel like using their non-preferred hand—only for days and days.Imagine what that might feel like! Stress builds, exhaustion takes over, asense of failure looms overhead, and soon they may not like learning at all!

Type awareness teaches your child what their natural strengths are and where they may find learning challenging; these are called their stretches. What if the teacher uses language and creates assignments that call on your child to use their personality stretches? Does that mean the teacher has to teach differently or that your child doesn't have to do the assignment? Not at all. Type is never an excuse for not trying. Instead, it provides your child with an awareness of when they may need to ask for clarification or additional help, knowing that it is a difference in learning styles and not a lack of intelligence.

The MMTIC® StudentReport, available through a certified MMTIC practitioner or our Take the MMTICAssessment service on People Stripes®, offers suggestions for studying, workingwith others, friendships, and working with parents and teachers. It is avaluable resource filled with tips to help your child. I will share a few tipshere so that you can see how type knowledge benefits young people, with a focuson personality type and learning.

  • If your child prefers Extraversion, talking out their ideas helps them process their thoughts. Study time with friends can be fun and provide a forum to brainstorm. Even talking out loud by themselves can help them sort through information. Once they have talked through their ideas, they are better able to take time alone to put those ideas together as appropriate to the task.
  • Children who prefer Introversion require more time for reflection and quiet to think through their ideas first. They often prefer to study alone. After processing their thoughts on their own, they may enjoy reviewing them with a friend or two. As a teacher, I had tables and individual desks in my classroom to encourage collaboration and reflection. Students could choose where to sit depending on what they needed that day.
  • If your child prefers Sensing, they are more likely to notice information that is factual, detailed, and specific. They like information to be presented in order and clearly. When asked to "imagine" something, they are often left bewildered. My son, for example, says all he can see is a "blank screen" when he is asked to imagine an item, situation, or scenario. If details are included in the instructions, he has a much easier time coming up with imaginative ideas, but he needs those details first to get started.
  • Young people who prefer Intuition love it when they are asked to imagine something. Off they go on a magic carpet ride! Ideas and images abound, but putting those ideas to practical use or creating the extravagant project they've developed in their imagination may prove more challenging. It is important that they have time to come up with multiple possibilities; once they have done that, they can start putting together the details to bring their ideas to fruition.
  • A child who prefers Thinking is up for a challenge and enjoys a good debate. They value competence in themselves and in others. They may question the teacher and their peers, not to be impertinent but so they can really understand the material. Unless they trust the skills of their classmates, working independently is preferred over group work. Decisions are made logically and objectively. Often direct when giving feedback, sometimes people can take things the wrong way.
  • If your child has a Feeling preference, they like harmony. They want people to get along and work together in cooperative ways. Often, they are the helpers in the class, with friends and teachers. Supportive and positive feedback is appreciated. Decisions are often based on personal values and their impact on people. Fear of hurting someone's feelings or being disliked can cause them to talk around an issue rather than speak to it directly, which can be aggravating to some people.
  • Young people who prefer Judging like knowing what is coming next. They often have planners and use them! Rather than wait until the last minute, they like to get started on projects and homework early to prevent last-minute stress and pressure as the due date approaches. With homework out of the way, they can relax and enjoy time with friends.
  • If your child prefers Perceiving, know that their best work is often produced at the last minute. They like surprises and are always up for a change in routine. Keeping options open and having fun is important to them. Work and fun go hand in hand. They find they are more efficient when learning is fun. When younger, they may need guidance on time management so that they don't wait too long before starting their assignments.
Knowing their personality strengths and stretches as they pertain to learning is a great way for your child to start off the school year. Not only will it help them master course concepts, but it also provides a framework for building healthy relationships with their peers, teachers, and families.

The MMTIC Student Report is available to students in grades two through twelve. We also have an MMTIC Test Preparation Report, which is available to grades nine through twelve. This report covers testing strengths, testing challenges, test preparation style, and study suggestions that work best for your personality type. Please contactTaketheMMTIC@peoplestripes.org for more information on how to get the Test Preparation Report.

Help your child succeed this school year; sign them up to Take the MMTIC Assessment today! Have an exceptional 2023-2024 school year!


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Related Content

Introvert-Extravert Learners : Type Tip #9

We know from previous research that extraverts remember more of a chapter if they read it thoroughly AFTER the lecture or demonstration. Introverts tend to remember more if they read thoroughly BEFORE the lecture or demonstration. I would tell classes you must read the chapter thoroughly some time before the test but you can skim first before the lecture and read thoroughly later if that helps you be more efficient in your learning. Teaching students to monitor their best ways to learn is an important metacognitive skill.

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Extravert Learning Environment: Type Tip #10

If you ask an extravert to describe their ideal learning environment they typically have lots of things that make noise or stimulate like computers, friends, games, music, etc. However, when the task is mentally challenging the extravert REQUIRES quiet in order to concentrate. Every sound is a distraction from inner processing and an interruption to their thought flow. So students who may frequently study with groups, and with noise at certain times will need a quiet place to work.�

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Schoolteacher with diverse children working together on a project in the classroom

An "Aha" Moment: Type in the Classroom (Research Series - NC Part 1)

Aug 02, 2021
Kesstan Blandin, PhD
KESSTAN BLANDIN, PhD is the Vice President of Research and Development at Myers & Briggs Foundation in Gainesville, FL, where she conducts research in Jungian typology and archetypes.
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In this new Research Series, we will highlight studies that are relevant and useful to all of us who work with the MMTIC system. This first series is on a large two-year study at an elementary school in Raleigh, North Carolina, where the MMTIC instrument and system was comprehensively incorporated into the school system.

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girl in glasses with an I get it expression doing schoolwork at home in her pajamas

I am not stupid, after all! (From the Kids)

Sep 02, 2021
Yvonne Nelson-Reid, PhD
YVONNE NELSON-REID, PhD, is the Senior Development Associate at Myers & Briggs Foundation (M&BF®), the publisher for the People Stripes® website, a mother of 5, writer, teacher (BEd, MA), depth psychologist – Jungian and archetypal studies (MA, PhD), and career coach. Parenting, teaching in a classroom, or on the ice as a figure skating coach has taught her a great deal about relationships and the importance of communication.
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People tend to make inaccurate assumptions about themselves when faced with a problem to solve that requires them to go outside of their natural personality type. We can all use our opposite preferences when a situation requires it, however, it might feel awkward or uncomfortable, and we may be less effective in how we use them, leading to stress and a sense of personal failure. Children may experience this at a higher rate.

In this second article of "From the Kids" series, Yvonne Nelson-Reid chronicles a moment in her daughter's journey of understanding personality type differences and the compromises needed to succeed in school.

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A schoolteacher sees new possibilities for assessing student learning.

New Possibilities for Teaching: Type in the Classroom (Research Series – NC Part 2)

Oct 04, 2021
Kesstan Blandin, PhD
KESSTAN BLANDIN, PhD is the Vice President of Research and Development at Myers & Briggs Foundation in Gainesville, FL, where she conducts research in Jungian typology and archetypes.
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This is the second article of a series on a large two-year study at Combs Magnet Elementary school in Raleigh, North Carolina, where the MMTIC® instrument and system was comprehensively incorporated into the school system.

In Combs-Part 2 we delve into the outcome of the teacher's training program that worked towards developing type awareness, understanding and connecting with their students, working as a team, and seeing new possibilities for assessing student learning.

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Teenagers navigating the complications of high school dating

He’s So Cute! Now What? (From the Kids)

Nov 03, 2021
Yvonne Nelson-Reid, PhD
YVONNE NELSON-REID, PhD, is the Senior Development Associate at Myers & Briggs Foundation (M&BF®), the publisher for the People Stripes® website, a mother of 5, writer, teacher (BEd, MA), depth psychologist – Jungian and archetypal studies (MA, PhD), and career coach. Parenting, teaching in a classroom, or on the ice as a figure skating coach has taught her a great deal about relationships and the importance of communication.
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Starting with an understanding of communication styles can make a difference in all our relationships.

In this third article of "From the Kids" Series, Yvonne Nelson-Reid discusses how understanding type differences can help teenagers navigate the complications of high school dating. Her teenage daughter describes the positive impact that learning about, and appreciating, communication style differences based on personality type, had on her own relationship.

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Give the gift of type awareness. It can help you to spread peace, joy, and love this holiday season.

Happy Holiday Type Tips for All

Nov 29, 2022
Yvonne Nelson-Reid, PhD
YVONNE NELSON-REID, PhD, is the Senior Development Associate at Myers & Briggs Foundation (M&BF®), the publisher for the People Stripes® website, a mother of 5, writer, teacher (BEd, MA), depth psychologist – Jungian and archetypal studies (MA, PhD), and career coach. Parenting, teaching in a classroom, or on the ice as a figure skating coach has taught her a great deal about relationships and the importance of communication.
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Happy holidays from People Stripes! May these type tips be our gift to you, bringing you peace, joy, and love, with the hope of acceptance this holiday season.

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Word Choice Matters: Type Tip #15

Frame your question with the mental process (Sensing, Intuition, Thinking, Feeling) you want them to use. Your choice of words influences which process is used in the response: "Find the flaw..." (Thinking), "Help me explore other possibilities..." (Intuition), "What do we already know?" (Sensing), and "What makes this important?" (Feeling).

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Students using their strengths and exercising their stretches to get along

Student Outcomes (Research Series – NC Part 3)

Jan 05, 2022
Kesstan Blandin, PhD
KESSTAN BLANDIN, PhD is the Vice President of Research and Development at Myers & Briggs Foundation in Gainesville, FL, where she conducts research in Jungian typology and archetypes.
View full author bio | Close

This is the third, and final article of the two-year study at Combs Elementary school in Raleigh, North Carolina, where the MMTIC® instrument and system was comprehensively incorporated into the school system. In this article Kesstan Blandin highlights the education the third-grade students received on decision-making using the psychological type Z-model, and student outcomes for the study.

The seven main student outcomes were: (1) developing type awareness, (2) enhancing their self-awareness, (3) advocating for their choices, (4) challenging themselves to improve their stretches, (5) improving classroom community, (6) enhancing their self-management, and (7) promoting motivation and engagement. Three of these outcomes are discussed in more detail.

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Diverse teens connecting with each other using type-awareness

Personality Type and Social Emotional Learning: Self-Awareness (SEL Series – Part 2)

Mar 02, 2022
Yvonne Nelson-Reid, PhD
YVONNE NELSON-REID, PhD, is the Senior Development Associate at Myers & Briggs Foundation (M&BF®), the publisher for the People Stripes® website, a mother of 5, writer, teacher (BEd, MA), depth psychologist – Jungian and archetypal studies (MA, PhD), and career coach. Parenting, teaching in a classroom, or on the ice as a figure skating coach has taught her a great deal about relationships and the importance of communication.
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Knowing and understanding our strengths and stretches improves self-esteem and self-understanding. The first of the five core competencies of the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) movement is Self-Awareness. In this second article of the SEL series, Yvonne Nelson-Reid demonstrates how Self-Awareness through an understanding of type allows you to apply your strengths and reinforce your stretches.

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Mother and teen daughter with type differences in conflict

Personality Type and Social Emotional Learning: Relationship Skills (SEL Series – Part 5)

May 26, 2022
Yvonne Nelson-Reid, PhD
YVONNE NELSON-REID, PhD, is the Senior Development Associate at Myers & Briggs Foundation (M&BF®), the publisher for the People Stripes® website, a mother of 5, writer, teacher (BEd, MA), depth psychologist – Jungian and archetypal studies (MA, PhD), and career coach. Parenting, teaching in a classroom, or on the ice as a figure skating coach has taught her a great deal about relationships and the importance of communication.
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Communication and active listening are essential skills towards building healthy relationships. In this fifth article, of the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) series, this month concentrating on Relationship Skills, Yvonne Nelson-Reid describes how best we can communicate with others using their type language by stretching into our own opposite preference.

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Get ready for school: taking the MMTIC assessment for self-awareness can make your school year less stressful

Back to School: Don’t Forget Supplies for Self-Awareness

Jul 28, 2022
Yvonne Nelson-Reid, PhD
YVONNE NELSON-REID, PhD, is the Senior Development Associate at Myers & Briggs Foundation (M&BF®), the publisher for the People Stripes® website, a mother of 5, writer, teacher (BEd, MA), depth psychologist – Jungian and archetypal studies (MA, PhD), and career coach. Parenting, teaching in a classroom, or on the ice as a figure skating coach has taught her a great deal about relationships and the importance of communication.
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Back to school! Now more than ever, young people need social and emotional guidance. In this article Yvonne Nelson-Reid encourages giving your child the gift of the MMTIC® assessment to help your child become self-aware. Type awareness teaches your child what their natural strengths are and where they may find learning challenging.

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Siblings in conflict can use type awareness to navigate their differences and appreciate each other's natural type preferences

It is Okay to be Me! Navigating Sibling Conflict

Aug 30, 2022
Sandra Etherington
SANDRA ETHERINGTON is a mother of two and the host of the Family Personalities podcast, a show that helps break down personality type models so that we can use them in our everyday parenting. A UCLA alumna, with a background in mathematics, Sandra has a love of models that help us understand humans and our interactions with one another.
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This month’s article is by Sandra Etherington, a mother of two who is an MBTI® and MMTIC® certified professional. Sandra eloquently shares her own parenting experience dealing with her children and a conflict that arose between Thinking and Feeling preferences.

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Thinking Out Loud with Extraversion: Type Tip #25

Because people who prefer Extraversion tend to think "out loud" they sometimes say one thing but change direction quickly. A parent with a preference for Introversion might overreact to a comment too soon. When talking with a child who prefers Extraversion, if they express something that is perplexing, I usually ask first, "Is this a final thought or a thought still forming?" If it is a final thought, you can react. If it is a forming thought, you can wait for the final version before reacting.

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Strengths and Stretches: Type Tip #28

When children are using their personality type preferences, we say they are using their STRENGTHS. Using a strength feels natural, comfortable, easy, and typically requires less concentration and focus. When the task at hand requires them to use their opposite preferences, we say they are STRETCHING to do the task. When a child has to stretch to complete a task, they may feel awkward, uncomfortable, and it typically requires more time, greater concentration, and someone to show them what to do. When stretching, the younger the child the more help they may need to successfully complete the task.

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Good Type development is using your Type strengths and Type stretches appropriately in any situation.

Don't Box Me In: "What is personality type, really?"

Jan 03, 2023
Yvonne Nelson-Reid, PhD
YVONNE NELSON-REID, PhD, is the Senior Development Associate at Myers & Briggs Foundation (M&BF®), the publisher for the People Stripes® website, a mother of 5, writer, teacher (BEd, MA), depth psychologist – Jungian and archetypal studies (MA, PhD), and career coach. Parenting, teaching in a classroom, or on the ice as a figure skating coach has taught her a great deal about relationships and the importance of communication.
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The language we use when talking about personality type, or Type, is directly linked to how we understand it. In this article, Yvonne Nelson-Reid answers the question "What is personality type, really?" and outlines why Type language matters.

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Meeting Our Needs With Respect: Type Tip #27

People who prefer Extraversion re-energize by engaging, doing, and interacting, whereas those who prefer Introversion need solitude and quiet time to re-energize. As a parent who prefers Introversion balancing the needs of a child who prefers Extraversion can at times be challenging. When a parent comes home at the end of the workday wanting solitude or quiet time to recharge, they can feel overwhelmed and frustrated when their child with a preference for Extraversion wants to follow them around ready and excited to interact. An adult who prefers Introversion, without those needed moments of solitude, can "act out" just as much as a child who prefers Extraversion who doesn't get enough needed interaction and engagement. Instead of "acting out" and treating one's child as if his/her behavior is wrong or annoying, a parent can say, "I need a few quiet moments alone after my busy day. Then let's play and talk about your day." Parents can ask for their needs to be met, too.

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Homework Help: Type Tip #29

Homework management may be personality type related. A parent's timetable may be quite different from their child's. Young people with a Judging preference typically do their best work when they start early, setting a plan and working on a project in a scheduled way. Whereas young people who prefer Perceiving tend to do their best work when pressure-prompted, as the due date approaches. Depending on the child's and parent's preferences for Judging or Perceiving, homework management can be easy or exasperating! Supporting your child's natural style may mean learning to stretch your own. A young person with a Perceiving preference may need reminders when a due date is approaching, whereas a child with a Judging preference may need reminders to relax and have some fun. Reminders, not demands.

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Sisters celebrate May the Fourth with personality type awareness

May The Fourth Be With You! The Force May Not Just Be in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

May 01, 2023
Gracyn Nelson-Reid
GRACYN NELSON-REID is a senior at the University of Texas San Antonio. She is majoring in Biology and plans to attend graduate school in the field of Microbiology research. Gracyn has been immersed in personality type theory from the time she was born! Her mom is a certified MBTI® and MMTIC® professional who introduced type theory and type language to her children to help them understand and appreciate differences.
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May the fourth, popularly known as Stars Wars Day, is a day to think about the force within you. Gracyn Nelson-Reid celebrates this day with an article about the force (type awareness) within all of us that can be accessed every day. Everyone has the capability to access the “type” force and make the world a more understanding place. It starts with becoming aware of your personality type and what strengths and stretches you have.

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Personality type awareness helps mom understand her kids behavior when playing with the new puppy

Personality Preferences and Puppy Play!

Jul 31, 2023
Sandra Etherington
SANDRA ETHERINGTON is a mother of two and the host of the Family Personalities podcast, a show that helps break down personality type models so that we can use them in our everyday parenting. A UCLA alumna, with a background in mathematics, Sandra has a love of models that help us understand humans and our interactions with one another.
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Pets, personality type preferences, and high energy kids make a chaotic house for Sandra Etherington. Using her handy-dandy knowledge of typology, Sandra figures out how to how to change her kids behavior in order to improve their relationship with the new cute, cuddly puppy.

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Understanding one's own personality type can enhance one's daily gratitude process.

Leaves are Falling; Gratitude is Calling (From the Kids)

Oct 31, 2023
Gracyn Nelson-Reid
GRACYN NELSON-REID is a senior at the University of Texas San Antonio. She is majoring in Biology and plans to attend graduate school in the field of Microbiology research. Gracyn has been immersed in personality type theory from the time she was born! Her mom is a certified MBTI® and MMTIC® professional who introduced type theory and type language to her children to help them understand and appreciate differences.
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Autumn brings forth a resurgence of gratitude for many, but those experiencing hardship in life might need a little help to make every day a day for giving thanks. Gracyn Nelson-Reid describes her challenging year and how understanding her own personality type has helped in her healing process.

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Understanding personality type differences can help turn holiday chaos into holiday cheer

Happy Holiday Type Tips for All

Dec 05, 2023
Yvonne Nelson-Reid, PhD
YVONNE NELSON-REID, PhD, is the Senior Development Associate at Myers & Briggs Foundation (M&BF®), the publisher for the People Stripes® website, a mother of 5, writer, teacher (BEd, MA), depth psychologist – Jungian and archetypal studies (MA, PhD), and career coach. Parenting, teaching in a classroom, or on the ice as a figure skating coach has taught her a great deal about relationships and the importance of communication.
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Looking to foster holiday harmony? Take a peek at these type tips presented by Dr. Yvonne Nelson-Reid. And may your holidays be peaceful and fun!

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The Z-Model provides a solution to balanced and responsible decision-making.

Problem Solving Model using Personality Type (Part 1: The Z-Model)

Apr 02, 2024
Yvonne Nelson-Reid, PhD
YVONNE NELSON-REID, PhD, is the Senior Development Associate at Myers & Briggs Foundation (M&BF®), the publisher for the People Stripes® website, a mother of 5, writer, teacher (BEd, MA), depth psychologist – Jungian and archetypal studies (MA, PhD), and career coach. Parenting, teaching in a classroom, or on the ice as a figure skating coach has taught her a great deal about relationships and the importance of communication.
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The four mental processes—Sensing, Intuition, Thinking, and Feeling—are used for taking in information and making decisions. We need all the processes for effective problem-solving. Most of us tend to lean on our natural strengths and neglect our stretches. For a balanced way to problem-solve, Yvonne Nelson-Reid, PhD, proposes the use of the Z-model. The Z-model is easy to use and directs one, using questions for guidance, through each of the four mental processes.

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