Team Role Theory: Overview

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MTR-i Team Role Theory is based on the Psychological Type theory of Carl Jung.  It focuses on some of the fundamental modes of thought and behaviour that we use in everyday interactions at work.  However, the applications of the theory also reach far into our social and personal lives.

Although personality styles are reflected in the different team roles in the MTR-i model, Team Role Theory is different from personality theory.  Whereas personality theory is generally concerned with one’s enduring identity and preferences, Team Role Theory focuses on more transient aspects of personality.  Also, whereas personality theory has broad, general uses, team role theory is tightly focused on particular applications.

The distinction between the two sides of personality can be traced back to Carl Jung’s theory and even earlier.  Jung drew a distinction of habitual and momentary adaptation, each of which correlates with Myers Briggs and MTR-i theory respectively.

Myers Briggs is concerned with habit, i.e.: the instinctive, in-built way of behaving; the method of response that is chosen when there is free choice.  MTR-i team roles, however, are concerned with momentary adaptation, i.e.: the bahaviours that are actually used.  Sometimes, for some imperative such as circumstance, conscious choice or even irritation, we behave in ways different to our preferred mode.  It is the actual behaviour that is the central focus of the MTR-i system.

This distinction can be traced back much further in history through Jung’s use of the term “persona”.  Jung used this term to describe the type of person that we present to the world, to satisfy the demains of the situation or environment.  The persona does not therefore represent the inner personality (which is the concern of Myers Briggs theory).  The term originates from Roman times, where a ‘persona’ was the mask or fa├žade used by actors to convey the character of the part they were playing.

In summary, personality theory is concerned with the nature of the actor.  MTR-i team role theory is concerned with the role being taken in the play.

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