What Makes Us Tick? A Look at Personality Dimensions

What Makes Us Tick? A Look at Personality Dimensions

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Have you ever wondered why your personality is so different from that of other members of your family? Or do you have people in your circle with who there are challenges to get along? If either of these has left you contemplating what’s wrong with you or what’s wrong with those to whom you have a hard time getting through, let me put your mind at ease. There is nothing at all wrong with you, and there isn’t anything wrong with them either.

Temperament is a unique and personal thing and when we interact with others with a different temperament type, well sometimes challenges arise. Let’s take a look back at where this began. The study of temperament goes all the way back to Hippocrates, Carl Jung and Myers & Briggs to name a few. For centuries, these great thinkers and researchers have been examining human behavior and finding that we can accurately categorize people into four types. Hippocrates based his categories on the levels of fluids in the human body. They were Phlegmatic, Melancholic, Sanguine and Chloric. Carl Jung, known as the father of modern day temperament theory, focused on the intellect, body, intuition, and feeling. The famous mother and daughter team, Myers & Briggs built on the work of Carl Jung, and although they identified 16 personality types, there remained only four basic temperaments. Personality Dimensions is the evolution of all these works along with adult learning theory and independent validity studies, and a true workshop setting allows you to see temperament in action!

So what makes us tick? David Kiersey, the author of Please Understand Me II, states that human beings strive for self-esteem but seek it in different ways because of our values wants, aims, needs, motives, desires and preferences. He also says that these predispositions drive all actions and behaviors. So how does Personality Dimensions help us build better relationships with those in our world? And by the world, I mean family, friends, peers, clients or anyone with whom we need to communicate and interact daily. By first identifying our temperament type and understanding the strengths, unique qualities, and even weaknesses of our personality, we begin to uncover that one defining truth. No one temperament or personality is more important than the other. As a matter of fact, we possess all four! But we utilize them differently and during varying phases or our lives. Four colors are used to identify the four types. Inquiring Greens are the thinkers, Organized Golds value structure, Authentic Blues wear their hearts on their sleeves, and the Resourceful Oranges live for freedom and adventure. When you learn more about each, you begin to see reflections of yourself in each. However, most people identify with one or more type and exercise that type in their everyday life.

For more than 20 years, I’ve had the pleasure of teaching individuals and businesses how to strengthen their interpersonal relationships and communication skills by focusing on the positives of each and acceptance of those who exercise a different temperament style. The revelation that people gain when they realize why it’s been a challenge to get along with that “unique individual” is priceless. Whether you are an entrepreneur trying to grow your business by better understanding your client’s needs, a parent longing to guide their child to be the best they can be, or a friend needing to strengthen that very important relationship, having insight into personality type can be of great value to you. This wonderful tool is just one way of learning more about others and ourselves. Our world is colorful, bright, and full of interesting people. I know this because I’ve met many through the work I do and especially when I use this tool with them. Once we learn to see differences as strengths and not weaknesses, we can begin to relax, foster healthy relationships, grow our businesses, and lead full and rewarding lives!

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