When Jim Carey was in elementary school, he was a challenge for his teachers – as you can imagine! He thrived on attention, talked a lot and constantly kept things stirred up in the classroom. He got in trouble often until one wise teacher helped bring out the strengths of his personality. She made an agreement with him: if he focused during the day on his learning then at the end of the day he could have ten minutes in front of the classroom to entertain the rest of the class. THIS WORKED!
Our behavior represents one or two of four different Personality styles which we come hard-wired with at birth. Hippocrates, a physician who lived over 2000 years ago, first identified these four styles. We continue to use the Greek names and I have added a descriptive word and “motto” that helps us remember a little about the description of each Personality:
Playful Sanguine – “Let’s do it the fun way!”
Proper Melancholy – “Let’s do it the right way.”
Powerful Choleric – “Let’s do it MY way.”
Peaceful Phlegmatic – “Let’s do it the easy way.”
Perhaps you can already identify yourself and some of the people you know!
We all have a certain “color” lens through which we see life. One is not right or wrong nor better than any other. Just different. Understanding important research on The Personalities helps us know ourselves and get along better with others.
One woman who attended my Personalities class told me, “I finally understand why my husband doesn’t respond the way I think he should – and we’ve been married 45 years!” She was a Peaceful Phlegmatic and was overwhelmed by her Powerful Choleric husband who couldn’t seem to take time to listen to her and was annoyed by her slower pace. She learned some ways to “speak his language” and also embraced her own positive qualities.
During a team building session I spoke with each person on the team. One woman told me this about another woman on her team, “She is no fun at all. She is so serious and every time I have an idea she tells me all the reasons it won’t work.” When I took this team through The Personalities they were able to see why they were having some conflicts and how to resolve them. The women in this scenario discovered that one was a Playful Sanguine who had lots of creative ideas, was energetic and eager to implement them. The other woman was a Proper Melancholy who was cautious and thoughtful and wanted to analyze the pros and cons before jumping into action. Once they understood this about each other, they were able to give one another the space to talk things through and plan the next steps to take.
Even though we come hard-wired at birth with a certain Personality style, we can learn to bring out our own strengths and adjust ourselves to get along better with just about anyone.
I invite you to The Personalities teleclass on September 8. You will be able to take an assessment to discover your own Personality. You will learn about the various characteristics of each personality, the strengths and struggles and the inner needs of each.
Laugh a lot and learn valuable skills for getting along better with just about anyone!
Click here to register. After you register, you will be sent a phone number to call to gain access to the class. If you can’t make it at that time, you will be sent a link where you can access the recording and handouts for the class.
Do you have a question or a “Personality” story to share? Please click here to share.