You walk into your supervisor’s office after working all weekend on an important project. You proudly hand over your work, your supervisor reads it through, hands it back and points out a spelling mistake on the 3rd page.
How do you handle this situation?
A) Acknowledge and thank him/her for the feedback and promptly go and repair the spelling error
B) Grab a pen from the desk in front of you, cross out the mistake and replace it with the correct spelling
C) Say nothing, quietly turn and fighting back tears, leave the office to go and repair the spelling error
D) Any combination of the above
E) None of the above
How we interpret and react to a situation is mostly dependent on our temperament makeup. Have you ever wondered why you do the things you do? Have you ever wondered why others do the things they do?
Over the ages, humans have always had an interest in looking at behaviour and have had this innate need to categorize those that are around us. This categorization is not meant to label or pigeon hole people, but more to understand similarities between those that are around us. It also allows us to recognize and embrace differences.
Interestingly, although some of the methods of categorization may have been different in their approach, they all seemed to yield essentially the same outcome – the ability to group people into four different categories based on how they behave in certain circumstances.
Once we understand and recognize our own behaviour, we can then also learn to observe how those around us behave. This newfound understanding provides us with a powerful resource to begin to adapt or modify our own behaviour to impact our interpersonal relationships in a positive way.
There are many different personality and temperament tools at our disposal that allow us to perform self-analysis. One Canadian tool is Personality Dimensions. It’s a fun, interactive and informative way to look at ourselves and come together with others to discuss, and ultimately, share our similarities, differences and needs. Using colours to represent each of the four categories (Gold, Blue, Orange, Green), it’s an easy way to recognize and identify the temperaments of those around you.
Imagine now, how the situation above might have differed if each person had a better understanding about the needs of the other. How could you use this knowledge to make sure that your interaction was a positive one?
Personality Dimensions touches all areas of our lives, whether it be with family, friends or co-workers. You begin to see how motivation can be different between people, but ultimately, we all seek the same things – self-esteem and self-importance.