Modalities and Personality Orientation
Treat others how THEY want to be treatedOne has to be mindful of other people's feelings and preferences. One cannot just be oneself, say and do whatever one likes or whatever feels right or good to do, not thinking about one's actions or the consequences of one's behaviour or actions; and thinking if anyone gets upset or stressed by your behaviour then it's their fault! There are two sides to every coin. It's not a jungle out there, with each person for himself or herself! Relationships are built on mutual trust and respect.
One cannot just treat others as one would have oneself treated! Although that's a very good starting point. One cannot just assume that everyone else is like you, and that other people's experiences are only valid if you yourself have experienced them. One must treat others how they themselves want to be treated, if one wants to get the best out of people, sell them your product or to make people around one happy and harmonious.
People are different, and have personality-based preferences for interpreting information, receiving and giving information, and how they formulate beliefs and ideas. Whoever says everyone should be one way is inexperienced and immature, and cannot see outside of themselves. This flawed attitude is common amongst youth culture movements, such as punk, where one has to dress in a certain youth culture uniform, and behave and think in a certain manner, and expect youths and adults alike to have a childlike, direct, playful and irresponsible attitude; whilst all the time they don't know their own personalities, don't have the confidence to find out, and don't want to find out as they think they will sell out and go against the values of their peer group. Obviously this doesn't apply to all punks and punk bands, but the vast majority. Many bands make the mistake of thinking their audience is intelligent, whereas in reality they are impressionable and grasp at the lowest common denominator. Of course, people in bands tend to be the motherly, caring, opinionated, creative types or the pleasure seeking types. The latter are childlike, and that's why they are in that job! And nothing wrong with that. That's the way they are, they are using their personal strengths. But not everyone is like that. The fans shouldn't take lyrics as an instruction manual in what to think, they are one persons gibberings, neuroses or thoughts at a particular point in time, or writings for their own amusement or writings to bolster his or her ego. Interpret with perspective!
One a different note, there is no point investing time or effort into someone that does not want to change or is not interested in personal development or improving themselves. This is especially poignant in friendships, romantic relationships and also in business relationships where you have to work with someone who is unmanageable, unprofessional and/or incompetent in certain respects. In the work scenario, you can put in considerable effort trying to help them improve, be met with much resistance and attitude, and at the end of the day, that person can just walk out and quit, making all your efforts totally wasted as far as your company or your own working situation is concerned - especially if you have health issues! That person also would not be grateful for your efforts and would simply think you were a very mean, nasty person (ego resistance).
Personal Approach and PreferencesSo of all the different personality orientations, below I have listed just a few:
- Some people like to hear the big picture, and get annoyed if someone goes into too much detail about something - perhaps just a yes or no answer (when one is asking whether something is 'x' or not); perhaps an accurate but succinct one or two sentence summary or explanation. Time is money! And effort. They have other things to be getting on with. Others like to hear all the details and may get bogged down in detail and sometimes lose the overall point of what is being said or the emphasis of the main point. Such a person, may go into all known details, even if the other person is aware of some of them; he may get to the point at the end; or end up going off on a tangent and losing the point of the original discussion, sparking off a completely new topic (without concluding the first topic). A detail person may start to describe the whole history of the topic in question, as if they are telling their life story, to justify themselves or to help explain how we arrived at the point before finally answering the original question! A detail orientated person may well become annoyed if he asks a person a specific question or a complex question and the question is not answered fully, or he receives a flakey, vague, 'need to know' or flippant response, as it requires multiple questions and probing just to get the answer you wanted in the first place (the other person really making you work hard for it). Of course, many of us operate in different modes depending on the situation, and may be detail orientated and specific in certain areas and lines of questions, but perfer succinct and yes/no answers in other areas where it is deemed that detail is not important, e.g. if one is trying to understand something vs wanting to know if something is 'x' or not or a person has completed a task or not. If person A is used to talking to someone flakey or rather dim, he may be used to having to repeat himself and explain the obvious, to make sure the other person acknowledges the point. However, if person A adopts this approach with everyone, even those that are sharp and intelligent (e.g. person B), then he may annoy or alienate them. Person B feels like he is being treated like an idiot. Person A may take offence if person B stops him in his tracks and asks him to get to the point. Clearly some people need to hear a point more than once for it to sink in; others only need to hear it once and will always remember it; others may need to have the point repeated over a period of a few weeks before it sinks in, and then perhaps reminded every 6 months when they have forgotten again; others may only need to hear it once initially, but need reminding periodically for it to finally become a habit.
- Some people are self-orientated or self-referenced (red personality), in that they formulate an opinion or decision about things based on how they themselves feel about them inside, and don't require anyone else's advice or input. Others are externally referenced and like to ask others what they think prior to making a decision or formulating an opinion about something (blue or white personality).
If one is externally referenced, one has to be careful who one is friends with! As otherwise they can drag you down and not pull you up (as part of the mind's desire for congruence).
Bear in mind that those who are externally referenced may often be credulous, and believe that everyone is relatively honest and plays fair, taking it personally when some is either not playing fair or scolds them - as they tend to respect the opinions of others even if clearly they probably do not respect them as people. Externally referenced persons can also become easily wound up by others by the same token, and may easiliy feel they are the 'victim' of a situation. A sense of self-preservation may be underdeveloped, but equally this could apply to self-referenced persons who pay no attention to the more common styles of self-preservation of others, never figured it out themselves and are in their own world potentially.
Externally referenced persons may fall victim to dishonest scolding, i.e. when person A makes a momentary error or lapse of judgement, person B not only scolds them for it, but lies in order to fabricate references and 'victims' of the 'crime' in question, in order to provide leverage over person A and to prove his point and to inflict as much pain as possible on that individual, to destroy their self-esteem utterly. This is discussed on the Belief page.
Don't forget that 'It's not your business what others think of you!' That is THEIR business.
"The essence of independence has been to think and act according to standards from within, not without." - Aleister Crowley
- Some people do things out of necessity, when the level of pain or discomfort is too high, they suddenly become motivated (moving away orientation). Others are naturally motivated by the joy of achieving the result of what they are doing (moving toward motivation). People will be motivated in different ways depending on the specific case, positively or negatively. The thresholds for the levels of pain and pleasure that motivate individuals vary according to the individual also. For some people, mainly blues, the pain threshold is quite low, and a task may be completed immediately, whereas for a yellow personality, the level of pain might have to be quite high before he or she performs it (for an unenjoyable task).
- Some people are feeling orientated (kinesthetic) and like to touch and experience things to understand them, some people are visually orientated (visual) and like to see pictures and diagrams and visualise things to understand them. Some people are auditorily orientated (auditory), and prefer to hear something and discuss something to understand it. These characteristics seem to be somewhat independent of personality type, although red personality types tend to be visual.
- Some people are similarity orientated, in that they understand object B by likening it to object A (for example white and yellow personality). Some people are difference orientated, in that they understand object B by seeing how it differs to object A (for example, blue personality). Some people are similarity with difference orientated, in that they understand object B by likening it to object A but understanding the differences too (perhaps blue or red personality).
- Some people are process oriented (blue personality), some people are result orientated (red personality), and some people are options orientated (yellow personality).
- Some people like to be reassured many times (like telling your husband or wife you love her every day - perhaps blue personality), and other people hear something once then that's enough (perhaps red personality).
- Some people appreciate the number of gifts rather than the size of the gift (gross exaggeration - women). Some people appreciate one single big gift (gross exaggeration - men)
- Some people are more dominant than others and pick submissive people as their friends (red personality). Other submissive people feel lost and pick dominant friends (white personality), so they don't have to think for themselves too much. A submissive person may become dominant if they are with someone even more submissive than themselves. A great way to build rapport with someone is to match their style. The worst way to build rapport with someone, or the best way to put them off, is to choose a totally opposite personal style with them. People who have a personal style but don't like it when other people have it are really not being honest with themselves. They fit into the above too submissive or too dominant category. They are not balanced, and expect another personality type to balance their own. It just means they are lower down on the graph of personal growth, and in time hopefully one can learn from the other about the qualities that they are missing (obviously these learned qualities won't be their primary ones).
- Some people like a blunt, intense and direct approach, a no nonsense approach (red personality). Others like to be treated with tact and sensitivity, and avoid confrontation (white personality). In fact, most people like to be treated with some degree of tact and sensivity. You cannot just say something hurtful and stick the knife in if you feel like expressing yourself, if it isn't even necessary. If you have something to say to someone or a point to make, or an argument to counter, then say it in a minimalist and respectful manner, and prepare the ground first. Excessively hurtful information or statements do not help! They have the reverse effect. They might satisfy your ego, but they detract from the overall goal that caused you to say them in the first place. If you don't interact with such 'overly sensitive' people ever in your life (for example if you lock yourself in a room and never meet anyone), then it's not a problem and you don't need to acquire this skill. But sooner or later you will, so it's best to have all the tools you need to deal with every different kind of person.
- Some people like physical contact in a social context whereas others are literally scared by physical contact. e.g. some people like a limp handshake (white personality type), whereas others find a limp handshake offensive and an insult (interpreting it as the other person having no respect for them or not being interested in them whatsoever). An excessively firm handshake where someone tries to crush your hand is a sign of the red personality type. Some people have a very small 'bubble' of personal space around them, and interact with others usually in very close proximity, sometimes even literally face to face! Other people have a very large 'bubble' and feel threatened when one is in 'normal' or close promixity to them. Of course, many are in the middle somewhere, and their 'bubble' and 'touch' preferences vary on the situation and context. Whatever the size of the 'bubble', entering that bubble uninvited often leads to stress and counterproductive results.
- As above, some people like to greet their colleagues briefly and say hello and acknowledge them, but are busy or are not interested in a prolonged conversation. Others tend to ignore their colleagues and when someone says hello to them, they take it as a cue to talk at them for a prolonged length of time, totally oblivious as to whether the person is actually interested or not in hearing about it - ignoring body language, facial expression (of stress or annoyance), fidgeting or sighing etc. Some people 'grab helpless victims' and trap them in conversation, talking at them for prolonged lengths of time. I once had an elderly neighbour like this, who would talk at you about everything (was probably needy of some company, bless her) and if one happened to walk past her whilst entering or leaving the house, one would be subject to 5-10 minutes of monologue and repetition. Whilst OK at first, this quickly became tiresome and I even succumbed to sneaking in and out of the house if I heard her around after a couple of years. After I had moved out and relocated, I bumped into her at a local shopping centre. She was sat next to another woman, who was looking the other way, her body facing away from her friend. Everytime, she leaned over to say something to her, expecting her agreement, the other lady just said yes before she'd even finished the sentence, as if she just wanted her to shut up and leave her alone! The old neighbour chewed my ear off for 10 minutes, and the sight of this poor wretch sat next to her, whom the ex-neighbour was totally oblivious to her response, was quite amusing! And summed up this particular tendency quite well. She did admit she had gone on for a while, as she usually did, but this was more a semi-apology for the way she was, but she had no intention of changing or paying attention to the other person and whether they were interested or not! She was really just interested in satisfying her own needs. Such people usually talk themselves out after 10 minutes or so, after which point they have gotten their 'fix' or fulfilled their need, and suddenly they may actually pay attention to the other person's existence and what they want to talk about, or rather, let them actually get a word in edgeways. Do you know someone like this? If you are like this, then try to be aware of whether you audience is interested in hearing what you have to say, gauge their response as you talk. And be aware that a conversation is two way, involving feedback and listening to the other person, and is not just an excuse to talk at the other person about what you want to talk about. It is traditional to take an interest in the other person rather than just in yourself.
It is clear that many people share both sides of a preference, depending on the situation. For example, a person with the 'white' personality who is usually very vague may be extremely detailed oriented in certain matters, in certain areas. Also, many 'white' personalities who are normally very vague when they answer questions, may go into elaborate detail when recounting an experience rather than just summarising it in a few sentences. It is clear that to get the best out of people, and to gain the maximum rapport, it is important to adapt to other people's preferences and orientation, rather than sticking to what one likes. For example, if an I.T. support engineer, who is normally a detail oriented person (with respect to his work) asks what the problem with a computer is, it can be extremely annoying if the user simply says 'the machine isn't working' without defining any parameters whatsoever, unable to find any appropriate and relevant nouns! In addition, if person A says good morning to his work colleagues each morning, he may become slightly irritated if one person he says good morning too takes it as an opportunity to stop him and tell him about something he's done recently in full detail (his life story), rather than just acknowledging the greeting and smiling for example. If however person A loves excessive detail in all areas, then he may enjoy this! If you are the type of person to talk at people about something you've done in full detail on a regular basis, try to use some sensory acuity to notice if the person you are talking to really wants to hear it. One can observe signs and signals and body language.
Let us take a hypothetical example of Charles working in a cafe or diner, and Geoff comes in each day and orders a cup of tea. Geoff usually comes in around 08:30am. Geoff has had a full breakfast at home with his wife and wants to have a cup of tea before going out on the road for the day. Geoff orders a cup of tea, Charles serves him a three course meal, even though Geoff never ordered it or wanted it, and only after 90 minutes does Geoff actually get his cup of tea. Geoff gets progressively more irritated, but doesn't say anything. Charles is totally oblivious to Geoff's irritation and body language and keeps on going. Charles thinks he is really sorting out Geoff, really looking after him, even though he isn't giving him what he wants. Charles is totally oblivious to what Geoff actually wants or how he is reacting. Geoff ends up being late.
Imagine that this happens everyday. Is this any way to run a business? Is this any way to treat a customer? If someone places an order or requests something, then it is traditional to give them what they wanted. If you serve the same dish all the time regardless of what people order, just because it is what you would want if you were being served, are you really looking after your customers? Serving customers in this manner displays a total lack of empathy and indicates that a person is in their own world and not receptive to live, ongoing feedback and body language from others; or the needs of others or their personality type. Such a person does not tend to listen very readily.
If Charles was preparing some food for himself, and time was no constraint, he would probably make his favourite three course meal. However, when a customer orders or wants something, who is getting the food, Charles or the customer? Of course, it is the customer. However, Charles isn't noticing whether his customers are hungry or not or what they actually ordered. Will he have any customers left? Or if he does, will they find him annoying? Perhaps Charles adopts the attitude whereby he expects the customer to complain or say something if they do not get what they ordered. In this way, Charles defers the responsibility to the customer and away from himself. He can just carry on as normal, with any dissatisfaction being the customer's fault for not speaking up if their order is not correct. In a cafe or diner, it is up to the waiter or waitress to deliver quality, to deliver what people want first time, every time! This is good customer service and a sign of competence.
Understanding personality types and personal orientation is very applicable when getting involved in an investment with a company or starting up a new business or venture. If you are not totally happy with the person you are dealing with (i.e. you do not completely trust or respect them), then it is best to walk away and find another opportunity which is as good if not better, but where the owner/director has a personality that you are happy to work with. As with romantic relationships or friendships, if you identify any issues at the start, then they are unlikely to go away and cannot be 'brushed under the carpet' or forgotten about, as they will affect your working relationship more and more over time, and will probably drive you nuts or cause you many problems. There are millions of opportunities out there and there is no reason to settle for second best or the first half good thing that comes along, and regret it later. If the person is arrogant, not totally open or willing to divulge critical information or hopeless with figures or management, walk away!
When entering into employment in a new company or environment, it is important to notice what the personal approaches people prefer and how extreme or balanced they are in these respects. It is also worth noting the personality types of the people you will be working with, how balanced they are, and what the positive and negative qualities of their primary and secondary personality types are. Those with unbalanced or with a strong 'single colour' personality, and in particular those with strong negative qualities of this personality type may be inflexible and difficult to work with. It is also worth noting the appropriateness of other people's personality types and personal orientations and general faculties to their job/role/tasks. It is also worth noting how open people are and if they are willing to grow and have an interest in personal and professional development, or are locked up tight like a vice (on an emotional level); how honest they are with themselves, and their general level of personal awareness; and how able they are to discuss possible improvements to processes or communication; how able they are to take constructive criticism without becoming defensive or overly emotional; and how willing they are to make their work reusable by others and transparent; how considerate people are of others; how much awareness people have of other (empathy); and how willing they are to follow procedures and due process; and how willing they are to take and follow orders and instructions. Not everyone may share your ambitions and values. It may also be important to work with colleagues who have real personality, passion, enthusiasm and character. It is worth nothing if the atmosphere is relaxed, energised, or dull, boring, stressful or hostile. Is there proper management or is there chaos? Do workers take responsibility or do they like to palm work off onto others and not see the bigger picture? Do people share common goals and values? Some may have negative attitudes to customers or to following procedure or keeping their workstation ordered (where it is possible to find what you are looking for easily!) It is better to try to figure these things out first off and preferably at the interview stage or early on, rather than later on.
Ideally in your job you will enjoy and thrive on the atmosphere and really like your colleagues, and find many of them inspiring or good mentors or friends. At the very minimum, colleagues should respect each others differences and limitations, and treat each other politely and with respect, and act professionally, even if they do not like each other particularly; and make an effort to develop a little personal awareness and interpersonal awareness.
If this is not the case, then you really should leave as soon as possible for another job or occupation. Those who are unwilling to develop any awareness of how they are and the needs of others, and are trapped in their own fixed emotional patterns and modes of behaviour are best to be avoided. Any job that does not consider your health, your worthiness as a person and your family needs is not worth wiping off your shoe, and regardless of your financial or personal circumstances, you are most likely better off without it. You would be amazed how your quality of life could improve in a slightly different working environment. Opportunities are out there but if you don't look, you will never know and life will just pass you by.
The field of your occupation (and type of job within that field) should really be something that you find interesting, that stimulates you intellectually, that you are passionate about, that utilises your creative and intellectual strengths, that suits your personality type and personal orientation qualities, that utilises your various talents, and which fulfills your fundamental human needs.
If you are not very familiar with these things and how your personality really relates to various occupations and fields, what your tastes really are, what kinds of relationships and situations you like, and how your skills and personality relate to the variety of occupational choices out there, then you may well lack life experience, self-knowledge and above all confidence and high self-esteem. These are things to work on if this is the case.
If your idea about a career is to go into a vague field, such as the environment, but you do not have any idea about what particular area within the environment, or what type of skill set you want to develop, and you do not really know much about that field or understand it, then you are most likely not interested in it enough! To start with you have to be interested in yourself. Then you can more easily figure out what will interest you and focus more clearly on what you want to actually go for. Certain types of industry or job may not necessarily require a dedicated choice from the outset, and a project manager may well evolve into a marketing manager, a technical product manager, sales person or technical sales support person. Sometimes certain jobs are required as a stepping stone to other areas. This is something you will have to get a handle on yourself.
Often those who do not actively make positive choices based on their positive self-knowledge, but allow situations to simply happen to them or do what they feel they 'ought' to do through years of conditioning, are in effect allowing others to make the decisions for them, and may well end up wondering how they ended up in such a boring, mind numbing, mindless, depressing, stressful or unpleasant environment, in work and at home!
The following lyrics from the Naked Raygun song 'Entrapment' are particularly pertinent here: