Working with Personality & Positivity
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Category: Blog

We See Things As We Are

In her book “Life is a verb” Patti Digh quotes Anais Nin: “We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are.”

Isn’t that the truth. We grow up with our perspective and often just assume that others view life the same way too. We often gravitate towards ppeople who see things the way we do too. But sometimes we find ourselves in the company of someone who just doesn’t see things in the same way and we wonder why they are so weird.

For example, one colleague may be very different on your team than the rest of your colleagues. As one workshop participant commented to me the other day, “we’re both speaking English but sometimes I just don’t understand her.” Once they learned the differences of how the four temperaments communicate, they began to understand where some of the gaps were in their relationship on the team.

Only then could they begin to bridge the gap between their two perspectives and perhaps even appreciate one another a little more. Once again, I quoted Patti Digh: “Experiencing the world of others doesn’t imply agreement or adoption of their way of being in the world, but it does require openness.”

Another participant commented that she thought a group of their colleagues were being sarcastic and she had never quite figured out why. She learned that day that this small group shared the same temperament and what she thought was sarcastic was really just their dry wit . They all laughed together. And so a bridge was built that day.

When Can We First Start Watching For Personality Traits

This was one of the questions I had from Linda, the mother of a toddler, whom I was looking after in the church nursery. Imagine her surprise when I told her kids have an innate personality so she could start watching for signs now and eventually would be able to figure out which of the four temperaments her toddler would likely prefer.

Since that conversation (and many similar ones) I have watched my four grandchildren with great interest. The longer I have been studying and speaking about temperaments the faster I see those little ones’ personalities emerge at a very young age.

So today I was very keen to see a similar question posed by a doting grandmother at I was even more keen to see that one of the readers made a comment that her pediatrician suggested by four months of age a baby would be exhibiting signs of his/her personality.

Of course this would be little signs at such a young age. For me, it was usually a number of things the little ones would do over the months that would make me suspect which temperament group they would lean towards.

I distinctly remember the eureka day for me when our third little munchkin started placing her tiny toddler shoes together neatly at the front door when she entered the house. A sure sign of one of the four temperament types.

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Where Do You Begin?

The foundation for whatever it is in life that you are trying to create — a great team, a fabulous family, or the life you want in your senior years –begins with who you are.

That’s right. Let me repeat this simple truth.

You start at the very beginning by answering the question: Who Are You?

Susan, one of many downsized clients, had no idea how to respond to the question of “who are you?” She looked me straight in the eye and said, “I have no idea who I am, what I want, or what makes me tick! I am over fifty years old. When I look back, I got my degree, started a great career, married the man of my dreams, had wonderful kids, and now, pouf, I haven’t a clue of who I really am because I’ve just been too busy being busy all of these years.”

“Furthermore, “ added Susan, “I have no idea where to begin to find out the answer to this simple question!’

My response: “That’s where I come in!”