As part of the reflective piece we have been completing over the last 9 days, the penultimate part of the activity is to look at our temperament.
Our temperament is described as our biological-based behaviours, so are generally independent of learning, attitude and values.
There are a number of different assessment types that are used to determine our temperaments but like all things there is varying evidence supporting them. We are not that concerned with the overall success at these systems for determining how people work, behave in society or anything formal like that, but we are going to lean on these concepts to understand ourselves better.
So to start with there are some basics.
Are you a early bird or a night owl? Is it normal for you to go to bed early and rise early, or are you more likely to stay up late and rise late in the morning? It is common to be a bit of a mix, so think of what you do when you don’t have a work commitment or morning meeting as that is more likely to be your underlying type.
Next consider whether you are an extrovert or introvert. Again it is possible to be a bit of both (an ambivert if you like), but usually people sit more on one side of the line or the other. For the purpose of our activity you can explore when it is you feel more introverted or extroverted.
It may help to know the definition which is that extroverts receive their energy source from being with others. In groups they come alive. And although they need recovery time afterwards this doesn’t need to be as long as it would be for an introvert.
Introverts are, on the other hand, more energetically empowered when in their own company. They are totally capable of being in groups but the recovery time after is longer. They need that time alone with themselves to recharge.
Sometimes if unsure it’s useful to think of what you were like as a child before the conditioning and societal influences began to influence you. Were you a ‘pay attention to me’ type (like I was!) or more comfortable in the shadow?
Beyond this point we are going to lean on the Myers-Briggs evaluation method. The next 3 temperament qualities focus on how we take in information, how we make decisions, and how we like to live our lives.
Using the picture above and the qualities it describes after each question to select which is the most accurate description of you. Again you may be a mixture of the two, and if that is the case try to focus more on how you act/behave outside of your work environment, as work sometimes forces us to flex into behaviours that don’t come so naturally to us. Instead think of how you behave in your personal life, as this is likely to be closer to your natural temperament.
So in answer to ‘how do you like to take in your information?’ you should either have the answer of Sensing (S) or Intuition (N). In a simple way Sensing people are fact and figures orientated whereas Intuition people are bigger picture types.
For the question ‘how do you prefer to make decisions?’ you should have an answer of Thinking (T) or Feeling (F). This is another one to consider more how you operate in your personal life, and also think about how you speak. Do you tend to say ‘I think….’ or ‘I feel…’ more? Although I have to apply local thinking in making decisions, particularly at work, I tend to say ‘I feel’ a lot more, meaning me to be more of a feeler!
Then the last question is ‘how do you prefer to live your outer life?’ and should be able to answer using the picture above as being Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).
As a rule Judging people like structure, instructions, rules, procedure, order, deadlines. Perceiving people like fluidity, flexibility, improvisation, spontaneity. What sounds more like you?
Once you have completed answering these questions we are left with 4 initials and you can search in the picture again for those 4 letters and a brief description of your personality based on this.
How do you feel reading this description? Is it accurate for you? Remember we can not condense our personality down to 4 letters, but it does give us some decent insight, and it’s certainly a good place to start.
You can also find a more detailed description of your personality/temperament here .
This has been one of the last activities in the VITAL Signs activity, and there is one last activity tomorrow. Keep an eye out here or on my Instagram page.