the four temperaments

the four temperaments

“If you do not want what I want, please try not to tell me that my want is wrong. 
Or if my beliefs are different from yours, at least pause before you set out to correct them.
Or if my emotion seems less or more intense than yours, given the same circumstances, try not to ask me to feel other than I do.
Or if I act, or fail to act, in the manner of your design for action, please let me be.
I do not, for the moment at least, ask you to understand me. That will come only when you are willing to give up trying to change me into a copy of you.
If you will allow me any of my own wants, or emotions, or beliefs, or actions, then you open yourself to the possibility that some day these ways of mine might not seem so wrong, and might finally appear as right–for me.
To put up with me is the first step to understanding me.
Not that you embrace my ways as right for you, but that you are no longer irritated or disappointed with me for my seeming waywardness.
And one day, perhaps, in trying to understand me, you might come to prize my differences, and, far from seeking to change me, might preserve and even cherish those differences.
I may be your spouse, your parent, your offspring, your friend, your colleague.
But whatever our relation, this I know: You and I are fundamentally different and both of us have to march to our own drummer”.
Taken from ‘Please Understand Me II, David Keirsey

I discovered personality/temperament types and the tests which help discover which ‘type’ individuals are, many years ago and I always thought that this was the obvious place to start with an individual or individuals when assisting them or steering them (as a parent, employer or teacher) in the best direction for their life. Or if trying to build an organisation or community. But then I would think that, being, apparently, an ‘Idealist’.

These personality type tests seem like brilliant tools to me for ‘calling forth each learner’s potential’. Why aren’t they more widely used, I thought to myself? Perhaps they are and I’m not aware of it. Anyway, in building any organisation or community it seems that if each of the individuals involved  within it are doing what they love the best, the community is going to be the happiest and most effective.

Have a look at the temperament types listed below and see if you can find yourself amongst them and then go and do the ‘Keirsey Temperament Sorter’ and see how aware of yourself you really are.

Guardians® (SJs) are the cornerstone of society, for they are the temperament given to serving and preserving our most important social institutions. Guardians have natural talent in managing goods and services–from supervision to maintenance and supply — and they use all their skills to keep things running smoothly in their families, communities, schools, churches, hospitals, and businesses.

All Guardians share the following core characteristics:

  • Guardians pride themselves on being dependable, helpful, and hard-working.
  • Guardians make loyal mates, responsible parents, and stabilizing leaders.
  • Guardians tend to be dutiful, cautious, humble, and focused on credentials and traditions.
  • Guardians are concerned citizens who trust authority, join groups, seek security, prize gratitude, and dream of meting out justice.

Idealists (NFs) as a temperament, are passionately concerned with personal growth and development. Idealists strive to discover who they are and how they can become their best possible self — always this quest for self-knowledge and self-improvement drives their imagination. And they want to help others make the journey. Idealists are naturally drawn to working with people, and whether in education or counseling, in social services or personnel work, in journalism or the ministry, they are gifted at helping others find their way in life, often inspiring them to grow as individuals and to fulfill their potentials.

All Idealists share the following core characteristics:

  • Idealists are enthusiastic, they trust their intuition, yearn for romance, seek their true self, prize meaningful relationships, and dream of attaining wisdom.
  • Idealists pride themselves on being loving, kindhearted, and authentic.
  • Idealists tend to be giving, trusting, spiritual, and they are focused on personal journeys and human potentials.
  • Idealists make intense mates, nurturing parents, and inspirational leaders.

Artisans (SPs) are the temperament with a natural ability to excel in any of the arts, not only the fine arts such as painting and sculpting, or the performing arts such as music, theater, and dance, but also the athletic, military, political, mechanical, and industrial arts, as well as the “art of the deal” in business.

All Artisans share the following core characteristics:

  • Artisans tend to be fun-loving, optimistic, realistic, and focused on the here and now.
  • Artisans pride themselves on being unconventional, bold, and spontaneous.
  • Artisans make playful mates, creative parents, and troubleshooting leaders.
  • Artisans are excitable, trust their impulses, want to make a splash, seek stimulation, prize freedom, and dream of mastering action skills.

Rationals (NTs) are the problem solving temperament, particularly if the problem has to do with the many complex systems that make up the world around us. Rationals might tackle problems in organic systems such as plants and animals, or in mechanical systems such as railroads and computers, or in social systems such as families and companies and governments. But whatever systems fire their curiosity, Rationals will analyze them to understand how they work, so they can figure out how to make them work better.

All Rationals share the following core characteristics:

  • Rationals tend to be pragmatic, skeptical, self-contained, and focused on problem-solving and systems analysis.
  • Rationals pride themselves on being ingenious, independent, and strong willed.
  • Rationals make reasonable mates, individualizing parents, and strategic leaders.
  • Rationals are even-tempered, they trust logic, yearn for achievement, seek knowledge, prize technology, and dream of understanding how the world works.