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November 07, 2000

Please Understand Me

A Business Unit Director of days gone by was concerned that all the folks in his charge work together to ensure our mutual survival. He was sensitive to labels, as one may witness by the fact that he changed his own title to the noted one from Business Unit Manager. Unfortunately for me, he was into the 'touchy-feely' approach to team-building, and hosted an entire off-campus seminar series to 'build the team'.

One of the ways he chose to build the team was to help us all understand each others' personality types. He had a consultant direct the seminar with the help of the book Please Understand Me. This book promoted a Meyers-Briggs type of test for categorizing personalities. Quoting from a review on Amazon.com:

Like the Myers-Briggs system, this test sorts your personality into groups of extraversion/introversion (E/I), sensation/intuition (S/N), thinking/feeling (T/F), and perceiving/judging (P/J). Unlike the Myers-Briggs system, Please Understand Me also presents four easy-to-remember temperament types--Dionysian (freedom first), Epimethean (wants to be useful), Promethean (desires power), and Apollonian (searches for self)--that underlie the 16 possible personalities identified by the test.

When I took the test, I found the questions confused, the categorization a crock, and I published my own interpretation showing how I could fall into any one of three categories depending on interpretation of the questions. I don't even remember the actual code, and I don't think it matters. But my behavior demonstrated an extreme introversion coupled with skepticism and antipathy to bogus touchy-feely testing systems "qbullet.smiley". http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0960695400/qid=973615336/sr=1-2/102-5504995-9728932

Posted by dpwakefield at November 7, 2000 08:45 AM