Academic journal article Career Planning and Adult Development Journal


Academic journal article Career Planning and Adult Development Journal


Article excerpt

The Models

The fundamental reason that I start with two 4-quadrant models (Interaction Styles and Temperaments) is simple-clients can walk out of my office and students can walk out of the classroom that very day and start applying their learning in interactions with others. Sixteen types are too overwhelming to be the starting point for me with students. I move onto that with both individual clients and teams, but everyone first explores these two models. Adult learners can recognize the four patterns in both of these models and learn to apply them quickly. I've seen it happen over and over again. In fact, it's not unusual for adult learners to have profound realizations as they learn the models and apply them to their own lives. A client with ENTJ preferences (In-Charge Theorist) went home and returned on the second day of class to report that at the dinner table that night he had taught Interaction Styles (TM) to his wife and her parents. All four styles were represented amongst the four of them. I do not recommend that mere mortals go home and start using this learning with in-laws right away, but this In-Charge Theorist was clearly up to the task.

These models help adults

* Identify their own core drivers and realize how satisfying them relates to job satisfaction and success.

* Identify the four behavioral styles, which ones they naturally prefer, which ones they might be avoiding, and how they can choose to use different styles consciously to succeed in different aspects of their work.

* Identify concrete ways to flex their behavior to be effective with different types of people in their work environment so that they can succeed and develop in their careers.

* Identify what might have been unfulfilling about a particular job or what might have been a bad fit in a work environment.

All of this information helps them be more effective and be more conscious of their own career development, whether it's to stay the course or change course for a more fulfilling career or a more rewarding environment.

Temperaments Summary: Table 1 [see Appendix] conveniently summarizes important aspects of each of the four Temperaments, as described by Berens.

What I find most useful about Temperament Theory for career development: Understanding that each Temperament pattern has its own core drivers can help clients understand why they find themselves misunderstood or not trusted, especially clients whose Temperament is not prevalent in their environment. Someone can appear untrustworthy to others only because they are genuinely misunderstood through the different Temperament lenses.

For example, whether you work in the private sector, not-for-profit or government, retail or technology, you are highly likely to have a manager with Stabilizer preferences at some point. Their core needs, talents, and values help them gravitate in large percentages into management; this is particularly true for ISTJ and ESTJ. If you fail to understand a Stabilizer's need for responsibility and stability, preference for concrete information and known facts, natural respect for the past and the rules, tendency to require orderliness, and low tolerance for risk, you are going to have problems advancing your career and potentially keeping your job. You look like a risk to the safety and stability of the organization, so letting you continue to work for them without close supervision may seem irresponsible to them. A manager with Stabilizer preferences is just doing his or her job when you show low tolerance or disrespect for these core values. Improviser playfulness and more casual tone can look naturally suspect to a manager with Stabilizer preferences. Theorists can look like a threat to the stability of the system because they think at the systems level and are more than willing to crack a few eggs to make a better omelet.

Last note on Temperaments' Usefulness

Understanding the four core drivers of the Temperaments helps explain why people seem to be focused on such different things in a situation. …

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