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linda berens

Risk-Taking Entrepreneurs, Investment, and Personality Type

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Risk-Taking Entrepreneurs, Investment, and Personality Type

Had a super educational event yesterday! Ted Pearlman invited me to provide the Type perspective during a presentation by Larry Swedroe about investment to the many freelancers and entrepreneurs at studiomates

Here's what I learned about investing:

  • Never buy variable annuities 
  • Investing in the stock market is never safe
  • Only work with registered advisors who provide a fiduciary standard of care
  • Ask them what advice they gave 10 years ago, and if they invest in the same funds they're trying to sell you
  • Make a will and get a durable power of attorney
  • Be clear on what money represents to you and your family (this is where working with a Type coach comes in handy!)
  • Buy when others are fearful, sell when others are greedy
  • Make a plan and stick with it - no need to pay attention to indices or forecasts
  • Review the plan when underlying assumptions change

In the end, we didn't have time to present on how Type influences risk-taking or decision-making. But you know what? That's ok, because I got to spend a whole week with a group of smart creatives in their space, talking Type 1:1 with some of them. Plus, I prepared some quick&dirty handouts available on Ted's blog. 

I love sharing how Type awareness really has a lot to offer to everyone who is open to learning more about themselves, and the studiomates were great participants. The process of finding your core preferences may be challenging, because really, when was the last time someone asked you how you communicate, which roles you are naturally drawn to, or whether you tend to focus on outcome or process? Thankfully, the consensus was that the effort of self-analysis is worth it in the end, because the knowledge you gain opens you up to a new way of looking at - everything. 

Resources:

Books by investment expert, Larry Swedroe

Books by my Type Guru, Linda Berens, Ph.D. 

Image by Tax Credit, Creative Commons, flickr

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ENTP

www.mbtiparty.com Since the ENTP got the most "likes" after I posted all type descriptions on facebook, let's take a closer look, shall we?

:-)

What you may not already know about the ENTP is that this preference pattern has a "Get-Things-Going™" Interaction Style. Dr. Berens also refers to this type as "Explorer Inventor". Their theme is "discovering new ways of seeing things and doing things. Informing and enlightening others with valuable information. Enjoy exploring ideas with others, and trust what emerges from the interactions to be what is needed to get them to the goal."*

In terms of Neuroscience of Type (Dario Nardi, PhD), ENTP-brains often show their dominant extraverted Intuiting function in the form of a "Christmas Tree" pattern. That means all brain regions are fed with energy in rapid succession and cross-referenced, enabling the Ne function to see patterns and "quickly tap into relationships across contexts".*

Do you have another Type you'd like to see featured? Leave a comment below!

*Understanding Yourself and Others, An Introduction to Interaction Styles 2.0, Linda V. Berens, PhD, Radiance House, 2008. Email me if you'd like a copy.

*Neuroscience of Personality, Dario Nardi, PhD, Radiance House, 2011

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Reductionism and Type

reductionist worldview elephant doodle Wikipedia says:

Reductionism can mean either (a) an approach to understanding the nature of complex things by reducing them to the interactions of their parts, or to simpler or more fundamental things or (b) a philosophical position that a complex system is nothing but the sum of its parts, and that an account of it can be reduced to accounts of individual constituents. This can be said of objects, phenomena, explanation, theories, and meanings.

Do you know the story of the blind people feeling up an elephant? Depending on who tells it, a varying number of blind or blind-folded or stand-in-the-dark people each explored different body parts of an elephant. The person touching the leg was convinced he's touching a tree. The person touching he tusk thought it was a pipe. The guy with the tail thought he had a rope, and so on.

Only putting the pieces together did they figure out they were all touching parts of an elephant. holistic worldview doodle

The Holistic world view, on the other hand, says the whole influences functions of the part. Again, thank you Wikipedia:

Holism (from ὅλος holos, a Greek word meaning allwholeentiretotal), is the idea that natural systems (physical, biological, chemical, social, economic, mental, linguistic, etc.) and their properties, should be viewed as wholes, not as collections of parts. This often includes the view that systems somehow function as wholes and that their functioning cannot be fully understood solely in terms of their component parts

Type experts like Linda Berens make a point to underline that Type preferences show up in a pattern. The pattern is more than the sum of its parts. Looking at the whole and understanding the dynamics behind the four-letter code provides a richness that looking at individual functions simply doesn't supply.

More than that, it gets real problematic when we take the four-letter code apart and start talking about "Thinkers" or "Judgers". No wonder many people still believe Type preferences put them in a box. Unless our language gets more precise in reflecting that the functions describe the process of how we use our brain, it'll be hard to convey that Type knowledge is helpful to promote growth, not stifle it.

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Function Attitudes 101

8 functions flower doodleJung used the term "function" to explain ways we use our brain to gather information and make decisions. Sensing and Intuiting are his "irrational", perceiving, information-gathering functions; Thinking and Feeling are his "rational", judging, decision-making functions. Jung described our direction and source of mental energy ("libido") as an Extraversion or Introversion "attitude". Since all functions can occur in both attitudes, we end up with eight function-attitudes (a term probably first coined by Henry L. Thompson).

They are:

Extraverted Sensing Se; Introverted Sensing Si; Extraverted Intuiting Ne; Introverted Intuiting Ni; Extraverted Thinking Te; Introverted Thinking Ti; Extraverted Feeling Fe; and Introverted Feeling Fi.

Over the next 8 days, we'll go into a little more detail about each of these.

You have access to and use all eight function-attitudes, but they show up differently according to where they are in the hierarchy of your personality preferences.

I got four letters on this test, but I don't remember what they are...

If you have taken the MBTI(r) or another personality type indicator, you probably received a four-letter code. Your type code is short-hand for the type dynamics and patterns that lie within. For example, someone with ESFJ preferences has Fe as their lead, dominant, first function; someone with INTP preferences has Fe as their inferior, aspirational, fourth function; someone with ENTJ preferences has Fe as their demonic, eighth function.

Type describes the patterns that those mental preferences bring to who you are and how you behave. Don't break the code into its segments (e.g. to describe someone as a "Sensor" or a "Feeler"), because it's only the context of the whole type that accurately reflects your personality and mental processes.

I can do all functions equally well

Congratulations! Sadly, you're probably kidding yourself.

The function you develop first as your dominant is usually the one you are most comfortable with and most skilled at. It is also the one that is most under your conscious control. The further we go down the list, the less ability we generally have, right down to the eighth function that we probably use with least effectiveness. Until we become aware of the processes and work at improving them, of course.

Dr. John Beebe, noted Jungian analyst, developed a model where he charted the eight function-attitudes to archetypes. Archetypes are universal images that represent the human experience. He calls the first four function-attitudes ego-syntonic, or experienced as part of the self, and the last four ego-dystonic, or experienced as foreign to the self. In other words, those are behaviors and attributes we may project onto something or someone else without recognizing that they are part of us, inside us.

My favorite Jung quote:

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.

 

Here's an overview of the terminology, and how the functions show up(1).

Function Attitudes Overview

Understanding what these functions mean for your particular type can have tremendous impact on your personal development, how you deal with stress, with change, your leadership and communication style, and it can certainly improve personal relationships as well. I have found them most helpful in my own analysis of how I dealt with expatriation challenges, and I've successfully used it with some clients as well.

What's the difference between conscious and unconscious functions?

You have the most conscious access to your first two functions. Your preferred functions are what comes most naturally to you. This is you in flow, at your best, on a perfect day, when things come easy. These two functions give you strengths and abilities that you probably take for granted and can't believe others don't have the same. These first two functions are the ones that you will have developed during childhood and adolescence, and - in an ideal environment that nurtured your gifts - got to practice the most.

The third function comes into play in or around mid-life, and the fourth function after that, if at all. This is why we have so many people in "mid-life crisis". It's their third and fourth function demanding attention - a completely normal and healthy process on the road to "individuation", becoming your whole self. Again - once you're aware of your type dynamics, you can start consciously working on developing all functions so you get comfortable using them eventually. With some you may never attain a level of grace, but at least you'll notice when they're working you.

functions conscious energy doodle

Because guess what: you're not in control of all the functions all the time, some take control of you. Particularly those that are more unconscious. Especially at times when you are sick, or tired, or stressed, or all of the above.

When those unconscious functions take over, and even when you try to consciously use them more effectively, it takes mental effort. When you're stressed, you may feel quite literally beside yourself. "Was that really me?" is a title of a book dealing with type and stress, that's how common that question is.

When you're unhappy with who you are and think you have to change for some reason, you will have to overcome your natural preferences and force yourself. It's not easy pretending to be someone else, and it's certainly tiresome.

Thankfully, type awareness helps. Or as Linda puts it:

"When you know who you are, you are freer to be who you're not."

(1) Understanding Yourself and Others - An Introduction to the Personality Type Code, Linda V. Berens, Dario Nardi

 

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How do you know if you're In-Charge™?

One of my favorite exercises in every workshop I facilitate is where participants get to share their unique viewpoint on their own preferences - what their strengths are, what their challenges are, how to best work with them, and how they're often misunderstood. During a recent workshop on Interaction Styles, here's what came out for the In-Charge™ style:

Strengths:

  • We get things done.

Challenges:

  • Working with others
  • Push past people
  • Not getting buy-in

How to work with us:

  • Get to the point
  • Don't waste my time
  • Must have action / result

Common misconception:

  • We're pushy, impersonal, and unemotional

This group of In-Charge™ leaders received feedback from their colleagues in the form of appreciation of their strengths, and the advantages they bring to the team: results, direction, and an attention to timely delivery. We were also able to clarify that making a decision quickly does not mean that decision will have to stand forever; rather, new decisions can be made if and when new information comes to light.

To help you clarify if this may be your Interaction Style preference, or that of someone you live or work with, here's the In-Charge™ pattern description taken from Dr. Berens' book:

The theme is getting things accomplished through people. People of this style are focused on results, often taking action quickly. They often have a driving energy with an intention to lead a group to the goal. They make decisions quickly to keep themselves and others on task, on target, and on time. They hate wasting time and having to back-track. Mentoring, executing actions, supervising, and mobilizing resources are all ways they get things accomplished. They notice right away what is not working in a situation and become painfully aware of what needs to be fixed, healed, or corrected.

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Interaction Styles

Linda V. Berens, Ph.D. developed a model of four different Interaction Styles we use to influence and relate to others. Awareness of your Interaction Style will allow you to

  • Improve private and professional relationships
  • Enjoy more effective communication
  • Develop more flexible leadership and team working skills

The four Interaction Styles describe patterns of different communication, role, and attention preferences. They form the basic framework for each style.

During a recent Interaction Styles Workshop, a participant commented on how some of his IT team members don't say anything during meetings. Doris suggests how a knowledge of Interaction Styles may provide actionable strategies to create more effective cooperation. (Note: due to the position of the camera, the participant's audio is a little low and Doris moves out of frame.) Slide graphic taken from the Berens CORE™ Approach (with permission). Excerpt from "Understanding Yourself and Others® - An Introduction to Interaction Styles 2.0" by Linda V. Berens, Ph.D. (with permission).

Chart-the-Course™ The theme is having a course of action to follow. People of this style focus on knowing what to do and keeping themselves, the group, or the project on track. They prefer to enter a situation having an idea of what is to happen. They identify a process to accomplish a goal and have a somewhat contained tension as they work to create and monitor a plan. The aim is not the plan itself, but to use it as a guide to move things along toward the goal. Their informed and deliberate decisions are based on analyzing, outlining, conceptualizing or foreseeing what needs to be done.

Behind-the-Scenes

The theme is getting the best result possible. People of this style focus on understanding and working with the process to create a positive outcome. They see value in many contributions and consult outside inputs to make an informed decision. They aim to integrate various information sources and accommodate differing points of view. They approach others with a quiet, calm style that may not show their strong convictions. Producing, sustaining, defining and clarifying are all ways they support a group's process. They typically have more patience than most with the time it takes to gain support through consensus for a project or to refine the result.

In-Charge

The theme is getting things accomplished through people. People of this style are focused on results, often taking action quickly. They often have a driving energy with an intention to lead a group to the goal. They make decisions quickly to keep themselves and others on task, on target, and on time. They hate wasting time and having to back-track. Mentoring, executing actions, supervising, and mobilizing resources are all ways they get things accomplished. They notice right away what is not working in a situation and become painfully aware of what needs to be fixed, healed, or corrected.

Get-Things-Going

The theme is persuading and involving others. They thrive in facilitator or catalyst roles and aim to inspire others to move to action, facilitating the process. Their focus is on interaction, often with an expressive style. They Get-Things-Going™ with upbeat energy, enthusiasm, or excitement, which can be contagious. Exploring options and possibilities, making preparations, discovering new ideas, and sharing insights are all ways they get people moving along. They want decisions to be participative and enthusiastic, with everyone involved and engaged.

If you'd like to bring an Interaction Styles workshop to your organization or community:

E-mail me

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Temperament / Essential Motivators

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Temperament / Essential Motivators

Temperament book
Temperament book

Temperament Theory began around 450 bc with Hippocrates' description of four physical dispositions: Choleric, Melancholic, Phlegmatic, and Sanguine. Over time, authors like Paracelsus, Myers, and Keirsey have refined these definitions. From the MBTI® language you may be familiar with the combinations NF, SJ, NT, and SP. Having said that, it is important to recognize that Temperament theory is separate from, for example, the Myers-Briggs interpretation of Jung's theory of personality type.

In my work with Temperament theory, I use the Berens' terminology: Catalyst™, Stabilizer™, Theorist™, and Improviser™. To avoid misunderstanding with temperament in terms of someone's attitude, Linda is using Essential Motivators to describe our deep psychological needs, and the values we have to help us fill those needs.

Awareness of your Essential Motivators will aid your understanding of

  • Core psychological needs
  • Innate talents and skills
  • Typical behaviors that stress or energize you

The four Temperaments describe a pattern of needs and values, which in turn connect with different behaviors and skill sets.

Excerpt from "Understanding Yourself and Others® - An Introduction to the 4 Temperaments 4.0" by Linda V. Berens, Ph.D. (with permission).

The Catalyst™ Temperament

The core needs are for the meaning and significance that come from having a sense of purpose and working toward some greater good.They need to have a sense of unique identity. They value unity, self-actualization, and authenticity. People of this temperament prefer cooperative interactions with a focus on ethics and morality. They tend to trust their intuition and impressions first and then seek to find the logic and the data to support them. Given their need for empathic relationships, they learn more easily when they can relate to the instructor and the group.

They tend to be gifted at unifying diverse peoples and helping individuals realize their potential. They build bridges between people through empathy and clarification of deeper issues. They use these same skills to help people work through difficulties. Thus, they can make excellent mediators, helping people and companies solve conflicts through mutual cooperation. If working on a global level, they champion a cause. If working on an individual level, they focus on growth and development of the person.

The Stabilizer™ Temperament

The core needs are for group membership and responsibility. They need to know they are doing the responsible thing. They value stability, security, and a sense of community. They trust hierarchy and authority and may be surprised when others go against these social structures. People of this temperament prefer cooperative actions with  focus on standards and norms. Their orientation is to their past experiences, and they like things sequenced and structured. They tend to look for the practical applications of what they are learning.

They are usually talented at logistics and at maintaining useful traditions. They masterfully get the right things in the right place, at the right time, in the right quantity, in the right quality, to the right people, and not to the wrong people. They know how things have always been done, so they anticipate where things can go wrong. They have a knack for attending to rules, procedures, and protocol. They make sure the correct information is assembled and presented to the right people.

The Theorist™ Temperament

The core needs are for mastery of concepts, knowledge, and competence. People of this temperament want to understand the operating principles of the universe and to learn or even develop theories for everything. They value expertise, logical consistency concepts, and ideas and seek progress. They tend toward pragmatic, utilitarian actions with a technology focus. They trust logic above all else. They tend to be skeptical and highly value precision in language Their learning style is conceptual, and they want to know the underlying principles that generate the details and facts rather than the details alone.

They prefer using their gifts of strategic analysis to approach all situations. They constantly examine the relationship of the means to the overall vision and goal. No strangers to complexity, theories, and models, they like to think of all possible contingencies and develop multiple plans for handling them. They abstractly analyze a situation and consider previously unthought-of possibilities Researching, analyzing, searching for patterns, and developing hypothesis are quite likely to be their natural modus operandi.

The Improviser™ Temperament

The core needs are to have the freedom to act without hindrance and to see a marked result from action. People of this temperament highly value aesthetics, whether in nature or art. Their energies are focused on skillful performance, variety, and stimulation. They tend toward pragmatic, utilitarian actions with a focus on technique. They trust their impulses and have a drive to action. They learn best experientially and when they see the relevance of what they are learning to what they are doing. They enjoy hands-on, applied learning with a fast pace and freedom to explore.

The tend to be gifted at employing the available means to accomplish an end. Their creativity is revealed by the variety of solutions they come up with. They are talented at using tools, whether the tool be language, theories, a paint brush, or a computer. They tune into immediate sensory information and vary their actions according to the needs of the moment. They are gifted at tactics/ They can easily read the situation at hand, instantly make decisions, and, if needed, take actions to achieve the desired outcome.

If you'd like to bring a Temperament workshop to your organization or community:

 

 

Image by Nick Bramhall, flickr, Creative Commons license

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