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I’ve come across two intriguing personality classifications this month. The first classification was this set of three types explored in an article on Buddhist psychology (yes, really!). Which are you? (By the way, we can be a mix all three types, so we should think about which we are mostly.)
  1. Greedy
  2. Angry
  3. Deluded
The types aren’t pejorative, as such. So people with a ‘greedy’ tendency focus on the positive, the things they love, and may overlook what is damaged or falling apart. Greedy ones are eternal optimists. Apparently the purified form of the greedy type is found in a person who has a willingness to draw on all aspects of life, to experience life fully without holding back or hiding.

If you’re ‘angry’ (dammit that’s me), then your tendency is to focus in on what’s wrong, noticing what displeases, rather than positives. The purified form of the angry personality type is transformed into ‘discerning wisdom’. 

And if you’re ‘deluded’, you are muddled or spaced out.  You don’t know what you think.  In a purified form this person will show true equanimity.

In two ways, perhaps. Firstly, in creative workshops we can ‘train’ ourselves to think like both the ‘everyday’, and the ‘purified’ personality types, in order to develop stronger ideas. I can imagine that during the ‘convergent’ stages of the workshop where ideas are refined, we could form groups with all three personality types in it in order to build the best possible idea – and we can use the purified personality forms to take the ideas on to a higher place!

The three personality types also reminds me that we should be mindful that people’s responses in research reflect their personality type as well as the strengths and weaknesses of an idea. We should be listening and looking out for this when we make sense of what we are hearing.

Jill Farrell from Find Fieldwork Solutions also lent me ‘Give and Take’ by Adam Grant. I’m only at the beginning of the book, but I can tell already it’s going to be a great read. He classifies people into three types too: Givers (who put others before themselves), Takers (they put themselves first) and Matchers (who reciprocate). In the world of work we tend to be Matchers because most of us pick up that this is how the world of work works.

Grant suggests that to do well in work we should, perhaps counter-intuitively, become Givers. It’s a long-term strategy that helps us connect better with others, sets up Matchers to actively support us, and creates virtuous knock-on behaviours.

I’m intrigued to read more. I’m sure that brands and businesses can learn lessons from taking the long-view and becoming Givers.
I’m really excited to be presenting to Aura and the AQR on the 23rd September with Lucy Owen from Kellogg’s. We’re presenting our joint paper: “Ask the big question” a case study on a project we completed earlier this year which focused on how people consume products once bought, and how this affects their buying behaviour…

I’m also delighted to be doing qualitative training for the very talented team at Karian and Box, who deliver employee engagement solutions. I love sharing what I know, so if your team need some training, do get in touch!

I’ve uploaded articles and quick thinks onto the website on doing workshops, and ‘fixing’ groups. There’s lots on the Free thinking bit of the website. Do help yourself (she said, trying to be a Giver!)
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