In my last blog, Workplace Xenophobia, I wrote essentially about how it’s better for two people to be diverse than for them to be the same when solving problems. The theory behind the balance (or excess & deficiency) of opposing forces was allegedly first documented with Hippocrates’ Four Humors, which may have led to Swiss psychotherapist-psychiatrist Carl Jung’s Analytical Psychology, which led to the mother-daughter (Myers & Briggs) team Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) work, which led to psychologist David Kiersey’s Temperaments, which led Bob Hill and Lisa Yankowitz to the creation of the dynamic tool Ntrinsx – designed for understanding and leveraging differences into an organizational competitive advantage.
How does it work?
Allow me, if you will, to be a bit dramaturgical…every acclaimed play, script, film contains a representative of each of the Four Temperaments (as further shown below). This is to create the connection between the audience and the story. The connection exists because we as humans can identify most with those who behaviorally resemble ourselves. This is the pathos, or EMOTION. Their THOUGHTS is the logos; and what we think of their character is the ethos – which is really what the audience casts upon the individual. Together, they represent Artistotle’s three modes of persuasion.
In an organization, it is best to form a team that can identify its abilities and consider those abilities as strengths in a toolbox upon which to draw from when faced with workplace challenges and clients. This would contribute towards Cultural Competence, the key to organizational success.
Color Me Beautiful
Naturally, culture is situational and complex, so for simplification purposes, the following are pop culture representatives of the Four Temperaments with their style/traits and preferred workplace. See which one you most identify with. Ask your friends and colleagues to describe their ideal workplace before you show them my chart.
|The ideal workplace would have to have limited distractions, i.e. sight/sound.
This would entail sound-proof walls, no glass walls facing walk-ways, an actual office (not a cubicle), a door, access to a variety of informational resources, and a comfortable conference room or “pit” to hold intellectual discussions.
|The ideal workplace would have top-notch technology.
This would entail best-in-class Information Technology that would provide quality results and would be thoroughly secure. The building is solid and pragmatic, i.e. usually in rectangular shape. Documentation and efficient processes are key.
Good in a crisis
|The ideal workplace would be exciting with several distractions.
This would entail large windows, a double-monitor computer, a flat-screen TV, a treadmill, a chef, a bar, a massage therapist, beach/mountains/trail outside, quick access to transportation. The building is modern with unusual shapes and curves.
|The ideal workplace would be compassionate with collective energy.
This would entail a child care center, a pet care center, a lactation room, circular conference tables, low-rise cubicles to enhance conversations, potlucks, social after-work activities, team prizes and recognition.
©Rossina Gil, 2013
Live (ACTIONS). Love (EMOTIONS). Learn (THOUGHTS).
Rossina Gil, MSOD, MAIS, is a Leadership and Organization Development Practitioner, author, cultural analyst, coach, speaker, and facilitator. CorporateLookingGlass.com.
Aristotle, Rhetoric (Acheron Press, UK).
Sex & the City, Star Wars, The Wizard of Oz, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, The Avengers
As always, my Green-Blue mind.