We are all the same and different

DisneyI saw an ad for a webinar titled, Customizing feedback: The 9 different personality types. This kind of stuff drives me crazy. The Meyers Briggs people told us it was 16. Someone is always coming up with a new box to put people into. I would suggest that you don’t fit any of them. I talked with a man recently who is working on how people metabolize drugs depending on their DNA. Guess what? No two people do it the same. This is why some drugs work just fine on some people and not on others who have the same disease. I suggest that because there are over 7 billion people in the world, there are over 7 billion personality types. That is because no one has the same experiences you have had and that is why we are all unique. That means that people can’t figure you out or put you into some box with millions of others. With only 9 personality types that would mean that there are about 777,777,778 people in the world with a personality just like yours. How unique does that make you feel?

Surprising to many is the fact that the science of behavior, behavior analysis, has shown that there can be laws of behavior that can accommodate 7 billion unique types and many more. In other words, we are all the same and different. Unless you understand how that can happen, you will have problems in relationships at home and at work.

For more read What Box Fits You? on my Performance Reset Blog at Talent Management Magazine.

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  1. Human characteristics can be classified in three groups:
    Those that are common to all human beings.
    Those that are common to a particular group of people.
    Those that are unique to the individual.
    Laws of human behavior belong to the first group. Beliefs and traditions belong to the second group. And personal preferences fit in the third group.
    Using boxes to describe people is not necessarily wrong. It depends on your level of analysis. When I’m taking about the “introverted leader” I’m not taking about “John Smith”. I’m taking about a category that describe many people –no one in particular- with shared characteristics. Of course you don’t fit nicely in any category, because that’s not the purpose of a category. It’s basically a useful way to explain how groups of people behave or react in certain circumstances. Therefore if you want to understand John Smith, forget the categories and know him in his own terms. But if you are going to deliver feedback to a lot of people is better to know in advance how some of them could react and what tactic you could use to cope effectively.

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