What is Your Temperament – Are You a Stabilizer, Improviser, Catalyst, or Theorist?

A guest post by Eileen OShea of Threshold Place

Temperament theory is a way of understanding where your deepest source of pleasure lies. The better you understand that, the more you can direct your life and work toward satisfying those needs.

This lens for looking at people describes four organizing patterns of personality. It is based on descriptions of behavior that go back over twenty-five centuries. It tells us the ìwhyî of behavior, our motivators and sources of deep psychological stress.

Knowing our temperament patterns tells us our core needs and values as well as the talents we are likely to be drawn to develop. Modern temperament theory was popularized in the 1970?s by Marilyn Bates and David Keirsey, PhD. I have used animal metaphors that have traditionally been associated with each temperament because I find this makes the theory more real and vivid. The four temperaments are: Stabilizers, Improvisers, Catalysts and Theorists.

Stabilizers

The Stabilizer temperament has a logistical skill set and a core need for security, stability, responsibility and for upholding traditions. They can be counted on to do the right thing, in the right way, at the right time.

All Stabilizers share the following core characteristics:

  • They are dependable, reliable and hard-working.
  • They trust authority and want to belong.
  • They seek accountability and want to preserve and protect, to stand guard and warn.

Practical and down-to-earth, Stabilizers believe in following the rules and cooperating with others. They are not very comfortable winging it or blazing new trails.

The animal metaphor for the stabilizer temperament is the Beaver. Beavers are industrious builders who fell trees by gnawing the trunks. They use the trees to build dams which create wetlands that provide habitat for many endangered species, purify water, and soak up floodwater. Adding to their image of stability is the fact that they mate for life at age three.

Beavers slap their tails on the water to warn others in their group of a predator or other impending danger. One of the ways I recognize Stabilizers is by their tendency to give warning of impending danger. They are cautious about change and might be the ones who remind you to ìlook before you leapî.

Stabilizers make up as much as 40 to 45 percent of the population. Their strong sense of duty means that they usually end up doing the indispensable but thankless jobs the rest of us take for granted. Presidents George Washington, Harry S. Truman and William Howard Taft as well as Mother Teresa are examples of Stabilizers.

Improvisers

People with the Improviser temperament have a tactical skill set and a core need for freedom to act without hindrance and to have an impact. They value aesthetics, whether in nature or art.

Their energies are focused on skillful performance, variety, and stimulation. They 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.

All Improvisers share the following core characteristics:

  • They tend to be fun-loving, optimistic, realistic, and focused on the here and now.
  • They pride themselves on being unconventional, bold, and spontaneous.
  • They are troubleshooting leaders.

Improvisers are excitable, trust their impulses, want to make a splash, prize freedom, and dream of mastering action skills.

The animal metaphor for Improvisers is the Fox. Known for their adaptability, they live all over North America, from cities to deep wilderness. They are alert predators, scanning their environment for movement that may signal the presence of prey (rodents, insects, birds).

They can learn to take chickens if a poultry farm is within their range. They rely on their keen senses; it is said that a fox can hear a watch ticking from a distance of 40 feet. Wary of humans, they are solitary animals who donít form packs like dogs or wolves.

Improvisers want to be where the action is. They seek out adventure and show a constant hunger for pleasure and stimulation. They believe that variety is the spice of life, and that doing things that arenít fun or exciting is a waste of time. Improvisers are impulsive, adaptable, competitive, and believe the next throw of the dice will be the lucky one. They can also be generous to a fault, always ready to share with friends.

There are many Improvisers, perhaps 30 to 35 percent of the population. Ernest Hemingway, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Bruce Lee, Amelia Earhart, Bob Dylan, Barbra Streisand, Elvis Presley, Elizabeth Taylor, Madonna, and President John F. Kennedy are examples of Improvisers.

Catalysts

The Catalyst temperament has a diplomatic skill set. All Catalysts share the following traits:

  • They are enthusiastic, trust their intuition, yearn for romance, seek their true selves and prize meaningful relationships.
  • They pride themselves on being loving, kindhearted, and spiritual.
  • They are focused on personal journeys and human potentials and are inspirational leaders.

Catalysts are driven by a quest for self-knowledge and self-improvement and they want to help others make that same journey.

Catalysts are naturally drawn to working with people (in education, counseling, social services, Human Resources, journalism or the ministry). Their gift is to help others find their way in life by inspiring them to grow as individuals and to fulfill their potential.

The animal metaphor for the Catalyst temperament is the Dolphin. Dolphins are social animals who establish strong bonds. They live in pods of 12-15 individuals and sometimes briefly form super pods of 1,000 or more for protection. Dolphins will stay with injured or ill individuals, even helping them to breathe by bringing them to the surface if needed.

This altruism does not appear to be limited to their own species. The dolphin Moko in New Zealand has been observed guiding a female pygmy Sperm Whale together with her calf out of shallow water where they had stranded several times. They have also been seen protecting swimmers from sharks by swimming circles around the swimmers or charging the sharks to make them go away. If a pod is threatened by a shark, dolphins will cooperate in a group effort to repel the attack.

Dolphins communicate with each other through clicks and whistles.

Catalysts are sure that friendly cooperation is the best way for people to achieve their goals. Conflict and confrontation upset them because they seem to put up angry barriers between people. They dream of creating harmonious and caring personal relations, and they have a unique talent for helping people get along with each other and work together.

That dream can seem like a romantic ideal, but Catalysts are incurable romantics who prefer to focus on what might be, rather than what is. This idea of a mystical or spiritual dimension to life, the ìnot visibleî or the ìnot yetî that can only be known through intuition or by a leap of faith, is far more important to Catalysts than the world of material things. Unkindness or dismissive treatment can demotivate Catalysts.

Catalysts make up no more than 15 to 20 percent of the population. Princess Diana, Joan Baez, Albert Schweitzer, Bill Moyers, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mohandas Gandhi, Mikhael Gorbachev, and Oprah Winfrey are examples of Catalysts.

Theorists

The Theorist temperament has a strategic skill set. All share the following core characteristics:

  • They tend to be pragmatic, skeptical, self-contained, and focused on problem-solving and systems analysis.
  • They pride themselves on being ingenious, independent, and strong willed.
  • They are strategic leaders who trust logic, yearn for achievement, seek knowledge, prize technology, and dream of understanding how the world works.

Theorists are the problem solving temperament, particularly if the problem has to do with the many complex systems that make up the world around us.

They will analyze systems to understand how they work, so they can figure out how to make them work better.

They are interested in the most efficient solutions and will listen to anyone who has something useful to teach them. They will disregard any authority or customary procedure that wastes time and resources. Their innate skepticism means that, at every encounter, you may feel you are being asked to earn their respect yet again.

The animal metaphor for the Theorist temperament is the Owl. In part, this is because of the traditional stereotype of the ‘wise owl’ Owls can rotate their heads and necks as much as 270 degrees in either direction to scan a large part of their environment. Their far vision, particularly in low light, is exceptionally good.

Their human counterparts, the Theorists, seem to ìseeî the future more clearly than the other temperaments. As predators, owls are feared and may be mobbed (attacked) by groups of smaller birds. Owls rarely respond to the harassment, but the mobbing may force the owl to move on to a different area. The owlís lack of response reminds me of Theorists, who are often seen as cold and distant by other temperaments because of the absorbed concentration they give to whatever problem they’re working on.

Theorists have an insatiable hunger to accomplish their goals and will work tirelessly on any project they have set their mind to. They are rigorously logical, fiercely independent in their thinking and are skeptical of all ideas, even their own. They believe they can overcome any obstacle with their will power.

Theorists value intelligence, in themselves and others, and they pride themselves on the ingenuity they bring to problem solving.

Theorists comprise as little as 5 to 10 percent of the population. Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Bill Gates, Margaret Thatcher, Walt Disney, Camille Paglia, Ayn Rand, Thomas Jefferson, Richard Feynman, and General Ulysses S. Grant and President Dwight D. Eisenhower are examples of Theorists.

I believe that no theory can fully describe the complexity of a human being.  I view this or any other system as one lens through which to view ourselves and others.

If you’d like to know more about Temperaments, here are a few helpful books: Understanding Yourself and Others: An Introduction to the Personality Type Code by Linda V. Berens and Dario Nardi; LifeTypes by Sandra Krebs Hirsh and Jean Kummerow, and Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence by David Keirsey.

You can also take the free Keirsey Temperament Sorter. It takes about 10-15 minutes to complete and you receive an immediate description of the temperament your answers indicate.

Temperament theory been a valuable compass, helping me steer in the direction of my core needs.  My hope is that it can help you in your search for meaning and happiness.

Read more by Eileen OShea on her blog Threshold Place

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  1. Reading the dsescriptions I feel like I have developed skills and have desires in all of the types…? Most prominent would be the catalyst.

    • @Jarrod – Cultivating Heroes,
      Hi Jarrod,
      You bring up a good point. Temperament is an innate preference (like being right or left handed), but just as we can use our non-dominant hand, we also have skills and abilities that belong to all 4 temperaments. For some people, 1 temperament is clearly the best fit. Others find themselves feeling at home with 2 of the 4 (sometimes that’s a “work style” vs “home style” difference). And, regardless of which one is “home base”, we’re all capable of adapting our behavior to the situation.
      I have a Catalyst (Dolphin) temperament but sometimes I’m focused on specifics and details because that’s what needed. If I have to straighten out a billing error, creating harmony isn’t the relevant skill, much as I might prefer it.
      Thanks for visiting and commenting, Eileen

  2. Sandra Lee says:

    Eileen,

    I find it so useful to understand one’s temperament! Thank you for this very interesting framework for that purpose. I think I can see quite clearly when I am in this mock-up, although I think we sometimes slip over the lines a bit. I’ve always appreciate the 3 basic constitutions described in Ayurvedic medicine, which tell you so much about your temperament and basic health as well.
    .-= Sandra Lee´s last blog ..Buddhist teacher warns of impending environmental catastrophe =-.

    • @Sandra Lee,
      Hi Sandra,
      I think (as I said in reply to Jarrod above) that we do “slip over the lines” for all kinds of reasons – the demands of the current situation, stress, influence of a relationship or a job…

      I’m in total agreement that there are many frameworks for understanding & that it makes sense to use whichever speaks to us at any given time. I”m not knowledgeable enough about Ayurvedic medicine to recall the 3 basic constitutions but clearly it’s a system with a venerable tradition and a history of helping people.
      Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Eileen
      .-= Eileen O’Shea´s last blog ..How Big Is Your Dream =-.

  3. Eric says:

    This is excellent and very informative. I enjoyed reading this. Thanks Eileen.

    -E

  4. Alison Kerr says:

    I really appreciated the animals to help me identify with the temperaments. After reading your post Eileen I was off explaining the animals to my family, but I had totally forgotten the other labels, such as catalyst.

    I strongly identify with two of the animals. I’m guessing that maybe the temperament test would allow me to figure out which one is my leader. I’ll take a look at that when I have a spare 10-15 minutes.

    • @Alison Kerr,
      Hi Alison,
      This Dolphin finds the animals very helpful for remembering the temperaments, too. So you’ve already started explaining it to your family, have you? I like having enthusiastic readers!
      If you ever want to share what your temperament is once it’s clear, I’d love to know. Also perfectly OK if you’d rather not say… Eileen
      .-= Eileen O’Shea´s last blog ..How Big Is Your Dream =-.

  5. Emily says:

    Hi! That’s the first time I’ve read about that view of personality types. Very interesting. A friend of mine who is a psychologist is always calling me a catalyst and says I challenge people around me to rethink themselves constantly. I wonder if this is the model she is using. My husband is definitely a stabilizer. Are there any good resources for how these different personality types communicate or work together?
    .-= Emily´s last blog ..Gone Crazy Be Back Soon =-.

    • @Emily,
      Hi Emily,
      Glad you enjoyed the article. There are many books and articles on temperament theory and even more on the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), which has some similarities.

      My favorite is one that covers MBTI type as well as temperament theory: “It Takes All Types” by Alan Brownsword, PhD. He has great depth and breadth of understanding, and his writing makes the personality type descriptions really come alive. Amazon.com has it for about $10 + shipping. All the books I mention in the post are very good, too.
      Eileen
      .-= Eileen O’Shea´s last blog ..How Big Is Your Dream =-.

  6. Tess says:

    Interesting, and I’ve not come across these before. At first blush I’d say I’m either an Improviser or a Catalyst, leaning towards the former.
    How would you compare these with better-known type indicators such as MBTI or the Enneagram (declaration of interest: I’m an Enneagram teacher)?

    • @Tess,
      Hi Tess,
      I’ve always wanted to learn more about the Enneagram but to date haven’t gotten to it. I’m not knowledgeable enough about the Enneagram to intelligently compare it with Kiersey’s temperament theory. What I do know is that friends who’ve explored the Enneagram find it meaningful.

      Re: MBTI and temperament theory, there are ways in which they overlap. Too complicated to explain here, but if you want to know more, try “It Takes All Types” by Alan Brownsword, PhD (on amazon.com) or any of the books I mentioned in the post.

      For me, the test of any theory or system is whether I find it helpful and useful. I don’t believe any one is the “be-all or end-all”. My way of exploring them is to view myself and others through the “lens” of that theory and see if it rings true and increases my understanding of myself and others. Thanks for your comment, Eileen
      .-= Eileen O’Shea´s last blog ..How Big Is Your Dream =-.

      • @Eileen O’Shea, Thanks Eileen, I agree with your comment about whether something is helpful and useful. I’ve taken the Keirsey test now and it turns out I’m a Catalyst. I bought and read through their more detailed reports and that answers some of my reservations about the Catalyst description above. So thanks, I always love a bit of navel-gazing on a Sunday morning!

  7. Ioan Nicut says:

    Eileen, :)

    If I would consider the warm relational way of story telling I would say you have the temperament of a Dolphin.
    I guess that we carry different temperaments depending of the context.
    Thank you for the wonderful post.

    • @Ioan Nicut,
      Hi Ioan,
      Right you are – I’m a Catalyst (Dolphin). I believe that for most of us one temperament is our best fit – the place we’re most at home the majority of the time. But we do for sure adapt our behavior to the requirements of the current situation, as we should. We humans are wonderfully adaptable, aren’t we?
      .-= Eileen O’Shea´s last blog ..How Big Is Your Dream =-.

  8. Hi Eileen,
    I love this post — I am fascinated by personality types and what makes us all so unique and interesting. I am definitely the catalyst. In the Myers Briggs personality assessment, I’m an INFJ. There are many other “catalysts” in my life too. It is interesting how you find clusters of these personalities who are attracted to each other. I love being in the same cluster with dolphins!
    .-= Barrie, Live Bold and Bloom´s last blog ..Stop Searching and Look In Your Hand =-.

    • @Barrie, Live Bold and Bloom,
      Hi Barrie,
      I’m also a catalyst & share your fascination with personality tests, books on related subjects, anything related to what makes us tick. Since you speak MBTI, my preference type is ENFP in that system. What I like so much about the MBTI and temperaments is that people generally wind up feeling positive and affirmed – glad to be who they are.

      As an INFJ, it makes total sense that you’re a coach. I’ve heard INFJ called the “oracle” because they have a clearer vision of future possibilities (esp for people) than most. We can never know, of course, but I’ve read speculation that Abraham Lincoln was an INFJ.
      .-= Eileen O’Shea´s last blog ..How Big Is Your Dream =-.

  9. Lauren says:

    Dear Eileen,

    Lovely post! I love your opening – pleasure is good. It was fun reading this and seeing my
    temperament according to this system.

    I think personality types is a great way to gain further understanding. And being a Catalyst, personal growth and relationship is important to me.

    Thanks for a thought-provoking and enjoyable post. I loved the photos too!

    Warm regards,
    Lauren
    .-= Lauren´s last blog ..Breaking Up Is Hard To Do – How To Avoid Temporary Insanity =-.

    • @Lauren,
      Hi Lauren,
      Another Dolphin interested in personal growth – no surprise there! So glad to know you enjoyed the post. I, too, loved the animal photos. The owl’s my favorite. While I’m at my computer, I peek at the owl from time to time just for fun.
      .-= Eileen O’Shea´s last blog ..How Big Is Your Dream =-.

  10. I really enjoyed reading about the different personality types Eileen, and trying to plot all my friends and family in your scheme of things. I can see who I am straight away! Will have great fun with this…Thanks Eileen for a lovely post!
    Warm regards from the
    foxyowl
    .-= Rosemary Hannan´s last blog ..Lessons I Learned the Hard Way =-.

    • @Rosemary Hannan,
      Dear foxyowl,
      Do have fun with it. My reaction was exactly the same – couldn’t wait to figure out where everyone I know fit in. Many years ago, I taught the temperaments to the management team at a privately held company. The owner wanted his people to learn whatever would help them communicate better, but was way too impatient himself to sit through a workshop. The owner walked by the conference room as our workshop ended and asked his people how it went. He was a bit surprised at the first response: “We learned that your management team is a bunch of animals.”

      By the way, the person who thought quickly enough on his feet to get a laugh with that response had an Improviser (Fox) temperament. Knowing that, I wasn’t surprised to learn that he was a dedicated volunteer fireman.
      .-= Eileen O’Shea´s last blog ..How Big Is Your Dream =-.

  11. jasileet says:

    owl to the core. everything to the angry mob. creepy.
    thanks.

    • @jasileet,
      Hi Jasilleet,
      You clearly know yourself and where you fit in this system. The fact that you don’t waste words is the way of theorists, especially those who are introverted. Just curious: Is it “creepy” because it describes you well, or because of “everything to the angry mob”?
      Thanks for reading and commenting.
      .-= Eileen O’Shea´s last blog ..How Big Is Your Dream =-.

  12. Joe Wilner says:

    Very interesting post! I have heard of Keirsey Temperament types before, though some of these are new to me. I really like the connection to animal characteristics, that does help solidify some of the traits. It’s hard to tell where I fall in overall. I feel I encompass traits within each area, though I would have to say that the catalyst temperament style seems to fit my circumstances and life direction most fully. Thanks for an intriguing post.
    .-= Joe Wilner´s last blog ..6 Steps to Setting Goals that Improve Performance =-.

  13. Wow – thank you Eileen, for all the amazing effort you put into describing these 4 temperaments!

    It’s always reassuring to see that i’m not crazy without reason! ;) I’m a catalyst through and through. When we try to force ourselves to be something we’re not, things don’t work out so good, i’ve found. That’s why it’s so useful to understand who you are, what your motivation is, and what your passion is…!

    That’s what drove me to create the “passion maker” test this week too. I’d love to hear what you think of it… :)

    Love the animal connections. Are you familiar with the ‘Medicine Cards’? — amazing insight into the animal medicine knowledge…

    Much love and gratitude,
    Satya
    .-= Satya | Fierce Wisdom´s last blog ..How to Discover Your True Life Purpose in 10 Minutes- The Passion Maker Test =-.

    • @Satya | Fierce Wisdom,
      Hi Satya,
      I did put in a lot of work, but when you’re passionate about and interested in something, it’s a joy to expend that effort. And now I’ve got your “passion maker” to explore – great!
      Don’t know about animal medicine cards, either. Learning all this should keep me delightfully busy for a bit.
      One caveat: because of chronic illnesses, my pace is significantly slower than in the past. It may take a while, but I’ll get there!
      .-= Eileen O’Shea´s last blog ..How Big Is Your Dream =-.

  14. Thank you, Eileen.

    Years ago when I was a supervisor I used the Kiersey Temperment Sorter with my staff in order for us to learn more about each other and our styles of working. It was enormously helpful for us to understand what made each other tick. One nice surprise was how many of them felt, for the first time in their lives, understood! It’s a helpful tool for all kinds of group settings in addition to our individual understanding of ourselves.

    One question I have is how the temperaments you share here align with the four Kiersey categories of Guardian, Idealist, Rationalist, Artisan?

    • @Joan Dempsey, Literary Living,
      Hi Joan,
      Isn’t it great when using a theory or questionnaire makes people feel understood and not pigeon-holed? Re: your question about the names of the temperaments, some of these have been updated because some of the prior names caused confusion. Here are are the former vs the updated terms:
      became Stabilizer
      Artisan became Improviser
      Catalyst didn’t change
      Rational became Theorist

      “Artisan” for instance wasn’t descriptive for many people. It wasn’t unusual for them to think it meant they were artistic or artists. “Rational” was also a problem. Some would ask if the calling one of the temperaments rational implied that the other 3 are irrational.

      No word will satisfy everyone, but I do think the revised ones are an improvement.
      .-= Eileen O’Shea´s last blog ..How Big Is Your Dream =-.

  15. Nicola says:

    This is great! I’m definitely a Catalyst and have always felt an affinity with dolphins, above all other animals, often dreaming of them. Whereas my husband is a theorist, and I often think of him as being like a wise owl. He even closes one eye briefly sometimes, when he’s thinking, just like an owl. Thanks! :-)
    .-= Nicola´s last blog ..Unschooling Samuel- A journey of faith and friendship =-.

  16. Katie says:

    I’m with Barrie, I find personality tests fascinating. Great post Eileen. It’s always useful to try to see yourself as you truly are or as you’d like to be. Somewhere to grow towards and aspire to if nothing else. They are also just plain fun. I’m also like Barrie and find myself in catalyst clusters – now that’s even more fun.
    .-= Katie´s last blog ..A Simple Guide to Joy Riding =-.

    • @Katie,
      Hi Katie,
      Dolphins of the world, unite and have fun! You’ve coined a new term, Katie – catalyst clusters. While I enjoy friends of varying temperaments, this catalyst finds it easy, comfortable and just plain fun to be in a catalyst cluster (our version of a dolphin pod, I guess).
      As I’ve read the comments, it’s interesting but not surprising how many among our blogger club say they’re Catalysts. Dolphin power! Just kidding…..
      .-= Eileen O’Shea´s last blog ..How Big Is Your Dream =-.

  17. farouk says:

    i am a stabilizer:) thanks for the post :)

  18. Hi Eileen, I love personality theory, and I like how you use the animal metaphors.

    I’m mostly the improviser–definitely. I even have really keen senses, especially smell (what? You can’t smell the difference between different dogs and cats?? lol) but also hearing and vision. But I have a good dose of the theorist, and definitely lots of the catalyst. The stabilizer–in some cases, here or there. So I’m a fox who hangs out with dolphins and then turns into an owl when I get tired of too much excitement! You can just call me a shape-shifter lol
    .-= Leah McClellan´s last blog ..Funeral For a Cat =-.

  19. Hi Leah,
    Your description of your own temperament style is great (fox who hangs out with dolphins and then turns into an owl). Thanks for commenting and for making me smile when I read this,
    Eileen
    .-= Eileen O’Shea´s last blog ..How Big Is Your Dream =-.

  20. Eileen,

    I really like how you broke various temperament in to various animals and bird creatures that we generally associates with. After reading this, I clearly fall in a few categories instead of one, wonder what it makes me?
    .-= Preeti @ Heart and Mind´s last blog ..What if you had Golden Touch =-.

    • @Preeti @ Heart and Mind,
      Hi Preeti,
      I think it’s important to remember that this or any other system only points to part of who we are. I don’t believe any system can completely capture the beautiful variety and complexity of human beings.

      The point of any classification system is not to put people in categories or boxes, nor to assign them letters or names. The best use of any system is to increase understanding of ourselves and others.

      If properly taught and used, any classifcation system (temperaments, the MBTI, DISC or others) has the potential to create dialogue and improve communication. If misused. that potential is unfulfilled, stereotypes may be reinforced and an opportunity for understanding and dialogue is lost.

      As to what it means that you see some of yourself in all 4 categories, I’d say two things:
      1. You could decide to observe your behavior and motivations going forward and see if it seems one temperament is predominant.
      2. You could join Leah McClellan (see comment before yours) in the “shape-shifter” category
      Thanks for commenting, EIleen

  21. This is certainly interesting. It reminds me of a story that a friend who worked in aviation told me about some required job training. It included discussion of different personality types to help people of different types work well together.

    The instructor asked about working with an airplane inspector who wasn’t good at attention to detail. My friend said that he’d advise that person to look for another line of work. Although he was serious, the instructor seemed disturbed by that response.

    Clearly being detail-oriented is essential for accountants, surgeons, mechanics, electricans, and those who do safety inspections of airplanes.
    .-= Madeleine Kolb´s last blog ..The Right Stuff Award- Dr Kenneth Cooper =-.

    • @Madeleine Kolb,
      Hi Madeleine,
      I agree that there are specific characteristics that make people suited (or not) for particular jobs.
      Sometimes people have the notion that we can fit ourselves into any job. My experience has been that doing work aligned with your essential nature and values greatly increases the chance of job satisfaction and success.

  22. Aileen says:

    Eileen, this is a really interesting article. I haven’t seen personalities split into these 4 types before. Even though I can see myself in a little of 3 – I can also feel what’s more dominant. – reading these types, different people popped into mind as I identified the person with they type.

    Reading this makes me want to take a deeper journey into understanding it.
    .-= Aileen´s last blog ..Dare to be Awkward! =-.

  23. Saw the feature about you on BigGirlBranding, so I thought I’d pay you a visit. Love this post. Like how you use the animals to illustrate your points. What happens if you see yourself in several of the categories? Does it mean you don’t know yourself?
    .-= SenseiMattKlein´s last blog ..Kids MMA- Yes or No =-.

    • Hi Matt,
      As to what it means that you,re not sure where to place yourself in terms of temperament, I can’t say. My hunch is that you just need to let it sit with you for a while & maybe observe your own behavior in the context of this theory. In other words, see if you can discern whether you”re most passionate about stability (Beaver), spontaneity & freedom (Fox), connection & relationships (Dolphin) or finding rational solutions to complex problems (Owl). You can also ask someone you trust who knows you well how she/he sees you.
      Have fun with it!

  24. Saw the feature about you on BigGirlBranding, so I thought I’d pay you a visit. Love this post. Like how you use the animals to illustrate your points. What happens if you see yourself in several of the categories? Does it mean you don’t know yourself?

  25. Benny says:

    I am an XNFP so that would make me a Catalyst temperament, but I feel like the Improviser description fits me better. I care much more about personal freedom than I do about people. It seems to me like most descriptions of the Idealists/Catalyst temperament are more NFJ than NFP. NFPs are much more about moral values and personal freedom whereas NFJs seem to be more about helping people and instilling harmony. granted, I am very good at helping people and harmonizing situations, but I feel almost dishonest doing it sometimes. I view conflict very objectively and the most important thing for me getting to the bottom of things and not compromising on the best solution. the idea of selflessness would be much more appealing to an NFJ than NFP (my INFJ father drives me up the wall because he never takes personal gain into account with decision making. NFPs are extremely selfish in the good sense of the word, we are always aware of how everything makes us feel). still, we do have a lot of traits in common; intelligent, romantic, fantasy oriented, good at teaching, tremendous charisma, intellectual etc.

  26. The practitioner will leave the room once they explain where you should place your clothes and they will indicate that they will be back in a while to start your massage.

  27. sierra says:

    Thank you so much Eileen for the informative article! I really enjoyed finding what personality type I am!! :)

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