Tuesday, October 29, 2002

Different Strokes for Different Folks – “The approach to different people should be individualized. The proverb also means that different people have different tastes. Nobody knows exactly where the saying comes from. Wolfgang Mieder thinks it originated in the United States and traces ‘different strokes’ to Southern blacks in the 1950s…” From “Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings” (1996) by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996).

In the last post, I described that a part of the process of starting your own business is to learn a little more about yourself, and the things that you like and dislike. Hiring yourself as an employer can be a real mistake if you don't know too much about your own skills and aptitudes. There are a number of ways to learn more about what you might be good at, and what you might enjoy doing for a living.

One that I took a couple of years ago was a test called the Keirsey Temperment Sorter. While I thought the results were interesting, I really didn't give them much thought. I've taken it a couple of times since then, and I keep on getting the same result. As with any test of its type, the results are limited. I overlooked the real value of the sorter by focusing upon my results.

If you look at this page about the sorter, you'll see towards the bottom a list of 16 temperments. What I had failed to do was to go through the different descriptions for the other 15 temperments and figure out how they might fit people I know. It's an interesting diversion.

What are the temperments of the people you know? As with any test of its type, the results might not be dead-on correct. But, give it a try. One of the big mistakes that you can engage in is to expect everyone to react to something the way that you would. This tool can help you think about how other people might behave in certain situations.