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What Paul has to say


About_paul
"I've been using Personality Type for thirty years and continue to be amazed daily, at how this powerful tool helps people in so many practical ways."

personality report

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where does Personality Type come from?

Is it something you're born with? Yes. Like handedness or other preferred ways of using your brain, your Personality Type is an essential and inherent part of who you are.

2. Isn't it possible to change our type as a result of experiences or as a result of pressure to be different?

Under most "normal" circumstances, no. While we may change the way we behave and may develop all kinds of adaptive or accommodating skills or habits, we do not change our personality type. Now, under extraordinarycircumstances (i.e. serious child abuse, extensive experience in a lifestyle or career that runs counter to your normal operating style), people can and sometimes do become so affected (or damaged) that they no longer recognize their "true" selves. But in most situations, all we are really changing is our behavior - not our inborn preference.

3. I'm very different at work than I am at home. Isn't it possible to be more than one type?

Theoretically, no. You are born with one true type and remain that type all your life. If you seem to behave differently at work than you do at home, you might consider which is the "real" or "true" you, and which is the one you have to act like in order to meet the demands you have placed on you.

4. I've changed a LOT over the past few years. How does growth affect one's type?

All types develop over time - and in a pretty predictable and logical fashion. We all begin to unconsciously develop and strengthen the less developed parts of our personality starting at around mid-life. This explains why work that used to be a good fit may no longer be, or why we begin to see ourselves differently. We are not the same person at 20 as we are at 40. For a full discussion of this interesting and helpful aspect of Personality Type, see Chapter 7 in DO WHAT YOU ARE.

5. I took a personality test at work a few years ago. Is this the same thing?

There are a variety of different personality or work style assessments used in business. The most popular and widely respected is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. It helps people determine their personality type and must be administered by a qualified professional. To find out more about the MBTI, we suggest you contact its publisher: Consulting Psychologists Press in Palo Alto, California.

6. How does knowing my type help me with my career?

When you are doing work that uses your natural strengths and preferences, it hardly feels like work - it's interesting, energizing, and even fun. Knowing your type will help you determine what you need in a job for it to be satisfying. Then you can select an occupation or field that is a natural match with who you are as a person. Finally, you can use what you know about your natural strengths (and possible blindspots!) to conduct a successful job search that makes use of your natural skills. To find out more about Type and careers visit DO WHAT YOU ARE.

7. How can knowing about Personality Type help in a personal Relationship?

Personality Type can provide valuable insights to each partner about themselves and each other. It provides a positive, non-judgmental framework for understanding natural, inborn differences and how those differences often result in predictable conflict. It can also help couples lean to communicate on their partner's wavelength - in the way he or she is more likely to hear the message.

8. Your book JUST YOUR TYPE is about and relationships. How is it different from other relationship-advice books?

JUST YOUR TYPE is totally unlike any other relationship advice book because it's personalized - it's about your relationship. Rather than offer generic or gender-stereotypical advice, JUST YOUR TYPE helps you determine your natural, in-born type (and that of your partner) and then gives you specific advice and recommendations that are right for your relationship. JUST YOUR TYPE is loaded with practical and useable suggestions that will help you understand, accept, and appreciate your partner as never before.

JUST YOURT TYPE is the result of extensive scientific research conducted with over 2500 individuals of all types and over 20 years experience studying and teaching Personality Type.

9. Is there any one perfect type for me, or any combination that spells disaster?

Yes, and no! The more similar you and your partner are, the more likely it is you will have an easier time communicating. Yet it's also true that opposites attract. But there is no one combination of types that is destined for bliss, or doomed to failure. Knowing your type, and your partner's type, can help you make what you have stronger and more satisfying. In some cases, it can make the difference between happiness and divorce.

10. What's the secret to a great relationship?

Depends upon your type! What one person considers essential to happiness and satisfaction, another person might not consider important at all. Personality type helps you understand and communicate with your partner in more effective and satisfying ways.

The elements of a good relationship all 16 types agree upon are:

  • trust
  • good communication
  • mutual respect

Trying to change your partner only creates more tension and unhappiness. Being accepted and appreciated for who you are - is the greatest source of satisfaction and aphrodisiac there is!

11. What are the most common problems couples have that result from personality type differences?

Communication! One partner wants to talk while the other needs time to think things through first; or one partner focuses on the facts and details while the other focuses on possibilities; or one partner is logical while the other emotional; or one partner likes things neat and organized while the other likes things open-ended and flexible. Neither is wrong but the differences create ongoing conflict.

12. Why is Personality Type more helpful method than the "men and women are from different planets" approach?

Because the over simplified and limiting gender stereotypes offered in that approach are true for only about 35-40% of the population, leaving out 60-65% of the population! The "different planets" perspective assumes all women are alike and all men are alike when in truth, our personality type is much more predictive of how we prefer to interact with others, make decision, and organize our lives - AND which aspects of a relationship we think are most important. In addition, claiming that men and women are from different planets traps couples into believing they'll never really understand or communicate well with one another. This is not only untrue, but it also perpetuates limiting and sexist myths.

13. How do couples use your book JUST YOUR TYPE?

Through a series of questions, checklists, and real life examples, readers figure out which of the 16 types fits them (and their partner) best. Next, readers read descriptive profiles about their type (and their partner's). Then, they turn to a section devoted to their particular combination and read about the common joys and frustrations other couples like them experience. Finally, JUST YOUR TYPE gives specific advise that other couples of that same combination found useful to make their relationship more satisfying. Couples find that knowing about their Personality Type helps them rekindle much of the passion and magic they first experienced.

14. Are there some combinations that make for better, happier relationships?

Are there some that just don't work well together? With 16 different types, there are 136 possible couple combinations! Some do say it is easier to understand, communicate and live with someone with whom you share at least 2 of the 4 preferences (or letters), and many agree that it is the middle two letters that are the most important to share since they deal with how you notice the world and how you make decisions. But remember that there are many factors that contribute to a satisfying relationship and while Personality Type is an important one - it is only one of them!

15. Even though you say it's not better to be one type than another, isn't it just plain easier to be certain types than it is to be others?

The 16 types are not evenly distributed throughout the American population. So, there are fewer of some types than others and if you are one of those less common types, it sometimes may be difficult to feel like you belong. No matter what your type or how rare or common that type is in the American population, everyone deserves to lead a personal and professional life that accepts and celebrates who you really are.

16. How early can I figure out my child's type?

Before a child can talk, it's usually pretty tough to figure out the whole type (all four letters). But after about age two or so, most children being to speak fairly fluently, letting us hear what they're noticing and how they are making decisions. So, most parents are able to determine their child's type by around age 3 or 4. Children with stronger preferences are easier to figure out than those with less clear preferences. But remember, neither way is better! And there's no rush. Even knowing one or two of your child's preferences can help you better understand, accept, and nurture her/him. To find out more about Type and your child check out NURTURE BY NATURE.

17. My kids are like day and night! How can I use this to be a better parent?

In most families, siblings are quite different from one another. What works with one, doesn't necessary work with another! Understanding - and accepting - how children are different from one another is essential to parenting them in the style that is going to be the most loving, the most nurturing, and the most effective for that child. Discovering your child's personality type will give you great insights into what really makes him or her tick and will help you become the best parent you can be with THAT child.

18. Isn't parenting each child differently going to cause World War 3, or at least increase sibling rivalry?

First of all, you probably already parent each of your children differently. You'd be a machine if you treated each person exactly the same. And actually, treating children as the unique individuals they are defuses sibling rivalry. By actively recognizing, respecting, and accepting differences in a family, every person learns to make room for everyone else. Children are less likely to have to compete with one another to win your attention (which is one of the primary reasons for rivalry). Letting young people be who they are breaks loose the roles they may have been forced to play. When everyone feels free and more accepted they tend to BE more accepting and respectful of others. For more on this topic please read NURTURE BY NATURE.

19. There's a little of me in all of these descriptions. Isn't it possible I'm the "17th type?"

All of us have all of these "mental functions" inside us. But we each have a natural, unconscious preference for one over the other. So, of course, there's a bit of all in you in almost all sixteen of the types. But the key to finding your true type is to spend some time honestly thinking about who is the real you. Some people find it helpful to read two opposite type descriptions (for example: read ISTJ and ENFP) and see if they both describe you equally well. Take your time. Some people need to read several profiles before they find the one that is really them. And most people are better served by reading the longer, more in-depth descriptions found in DO WHAT YOU ARE, NURTURE BY NATURE, or THE ART OF SPEEDREADING PEOPLE. Remember, there's no rush, and no type is any better than any other type.

20. What exactly is SpeedReading People, and why is it a useful skill to have?

SpeedReading People is a truly unique system for quickly identifying key personality characteristics in others by carefully observing several clues pertaining to appearance, language, energy level, occupation, advocational interests, body language, and others. The ultimate goal of Speedreading People is not just to size someone up, but to be able to communicate more effectively with them.

21. Who is SpeedReading for - and how will it benefit me to know how to SpeedRead others?

The ability to SpeedRead others is a permanent life skill which is invaluable to anyone whose livelihood depends upon successful interpersonal interactions: sales people who need to quickly size up prospects and customers; managers needing to motivate their employees; teachers eager to employ the right strategies to reach different learners; and all sorts of professionals who want to provide better service to their clients. Learning to SpeedRead People will also help people better understand and relate to their parents, spouses, children, and friends.

22. Isn't the ability to SpeedRead People giving some an unfair advantage?

Can't it be used to manipulate others? The question of what constitutes ethical behavior has a lot to do with intention. If your purpose is to do harm in some way, and you use SpeedReading to help you do that, then you are acting unethically, as well as immorally. But the mere fact that you possess set of skills someone else does not have, constitutes no more of an unfair advantage than one person being more intelligent, better at math, or more intuitive than someone else.

Learning to SpeedRead People is also not a skill which is available to only certain people...anyone can learn to do it, just like anyone can learn to speak Spanish if they chose to.

Can SpeedReading be used to manipulate someone? Like virtually any other powerful tool, it can, if the SpeedReader chooses to use it that way. A hammer, for example, in the hands of Michaelangelo is used to sculpt a masterpiece or, in the hands of a madman, be used to smash another's skull. The difference lies in the intention of the user. Undoubtedly, most people will use their SpeedReading ability for its intended purpose -- to better understand and communicate with others, and to bring about greater understanding, prosperity, and growth.