Understanding Temperament

Temperament is how we're hardwired.  It's our go to reactions to things that happen in our day.  Think of our temperament as being our true preferences, what we would tend to do if no one was judging or directing us towards the way they wanted us to be and do things. 

In so many of our jobs we are pressured to conform to a way of working instead of working in the way that would feel right for us and focusing on the things that we prefer to work on.  When was the last time your boss asked you how you prefer to work?   As we mature, it's in our nature to resist conforming to the way others want us to be.  Instead, we see our preferences come to the fore front. So if you are mid to late career, this could explain why you are curious about finding a better fit for you.

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There is also another very important side to us called our character. Think of character as being all of those unique experiences you've had in your life - those memories of school, vacations, important people and influences as well as all of those habits you've developed year after year. 

We can choose our character and because of this, the more self aware we become, the more we are able to focus on the character traits that allow us to grow to our potential!  When you combine your temperament and your character, that creates the one unique "you" that no one else in the world is.  It's in understanding this unique combination that leads us to finding the best fit for you moving forward.

How we lose our way

There are 16 temperaments.  We are born with 1 that stays with us our entire lives. Interestingly enough, the is no correlation between genes and temperament, so your parents "got what they got" in terms of your temperament when you were born and if you have children, the same goes for you.  Therefore, whether you were raised by one or both birth parents or adopted by parents that raised you, the advice you got was coming from their temperament and character.  Now add on the advice you've gotten from teachers, bosses, friends, siblings and/or spouses of different temperaments it's no wonder we lose our way!

To begin to understand this better, let's break it down into the 4 main categories of temperament, the Guardians, the Idealists, the Artisans and the Rationals to dig a little deeper into how the preferences are different for each of these groups.  What's important to remember is that your temperament does not tell you what to do for your career, instead it gives direction to the style by which you are going to be happiest and give the greatest value.

Click to learn more about the temperaments


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Certified Temperament Expert - Keirsey

16 Years assessing, training and coaching 1000+ individuals


Certified Manager of Quality and Excellence - American Society of Quality

13 Years Senior Member


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e: jeanne@jeannepatti.com