Personality Systems Compared
One of the most notable contributions in history was in 460 BC by Hippocrates (often referred to as the “father of western medicine”). He observed that people in general seemed to have one of four humors, or approaches to life. This discernment of four groupings is a common theme that connects many of the most predominant personality theories.
Today there exist many different systems for categorizing personality traits into meaningful patterns. Many of these various systems use special vocabulary such as colors, letters or other terms to describe the same thing- your personality temperament.
If you have integrated any of these terms or descriptors into your language you are speaking a type of personality language. Our specific language is called Personality Lingo!
Whether you are brand new to personality training or intimately familiar with a favorite system- the power of knowing your personality is undeniable. Our personality affects everything we do – from how we take in and process information to personal preferences and life decisions. Modern scientific studies claim to have found proof that our temperament is coded into our DNA, giving even more validity to this time tested theory.
If you have ever been in a conversation where people are discussing personality types, it can seem like a foreign language to those that don’t understand the vocabulary of that particular system. In essence, you could all be talking about the same thing but using different terms to describe it.
Countless times my clients have explained a communication quandary they have experienced. For example, one major corporation’s HR director shared that they had trained their upper management in the Myers/Briggs system because they liked the detailed descriptions and in-depth clarification of the different functions (ENFP, INTJ…). The supervisors in the same corporation had been previously trained in DISC and were used to those specific terms (Dominance, Influence…). However, the general staff was trained in “the Colors” because they found it simple to remember and use. The staff spoke to each other in a “color” lingo. Even though the entire corporation had been trained in some kind of personality theory, they still could not communicate between the ranks because they were not speaking the same language!
Approximate Comparison of Personality Systems
Hippocrates was perhaps the first to reference color in connection with his four humors. Over the years there have been numerous systems that have carried on with this approach and attached a color label to a particular personality: Personality Dimensions, Don Lowry’s True Colors, Real Colors and many more. The table below reviews a sampling of those systems and how they relate to Personality Lingo:
|Hippocrates||Phlegm||Yellow Bile||Black Bile||Red Blood|
|Don Lowry’s True Colors||BLUE||GREEN||GOLD||ORANGE|
|Color Code||BLUE/WHITE||RED||Blue – N/A||YELLOW|
The most popular letter systems for Temperament identification are the Myers-Briggs and Keirsey systems. The chart below shows how Myers-Briggs and Keirsey relate to Personality Lingo:
|Myers – Briggs||ENFJ, INFJ
WORD DESCRIPTOR SYSTEMS
Dating back to the ancient Greeks there is a long linage of adding descriptive adjectives (or labels) to each of the four personality styles. The chart below shows how these systems relate to Personality Lingo:
|Carl Jung||Intuition/Feeling||Intuition/Thinking||Sensing (/Judging*)||Sensing (/Perceiving*)|
|Diet Styles||Diet Feeler||Diet Thinker||Diet Planner||Diet Player|
|Character Champions||Blue Dolphin||Green Owl||Gold Ant||Orange Wolf|
*Carl Jung does not explicitly mention a judging or perceiving attitude. The “Judging” and “Perceiving” terms are listed here to make a clear distinction between the Planner and Mover temperaments as they relate to Carl Jung’s classifications.