As I read the newspaper and hear about the inflammatory rhetoric, I am reminded of why I find personality type models so valuable.
Back in the late 1980’s Sue Cooper, a close friend and colleagues, created a catchword for why our work is important. She said that we all suffer from BLM Syndrome—Be Like Me. Since that time I mention this in every workshop I do and it was incorporated it into The Guide for Facilitating the Self-Discovery Process. I’ve shared it with many other professionals as well as the graduates of the Interstrength® workshops. I say something like the following:
I’ve been called in to work with you because there is a world-wide epidemic called BLM Syndrome—Be Like Me. We all go around unconsciously expecting others to behave and think like we do. When they don’t, we judge them as wrong, lazy, crazy, or even evil. This disorder is incurable, but we can alleviate the symptoms with what we will explore today. The symptoms will go away, but under stress they can come back. But like all good diagnoses, once we can name it we can get it back under control.
There is a related disorder called BLT—Be Like Them. So we are often caught in either trying to be like someone we are not or trying to force others to be like us. Relief from these symptoms can come from learning about our individual differences so we can reclaim our own gifts and honor the richness that diversity brings to solving problems.
What follows this introduction is a self-discovery process of helping people find a fit among one of the models I use—usually the four Temperaments, the four Interaction Styles, or sometimes the sixteen personality types. Once people know what their filters are in these ways, then it is easier to take the filters down and learn to shift their perspectives. It is also easier to notice other kinds of filters and then move on to other applications like leadership, teamwork, communication etc.
This will not take care of everything that is wrong with the world. However, if we can just begin to learn to consciously shift our perspectives using personality information, we open a door to wider acceptance in other areas. I believe that learning about our personality differences and similarities can foster evolutionary development and, like Isabel Myers, I do hope we can learn to transcend our differences in ways that eventually prevent war.
So, am I way off base or does this make sense? I'd love to see what more we can do with this idea.
Great article. Thanks for sharing this.
Absolutely! Sneaky but it works.
Hi Linda……. I've heard you use BLM and BLT in several of the workshops I've attended. I totally agree with your article. My experience has been that this is step one for individuals. Discovering and then admitting that these truths apply to them. Once that happens people can begin to accept who they are and begin to grow. They no longer have to feel intimidated by everyone else in the world. My experience with myself and others is that most come from a place of insecurity. Insecurity brings with it fear always promotes defensiveness and many times an unwillingness to look at their own tacit creed. How do I know this? I've been there. My family of origin experiences alone were enough to take me down a pathway of insecurity for many years. Your Interstrength Models and your input on the MBTI and Keirsey in the late 80's have been a tremendous help to me in recognizing who I am and rebuilding who I was created to be. There is no peace like being at peace with who you are as an individual. Your input has been a great help in getting me through some very dysfunctional habits in my life. Keep up the good work and Thank you.
I’m so glad my work has help you so much. You are making your own contributions to applying this and I’m so glad. And yes, peace within needs to happen first, but some people can’t go there first so we have to have applications they can use. sort of going in the back door!