January 25

Dont put me in a box…


After I’d recently given a keynote talk, one of the attendees; who is trained as an NLP Master practitioner, as I am; came up to me and after a fleeting complement said “I disagree with you.”. “Over what specifically?” I asked. (couldn’t help myself!)

And then they began a long diatribe about how you can change anything about yourself, (a) if you believe it’s possible and (b) if you really want to. Now I’d been talking about the Keirsey Temperament Sorter and the work of Dr David Kersey, who said that temperament (of which he was a lifelong student) was the “inborn” part of our personality; the constant element from birth.

I explained how in some US kindergartens they informally establish a child’s temperament when they arrive – as they have learned through experience and curiosity that putting like-temperament children together to do the same activity leads to greater development (and a lot less hassle).

Eventually my accuser, perhaps more in frustration than anything else, said “well I won’t be put in a box! My parents did that to me and it took me years to break out of it.” (Or something like that, anyway.) Aha! So perhaps being concerned about being put in a box is about being labelled. And that’s a “Bad Thing”, isn’t it?

Well, maybe not. Traditionally it might be bad if you restrict you from developing yourself fully, but on the other hand it could be incredibly helpful. You can find out that you have a predisposition to, say; writing; then that could actually be quite useful. It might stop you wasting time trying to be the world’s next Rembrandt for example, maybe saving yourself a good degree of pain! Of course, you can find that as “being put in a box” but then maybe you can predisposition to do that too!

All these psychometrics are just tools to help us understand ourselves. So if you dont find them helpful, then try something else. But if it is, even just a teeny-tiny bit, then perhaps it might be worth considering. And how will you know?


Why not get curious for a while about how you feel about this? Are you “in a box” because someone has told you something about yourself? Is it true? Have you know that? Does it serve you, or does it hinder you? And how do you know that??!

The bottom line is if being “put in a box” helps, in whatever way, then surely that’s a good thing!

You can find out your temperament for free at the Keirsey site (yes, unlike MBTI you really can !) Or get a snapshot about KTS-ii here.

That's all for today. If you've questions or comments, drop me a line below or get in touch.

Please note: A *indicates a link to an external site from which I may receive a small referral fee. You won't pay any extra though. You may be able to find a 'standard' link instead if you prefer.



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