Sunday, July 23, 2017

Guessing game

Michelle Chafin. (estp)

In the last Curtin Centre for Entrepreneurship Growth Program we did what we always do – brought someone out after lunch and tried to guess their Jungian profile.

This time it was Michelle Chafin. Some of you will remember Michelle. If you know Michelle you will not forget her. She is one of those wildly enthusiastic people who tend to bring a light into a room when they enter.

What we do in this guessing-game is run through the Jungian preferences, one by one, until we have a complete profile.

Not hard to guess her first choice so I won’t dilly dally – MICHELLE IS AN EXTRAVERT. We took a vote. No-one voted for introvert, including Michelle.

Michelle responds: Here’s a question I remember.

Q. If you were to entertain friends at your home how many people would attend?
A. Over 20. Although I would not have it at home, I don’t cook. So it would be a restaurant. Eamon and Scott asked which restaurant would that be? And I said, well, Bib and Tucker (which they own), of course. 

Remember, the first is about where you get your energy. The second is how you experience things and how you collect information. Because this preference confused us all, I am going to save it for last and skip to the third dichotomy – thinking and feeling.

Initially, some people thought that because Michelle was a warm and friendly woman, she must be an F (feeling). This function is the only one with a gender bias and if Michelle was the opposite, T (thinking) then it would of course be influenced by her femininity.

This preference is about the decision-making process – do you prefer to make decisions, or do you love collecting information and staying at the party no matter what because you are so in the game and tomorrow is irrelevant. Okay, maybe that last bit was just me when I was a young party beast. 

We asked Michelle a few questions and because detail is not my strong point most of them have disappeared from my memory, but here are some we might have asked.

1 – If you had to tell someone they were not ready for the program here at Curtin, would you tell them or ask someone else to tell them?
Now I’ve written it I think we asked something like this and she answered – “I’d just tell them.”
2 – Do you shop with your head or your heart and if someone was rude to you but their price was right, would you keep going back?
3 – If you’re in a race and some falls over, or falters, do you power on past or stop to see if they are okay?
When we asked Michelle for her confirmed preference she answered “Thinking”.
Michelle: I also remember this.
Q. What do you think about the house prices for the new millenniums.
A They will be fine, I would prefer to teach them how to survive in today’s world, provide them with skills. 

Two confirmed - E and T - two to go.

The final dichotomy also caused a split because Michelle seems so organised but under questioning she provided evidence to suggest she preferred a more “laid-back” lifestyle. The other glitch was her appearance – neat, tidy, elegant. She presents a bit like the neater of the two, those with a J, a judging preference. Unlike the presenter, with his un-combed hair, his shirt out, and his cluttered box of tricks.

1 – Are you well organised?
2 – Would you rather wake up in the morning and make your day up as you go along?
3 – Is your wardrobe at home neat or cluttered?
4 – Can you leave work with your desk disordered?
5 - Do you like starting or finishing a task?

Michelle confirmed she preferred to shoot the breeze, a P, perceiver.

Q. When you arrive home to do you chuck things down.
A. Yes, and the room is not always tidy, even though I do prefer tidiness, when busy I just chuck everything and get to it later. I don’t stress out if there is a mess.

And now for the tricky preference.

As we threw the questions, it seemed pretty clear to me Michelle was confirming the preference I knew – S, sensing.

1 – Do you read fact or fiction?
2 – What do you do on weekends?

And she is so an ESTP. I have an ESTP brother and they love being in front of people, doing things with people, entertaining, and participating in sports and activities. Start talking big picture philosophy to him and his head collapses in front of you.

But when we asked Michelle to confirm she said “N, I’m an intuitive”. My socks nearly fell off, but I went with it because she might have had a good reason, it might have been the week she was having, maybe one of those times in a person’s life when they are reflecting, reassessing.

Also, not a good look in front of a group, when someone says “I’m an S”, and you responds with “No, you’re not.” Could make you look like an arrogant bastard who thinks he knows everything about everybody.

Later in the day Michelle approached and said: “I’m not an N, you know, I’m an S.” Phew.

Michelle: Interesting with regards to the N and S. As there was something happening that day, actually that week – which was seeking change and focus on future. 

Q. What type of books do you prefer to read?
A. Business books.
Q. Do you like sports and are you competitive?
A. Yes and when doing Jacobs ladder I like to go with someone fitter so I can chase them – push myself.

And here is a brief on the ESFP: 

ESFPs are fun and delightful to be with. They live for the moment, and know how to make the most of each moment. They are genuinely, warmly interested in people, and love to make others happy. They're usually very kind-hearted and generous, and are always going out of their way to do something nice for someone. Their affection is simple, straight-forward and honest. They dislike theory and complexities. They often resist forming relationships which require them to function on a high Intuitive or Thinking level. They prefer for things to be light and happy, although their warmth and affection runs deep. Their potential downfall is the tendency to live entirely for the present moment, and therefore to sometimes be unaware of the direction that their relationship is heading, or to be easily distracted from long-term commitments.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

What now

After my last session at the Curtin Business School Centre for Entrepreneurship, the participants asked for a few extras. I should have charged them a standard and exorbitant consulting fee, but, unfortunately, it would have been a counter-profile request.

My profile: extraverted, intuitive, feeling, perceiver, ENFP. What it means in practice is that I am a bit of a dreamer hippy idealist type and money is peripheral and not an aim.

First question: How do we implement this knowledge in business?

Damn good question and the answer will, naturally, depend on your own profile and the rest of the puzzle that has gone into making you who you are.

For example, remember the four intelligences of the model of four, the temperament model, the one based on what drives us?

The Improvisor-SP has a tactical intelligence so he or she will probably just dive in without any preparation but take particular note of body language and try to find ways of working with colleagues or employees while in full participation mode. And probably make sure they have some fun with their new knowledge. 

The Stabiliser-SJ has a logistical intelligence and this person might note the salient points, then create a time-line of to-be-implemented instructions, guidelines, work books.

The Theorist-NT has a strategic intelligence and these folks might analyse, make a strategic plan that could be an integral part of a broader plan, then implement it, in particular if they were an ENTJ, or lose the plan, if they were an ENTP.

The Catalyst-NF has a diplomatic and emotional intelligence and given these people are my brothers and sisters, better just write what I would do. It is also important to remember that my NF profile is tempered by other components – I am a man, grew up in a small town on a farm and in a shop, spent first 16 years an intense Christian, was a hippy for as long and for most of my life I have kept a journal.

First thing I would do, is nothing, almost, because although an extravert, I am a reflective version. I would return to my workplace, be a little less conversational and observe. After work, even during, I would make notes. At night I would attempt to line up my notes with my new knowledge and look for commonality, characteristics I shared with each individual in the workplace, so I could attempt connections.

Now for some general tips.

- Read the Know Yourself Booklet, particularly pages 10 -13, 22 – 29.
- Jung’s type gives you a template with which to work through personality conflicts
Rather than saying: “He’s a prick and I refuse to work with him.”
You could say: “Hang on, it looks like you are the kind of person who likes precise detail and you do not take things personally. Whereas I am big picture and tend to be a bit sensitive.”
- Always useful to remember that relationships are inevitably negotiated settlements.

And now here are a few key questions to ask to help determine, or guess, a person’s type.

So when we meet, would you like me to tell you everything (Ext), or would you prefer notes on paper (Int)?
(If “yes” to notes)
You want extensive notes? Dot points? Graphics? Big picture stuff (iNTu) or concentrate on detail (Se)?
(If “yes” to tell me)
How much time do you have to meet, because I can could go on for hours?

Thinking and feeling preferences you can put out feelers, or pointers.

           Current analysis suggests the bottom line means we have to close the business down (Thi).
That’s a very good suggestion but what about the impact on staff (Fee)?

With this dichotomy, you can always get an idea in a preamble to a meeting, or conversation. Are they interested in talking about personal matters, or do they just want to get on with it?
If you look through the “Know Yourself” booklet, almost any of the listed characteristics can be turned to a question.

Breadth and depth: Have you got a lot of friends (Ext), or just a couple of very close mates (Int)?
Justice and mercy: That guy who got 10 years, I mean, that was the maximum, so he should have expected it (Thi). or: He was pushed, his wife had only recently died and his cat was run over. I think the court was a bit harsh. (Fee)

If you have a dilemma, flick me an email. –

There’s more, but I’m going to end here. Next instalment soon.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


There are a number of what I call “rising tides”, certainly in the so-called western world.
Here are a few:
-          Narcissism
-          Intolerance of difference
-          Preciousness
-          Obesity
-          Anti-religion
-          Anti-religion not yours
-          Labelling

This last one is of interest to me as it often confusing. For example, many folk mix up what they think is race and what they think is religion. Then you get the opposite in retort. So someone who condemns Muslims will be called "racist". Yet Islam is a religion including many ethinic groups, as is Christianity.

Labels, in general, are of little assistance if we want to understand social threads and collective beliefs and beahviours.
 And here I am working with Jungian based psychological models, which are often used by labellers to shove people into boxes. I sometimes think to introduce myself with: Hello, I'm Jon Doust, lapsed high Anglican, heterosexual, Bridgetown born, blue eyes and minor tourettes. Or my other full label – ENFP ML PT & DS. Let me fill this out:

E – extraverted
N – intuitive
F – feeling
P – perceiver
ML PT – mercury and lead post trauma
DS – depression susceptible

Indeed, on an odd occasion, I have done so, but only to create a brief moment of bewilderment, followed by a quick and sometimes uneasy laugh, because the listener, unless granted permission, doesn’t want to belittle my afflictions.

As for me, it is important that I belittle my afflictions because that is also an essential part of who I am. Perhaps the two greatest gifts handed down by my family were an ability to create humour and the willingness to laugh at oneself.

My father taught me to laugh with cutting and biting sarcasm at the prickly, pretentious and pompous and my mother and her mother taught me the value of arranging laughs at your own expense. And the openness and willingness to laugh at yourself when mocked by others.

This was not always easy, as I was the only intuitive (N) in a family dominate by sensates (S), people who lived in the real world, the here and now, the grounded folk who could fix an engine, balance books, understand the necessary steps to move from A to B. I, on the intuitive aside, was a day dreamer, a floating, wandering freak who always seemed to have a weird answer to a logical question.

Which brings me to two more labels - pessimism and optimism.

I always ask a group where they sit on that scale and I never say where I do because I have never been sure.

My Jungian profile - ENFP - would suggest I lean towards optimism, but I don’t seem to. So where am I? Am I an innately designed optimist who has been battered by early growth in the womb of a depressed woman, arriving in the world and suffering the poison double - mercury and lead. (See early blog – Jung and Heavy Metals) That was not all, because on our farm we sprayed with Agent Orange (245T), malathion and god knows what else. There is no way that splash of chemicals had no impact.

Or am I an innate optimist who suffers from prolonged periods of pessimism due to life circumstances, or an innate pessimist with an, at times, overwhelming desire to be optimistic and positive, about everything and anything.

Mercury and lead poisoning symptoms are very similar and include inability to concentrate, quick to temper, anxiety, depression and, logically, behaviourally, can lead to bad decision making. In my case, it lead to dumb choices involving alcohol, drugs, sex, and surfing. 

What does all this mean? Why can’t I decide on a precise label? I may have said this before – psychology is not an exact science. Although I may struggle to decide which is my strongest preference - pessimism or optimism – it does help to recognise which one is dominating at any given time and of its impact on my life - mood, opinions, behaviour. And that soon enough, all that might change when what has been the inferior preference becomes the dominating.

As Jung might have said to me: Embrace both, Jon, the dark and the light, that way neither can destroy you.

Complicated? Dammit! Let me try this.

I’d much rather be an optimist but sometimes I’m depressed.

There. Let’s move on then.