Daily Archives: October 15, 2008

Personality Dimensions For 1st Semester Students

“I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.” — Edith Ann, [Lily Tomlin]

“I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.”   — Socrates

Its first semester again and I have facilitated 8 Personality Dimension’s classes for first year students over the last 2 weeks.  The classes were for Social Service Worker students and Prehealth Nursing students.  Each of the sessions is 3 periods in length. 

I start with a brief history of Personality Dimensions and explain how it can be used for understanding yourself and other people.  I mention those people who we think lie in bed tying to find ways to drive us crazy.   I always begin that way and I see the same looks on their faces as we proceed through something they aren’t familiar with and are unsure about being interested. 

I give the students 3 sets of cards.  Each set consists of 4 temperament styles we all have one associated with Life Styles, Picure Cards and the last Communication.  We have one temperament style that is most natural to us, although some people share 2-3 styles. The others we can use when called upon but they may not feel as comfortable to us as our preferred Temperament.    To demonstrate this I ask them to write their first and last name as they usually do, and ask them how that was.  Not much response.  When I ask them to put the pen into their other hand and write their first name and last name as they usually do, there is laughter and giggles.  At this point they always open up and off and we sail along from there.

By using the cards and another exercise they discover their favoured temperament – brightest colour, their most preferred temperate, the next one and so on all the way to the one that is least like them.  

I have them go into groups of like temperament styles each group discusses and answers the same 4 questions which they write on flip chart paper.   Each group takes turns presenting and in doing so they are teaching the other 3 temperaments all about themselves.  It is really fascinating how each group comes up with the same kinds of answers in each session I do.  Even the body language as they sit in their groups is reflective of that colour group in each session.  They themselves find it so fascinating and they like that they are sitting with a group that thinks mostly the way they do!

After they present I tell them what the experts say about them and they shake their heads in awe.  I tell them what the similarities and differences are of the groups and where problem areas might be.  I like to read their Evaluation sheets which confirm that most of them are walking away with something new to think about and with the hope they will understand each other better.   Their smiles and their comments about “I wish I had known this before years ago”  or “now I understand why people say this to me” or “now I know why my mother says this” confirm the session was successful.

It is an excellent tool to realize that differences are not necessarily faults.  We need to be different from each other just to survive.  You can’t change the other person but you can change the way you look at a situation.  In doing so you alleviate stress when realizing that something really isn’t a conflict after all.  Its just a different way.

This week I received some thoughtful gifts from 3 of the faculty on behalf of their class.  Yum. 

…a BIG Starbucks mug with tea packages, a Starbucks Gift Card, BISCOTTI and I LOVE Biscotti, a glass purse filled with Biscotti and Baileys Chocolates.  Wasn’t that nice of them? 


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