There, but for the grace of God, go I

When things repeatedly go wrong in a big way, there is an urge to rant in a blog. Maybe that energy would best be spent by screaming and pounding on a pillow, as a another possibility.

Then, realize that the statement "there, but for the grace of God, go I" does not just apply to the homeless man and bag lady seen, but also to those seen who are of huge wealth and power who have seemingly made terrible messes of other's lives while driven by their obsession for wealth and power and its abuses. "There but for the grace of God go I."

Seeking understanding of the operating factors becomes the most useful mode. Once the "real nature of the beast" is known, rational and mutually respectful potential constructive activities materialize out of the fog. Then, doing something useful about it all may more safely be done with much less risk of regretting it later. And then feeling comfortable about the new results when all is said and done.

One of the best tools I have found for understanding of those operating factors, is the tool of "Temperaments", closely correlated to Carl Jung's Psychological typology via the MBTI evaluation technique. The ancient theory of Temperaments has recently received an excellent well integrated analytic tool, which separates out four basic forms of viewpoints individual people can have, along with the associated response to their particular world viewpoint. A website called can provide direct resources. They have registered their excellent names for the four types, so I can't use them here, but I have derived names for my own use that evoke what function each type of person plays in civilization: the enlightener, the improver, the custodian, and the venturer. Each of the four has a characteristic self-consistent world viewpoint and response set. Some of them have difficulty comprehending that there also exist other types of world viewpoints that are just as valid as their own; they then consider all that are not like themselves as being "defective." The "16 types" comes from combining these four comprehensive viewpoints, together with four modes of interacting; each one of the four viewpoints has the potential for any one of the modes of interacting, thus there are 16 types overall. Lots, but not a huge number.

For example, if you have a president that is of the "venturer" Temperament, expect venturer type responses to events, because it is totally a venturer's world out there to that president. Trying to get "improver" type responses out of that president is futile, because it does not mean the same thing in the venturer's world viewpoint. Only by re-framing into terms that are meaningful to a venturer type, can information be meaningful to the venturer.

For example, basic leadership communication would need to be converted into terms of "taking action" which is the "venturer's" mode of leadership. Into "taking action" terms, the "improver" must convert from "developing strategies" form of leadership; the "custodian" must convert from terms of "establishing procedures", and the "enlightener" type must convert starting from "giving praise" terms. All need to be converted as best possible into "taking action" kind of terms, to have real meaning for the "venturer" type president. Otherwise, each are just talking into the breeze, perhaps to relieve frustration.

A given scenario viewed from each of the Temperament viewpoints is still the same scenario, but what the scenario evokes in people of each of the four temperaments is quite different. And the response to that viewpoint of the scenario, has four interaction possible modes; and the combination condenses out as the person's form of overall involvement in the scenario.

Doing this observarion and analysis, clarity about it all condenses out of the seeming chaos. Once the problem is accurately understood, an efficient appropriate response response plan can be derived for one's own Temperament's satisfaction.

But -- you may still want to go scream and pound on the pillow -- this time for a different reason, that of unhappiness about that you had not dealt with the real problems before this. Or, another possible response is, to light a candle and pour a small glass of red wine, relax and congratulate yourself on a job well done, finally.

Jim Cline 20070711


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