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Smarter change

Types of people

I love the t-shirt that reads

There are 10 types of people: Those who understand binary and those who don’t.


There are two types of people: Those who are comfortable with ambiguity.

There are many more like this.

Types of people: MBTI, DiSC, metaprograms, Enneagram

I have long been a fan of Metaprograms – the programs which run our programs. In simple terms metaprograms are patterns of human behaviour – they are filters through which our behaviour runs, and when you understand them it can make it easier to understand human behaviours. I am accredited in MBTI and DiSC, two of the most popular corporate typologies (or series of metaprogram). And the enneagram is one of my favourite ways to understand, explain and of course predict behaviour.

Several chapters of my second book, Consulting Mastery, were based on examining a few metaprograms and the Graves Values models applied to consulting style (although Graves and after him Beck and Cowan insist that his values model is types IN people, not types of people). Here’s a link to the sample chapter (on change approaches).

I’ve applied types of people to things like dealing with a toxic CEO.

New types of people: Askers and Guessers

Of course then I loved learning about Askers and Guessers – two new types of people for me. Here’s what they say:

We are raised, the theory runs, in one of two cultures. In Ask culture, people grow up believing they can ask for anything – a favour, a pay rise – fully realising the answer may be no. In Guess culture, by contrast, you avoid “putting a request into words unless you’re pretty sure the answer will be yes… A key skill is putting out delicate feelers. If you do this with enough subtlety, you won’t have to make the request directly; you’ll get an offer. Even then, the offer may be genuine or pro forma; it takes yet more skill and delicacy to discern whether you should accept.”

I’m a guesser. But knowing this makes so much more sense about why some people seem to get everything. I’m resolving to be more of an asker in business. Read the whole article in the Guardian.

High or low self-monitors

And here’s a new one: low or high-self-monitors, from Adam Grant.

Follow this link for more of my work on people types

And this tag shows you everything I have on people types and metaprograms.

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