Sunday, February 27, 2011


So last post I talked a little bit about BHAG's and giving yourself something truly Big Hairy and Audacious to aim for. In the corporate world this would be a vision or mission statement but for us it's more akin to your dream. Where you truly want to see yourself.

But Rome wasn't built in a day, as the saying we next need to break that dream down in to some achievable and recognisable milestones.

So why set milestones?

Heard the saying "a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step".
If you focus yourself on achieving the 1000 miles you could quickly get overwhelmed by the enormity of what lies ahead of you. Conversely if your sole focus is each step you could quickly become bored of the monotonous repartition.

To stay motivate we need that sense of achievement; to keep carrying on we need milestones along the way that are within our ability to reach. They give something medium term and realistically to aim for, while taking you closer to reaching your dream.


So what makes a good Milestone?

  • Aspirational - milestones should be things that you could see yourself achieving with hard work. They need to stretch you but you also need to be able to see yourself getting there.
  • Time - I tend to pick milestones of around three months. I can easily see myself in three months time and it gives me enough time to work around any set-backs etc. I also tend to think of milestones in terms of "right by the end of winter I'm going to be able to run 6 miles on a treadmill".
  • Alignment - probably common sense but your milestones need to support your ultimate goal and carry you towards it.
  • Reward - to underline that sense of achievement treat yourself to something you enjoy as a reward.

Next time we'll get into the detail of setting specific goals that get you to your milestones....



Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Big Hairy Audacious Goal

So how was the meditation? Yeah me neither lol

Following on the goal setting theme of recent posts I thought I'd start out big
…big and hairy
…big, hairy and audacious to be exact.

Why settle for anything else…

Many people in life when looking at what they want to achieve will look to the coming days, months or maybe years.
This is very similar to businesses that set goals and targets for different areas of their organisation for each appraisal or financial year. People tend to focus on the relatively short term tactical goals that can easily be measured and monitored over a few months/years.

That's good... isn't it?
An end point that you know is achievable and that you can see yourself achieving? 

Well yes and no
Let me introduce you to the concept of BHAG the Big, Hairy Audacious Goal!
The term BHAG was proposed by James Collins and Jerry Porras in their 1996 article entitled Building Your Company's Vision. They defined it as….
A true BHAG is clear and compelling, serves as unifying focal point of effort, and acts as a clear catalyst for team spirit. It has a clear finish line, so the organization can know when it has achieved the goal; people like to shoot for finish lines.
—Collins and Porras, 1996

A BHAG encourages companies to define visionary goals that are more strategic, emotionally compelling and truly inspiring.
The theory being that truly great goals pull people together, inspire and motivate them to go above and beyond in order to achieve the BHAG.

A great example of a BHAG would have been in the 60's in the US when Kennedy stood up and said "We're going to put a man on the moon!". It was a vision that inspired people to innovate, push boundaries and literally go further than anyone before them.

Inspiration is a powerful thing and we can apply the principals of corporate goal setting to our personal lives.
Yes we need small achievable steps that can be focussed on in the short term - but you need a truly great eventual destination to keep yourself plodding along.

To achieve great things you need to set yourself great goals!
So shoot for the moon, what ever area of your life you want to change make that goal big, make it hairy, make it Audacious



Saturday, February 19, 2011

Goal Setting... Part 1

Very few people I've met are 100% happy with where they are in life.

Many want to change their circumstances or where they are in life. Often even contented people have aspirations, desires and things they want to achieve next.

The desire for change is ubiquitous.

When you get to the point where you chose to make a meaningful change in your life, or you have to make a big decision, many people draw on their friends and family for advice and guidance.

Now this is only natural. We are social creatures and bouncing ideas off a group of trusted people is often a good place to start. However there is a school of thought that says the bigger the decision around where you want your life to go, the more you should listen to yourself and not others....

Do they really know you? Think about it, how much do even our closest friends and family know about what we think or feel at any given time? We often present ourselves differently to family than we do to friends, even to different groups of friends. The people around us only see aspects of our personality, they don't know how we think or feel, they do not share in our dreams or fears.

Their advice would be coloured by what they think they know about us and by what hey think is in our best interest. This advice might be spot on but then it might be biased.

The only person that truly knows you - is you!

The other side to this argument is accountability.

If you take advice from others when deciding on which path to take from a cross roads you always have someone else to blame if it turns out to be the wrong choice.

For the big decisions it has to be your choice because you are going to live with the consequences - you need to be 100% accountable for the direction you chose.

So down to the crux of the matter - how do you chose the best direction for you?

There is a technique that has been used throughout human history which can be of great help in developing a clear picture of where you want to be in life. That technique is meditation.

Now meditation comes with all kinds of social preconceptions and the thought of shutting yourself away from everything for an hour with nothing but yourself is just plain stupid to a lot of people. I know that's what I used to think. But for really discovering where you want your life to go and really focussing on what is important to you - there is nothing better in my opinion.

How To Meditate
  • Find a place where there are no distractions, free from interruptions and importantly where you feel comfortable 
  • Switch your mobile off! 
  • Sit with your back straight with your hands resting naturally in your lap. If you lie down or slouch there's the risk that you'll just drift off to sleep 
  • Close your eyes 
  • Breathe deep with an even natural rhythm 
  • Focus on your breathing 
Now some people just meditate as part of their daily routine or for fun ;)
But we're here to get some direction to our lives - right?

So once you've got into a relaxed state let your mind drift away from your breathing and onto some questions about your life:-
  • What do you like doing? 
  • What made you most proud of yourself during your entire life? 
  • What is it that you always wanted to do and you never found the time? 
  • What period of my life do I like most? 
  • What period of my life do I like least? 
  • What is it more important for you, you family life or your career? 
  • How much do you depend on others?
    Now many of these questions are similar to those covered in an earlier post. In that post we were exploring the concious minds view and applying a very analytical technique.

    However during meditation we are trying to uncover more of the unconscious view. You should let your mind meander on these topics but try and keep focussed on how you would like to see yourself in the future.  

    Take however long you need and once you have finished spend some time writing down the results.

    From this exercise we will then look at setting some goals.



    Wednesday, February 16, 2011

    Book review - The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

    There are a lot of books on life coaching, self help, self development and realising personal change... and although many are great reads others are truly awful. So as a pointer to the best I thought I'd include the odd book review.

    First up 'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People' by Stephen R. Covey

    A few years back I was on a management course and part of the 'home work' we had to read this little gem, which has became a major best-seller.
    Now Covey's seven habits aren't rocket science they're fairly obvious, simple, yet when you read them it's like a penny dropping from a great hight. His style can be a bit over the top - it's like he's found the secret to eternal life and is so enthusiastic to tell you all about it!! Ok some of it can be really over the top but at the heart of the book he just wants you to take control of your life, stick to your commitments and try do your 'thing' better than you do it now.

    Covey has an interesting section on choosing your own definition of success, which will be the subject of some posts next week. You set your own goals, with the belief that you can change your life.
     It's a simple, logical piece of self-motivation, but it does require you to sit back, analyse your life, and work at change. There are no quick fixes here.

    His seven habits -

    Habit 1: Be Proactive - take the initiative with your life and realise how your decisions determine where your life goes. Any choice has a consequence that you are responsible for - so make the right choices.

    Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind - Self-discover and work out what you value in life. Envision the ideal characteristics for each of your various roles and relationships in life.

    Habit 3: Put First Things First - Plan, prioritise and execute your week's tasks based on their importance in your life rather than their urgency. Always making sure that your efforts held drive you towards the goals from Habit 2.

    Habit 4: Think Win-Win - when you're working with others always strive for mutually beneficial solutions. If you respect and value what others are trying to achieve your combined efforts are likely to be successful.

    Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, then to be understood - empathy and listening skills are really important when building consensus and helping influence people. If you can understand another person's view point it's then easier to get your point across.

    Habit 6: Synergize - you can achieve more as a team than you can as individuals so create teams around common goals to drive success.

    Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw - keep renewing your approach, goals and moivation to continue your progress and creata a sustainable long-term effective lifestyle.

    So go and check it out!

    Sunday, February 13, 2011


    Continuing the theme of self awareness I thought I'd write a little about feedback.

    But first a little fun...

    O                                            X

    Cover right eye and focus the left eye on the X
    Starting with your face fairly close to your screen, slowly move away from the screen.
    At some point the O should disappear and then as you get further away reappear. 

    This is your blind spot...each eye has an area where there are no light sensitive cells which we never really notice as the brain fills in the 'hole' and both eyes have overlapping fields of vision.

    It's not just in vision that we have blind-spots.

    Now no matter how self aware you are or how 'in tune' you are to those around you, you do not see yourself as others do. Plain and simple how you come across to others isn't the same as how you think you're projecting yourself.

    So far we've looked at our own view of our selves, but today we'll look at getting other people's feedback.
    One of the most powerful forms of information is feedback on our own actions.John Paul Kotter (born 1947) is a professor at the Harvard Business School
    The Feedback Sandwich
    It's often a trait of very successful people that they seek out feedback from others.
    They realise that they're not seeing the whole picture and seek out other people's view to fill in the gaps

    1. Pick an Area – to get meaningful feedback you need to be specific about what you want. It's no good sitting down with someone and saying 'give me feedback on me...' Pick the area of your life that you are interested in changing, and jot down some questions around it that you may ask yourself (see the last post). 
    2. Identify some Feedback Friends – try to identify 5-10 people on a personal and professional level that you can approach and ask for feedback from. Now we're not looking at your spouse, or boss or your best friends - they should be people you know, who you trust the opinion of.
    3. Provide background - you need to explain why your asking for feedback and give them some context to your request. Although you're interested in specific feedback the first conversations should be about general feedback around your chosen area. You want their general feedback and impressions to help you categorize things you are probably unaware of that you may want to focus on or improve over time.  
    4. Getting the conversation started – you may need to guide the initial conversation so you get meaningful feedback.
      You can start by saying something like “I think I am good at something’s but not strong in other areas and I am hoping you can provide some additional insight for me. In your opinion what do you think I am good at and why?". This gets you of on a positive note, gets the conversation started and gets affirmations of things you know you are good at.
    5. Turn it on its head - next the hard question, you want to find out where you could improve - “Can you tell me in your opinion areas you think I need improvement in or don’t do well and why you think that?”
      Now this is never easy and most people will get really vague in their answers here - but real personal development comes from conversations like this. My tip here would be questioning techniques; if they come back with something vague probe into it, maybe ask for examples. 
    6. Finish on a high - go back to step 4 and start talking about things they think you do well. It is important to end these conversations on a positive note - both for the sake of your confidence and your relationship wit the person giving the feedback. You don't want to be left feeling low - they don't want to end the conversation feeling they've dumped on you.
    7. Thanks them for their time - let them know you value their opinion and thank them for helping you out. Manners cost nothing.
    Now you should have a few notes from their feedback it's important to take some time out.
    Internalise the feedback, cross check it with what you have previously written down about yourself, think about where the feedback came from.

    It takes humility to seek feedback. It takes wisdom to understand it, analyze it, and appropriately act on it.
    Stephen R. Covey (born 1932) bestselling author of, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    Self awareness - questioning (why, why, why, why, why)

    Over the last few weeks we've looked at Myers-Brigs and different personality types.
    Hopefully this has given you an understanding of which type you best fit and some tips for the future.
    It's worth remembering that these are broad categories and the degree to which you fit a particular type can vary.
    For example quite often when I've taken the test I've come out as an ENFP - yet other times it's come back as INFP.

    Taking the test is a snap shot and how you answer the questions can be influenced by what's going on in your life, so they're just a guide to really get you thinking about the person you are.

    So why is all this stuff important?

    Tests like Myers Briggs are a good place to start in building self awareness.

    Knowing who you are and where you are in life is a powerful foundation to delivering change.

    The analogy I always use is building a bridge across a river.
    Knowing yourself and where you are is the one bank of the river
    Knowing where you want to get to is the other bank
    …and the bridge are the steps in life you need to take to realise the change.
    “Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.” - James Thurber
    Another technique for building deeper self awareness is questioning…sounds simple?
    Often when we answer questions about ourselves we give the answer we're most comfortable with, or the one that we think society will approve of.

    Although that initial answer may well be truthful it comes from the layer of ourselves that we present to the world.

    To really understand ourselves we need to dig deeper into those layers to find the root of the answer.

    An example:-

    What type of people do you enjoy spending time with?
    Well...they have to be open-minded people. I really enjoy their company.
    Why do I enjoy being with open-minded people?
    Because then I can explore lots of different ideas. I enjoy searching for answers. And if they’re open-minded, the exploration can go anywhere!
    What do I mean by “exploration can go anywhere”?
    I mean I can investigate all the big questions in life like...Why are we here or where do emotions come from?
    How does being with open-minded people assist me in exploring those questions?
    Well...if they’re open-minded they won’t make fun of my ideas.
    Why is it important to me that people not make fun of my ideas?
    Because it feels like my ideas I don’t like being made fun of.
    Why don’t I like being made fun of?
    Because then I feel shitty about myself.
    Why would I feel shitty about myself if people made fun of me?
    Because they’re not accepting me for who I am!
    Why do I feel shitty if others don’t accept me for who I am?
    Because it means I’m not OK.
    How does others not accepting me mean I’m not okay?
    Hmmmm.... I guess it doesn't have to mean that.

    From a simple question with a honest open answer we have delved into the deeper meaning and touch on the persons values.

    We'll cover behavioural layers and eliciting values in later posts but for now lets look at self questioning techniques, and for now lets focus on questions around who you are and where you are in your life.

    This same technique is also often used in Service Improvement or Root Cause analysis to uncover the underlying reason for problems and is often called "the 5 whys".

    Some examples are:-
    • What do I fear most in my life right now? Why? What would it mean if that happened?
    • When do I feel the most angry or frustrated? What is it about those situations that I feel that way?
    • What is my definition of love? (not Webster’s)
    • What does money mean/represent to me?
    • Do I feel peaceful or anxiety in regards to money?
    • How do I currently earn my livelihood? How did I come to be so employed?
    • What skills have I acquired that I'm proud of?
    • What accomplishments am I proud of?
    • Beginning when I was a child, what are the 10 most significant events in my life? Why did I make them significant?
    • What period of my life do I like most? Why?
    • What period of my life do I like least? Why?
    • What are five of my greatest strengths?
    Each of these are suggested starting questions and it's often worth doing this exercise with a blank pad of paper.
    Write down the question and your answer
    Then read your answer back and ask why?
    Answer that question
    Read it back and again ask yourself why?
    Repeat this until you get down to a point where there is no longer a why.

    Some tips:-

    Be as specific as you can - when answering your questions there are three things to keep in mind...
    Be specific, be specific, be specific!
    Got that? Good - the reason is that a woolly general answer doesn't help you understand your motivations, behaviours and values. The more specific you are in your answers the more of an insight you'll get.

    Be honest with yourself - we can all fall into the self-delusion trap but when you're answering your questions try to bring a bit of critical honesty to your answers. Sometimes it takes a bit of courage to be honest with yourself but the more honest you are the more you will get out....and hell there's no one else around.

    Go with the flow - let your line of questioning take you where ever it takes's ok to take wild guesses and go with your gut instinct.

    Sunday, February 6, 2011

    Personality Types - Famous people

    Following on from the Myers-Briggs test here are some famous people and their supposed Personality Type.

    • Bill Gates
    • Seth Green
    • Conan O’Brien
    • Sean William-Scott
    • Will Smith
    • Sofia Vergara
    • Catherine Zeta-Jones
    • Kristen Bell
    • Cate Blanchett
    • Kirsten Dunst
    • Elizabeth Hurley

    • Terry Bradshaw
    • Sean Hannity
    • Janice Dickinson
    • Sarah ‘Fergie’ Ferguson
    • Margaret Thatcher
    • Sarah Palin

    • Tom Cruise
    • Kevin Federline
    • Vanilla-Ice
    • Anne Hathaway
    • Katie ‘Jordan’ Price
    • Nicole Ritchie

    • David Hasselhoff
    • Chris Brown
    • Jennifer Lopez
    • Leighton Meester
    • Eva Mendes
    • Judy Reyes
    • Denise Richards


    • David Attenborough
    • Clint Eastwood
    • Lou Ferrigno
    • Hugh Hefner
    • Jessica Biel
    • Elena Dementieva
    • Jelena Jankovic
    • Venus Williams

    • Jack Black
    • George W Bush
    • Hulk Hogan
    • Brock Lesner
    • Matthew McConaughey
    • Victoria Beckham
    • Paris Hilton
    • Kendra Wilkinson
    • Serena Williams

    • Oscar Del La Hoya
    • Jean-Claude Van Damme
    • Pamela Anderson
    • Drew Barrymore
    • Cameron Diaz
    • Jennifer Love Hewitt
    • Kate Hudson
    • Britney Spears
    Cameron Diaz Hot Wallpapers, Pictures and Photos
    • Tommy Lee
    • John McEnroe
    • Mike Tyson
    • Usher
    • Jessica Alba
    • Halle Berry
    • Penelope Cruz
    • Zooey Deschanel
    • Angelina Jolie

    • Donald Trump
    • Fidel Castro
    • Arnold Schwarzenegger
    • Ryan Seacrest
    • Judge Judy (Judith Sheindlin)
    • Rosie O'Donnell
    • Joan Rivers
    • Ariana Huffington

    • Ben Stiller
    • Keifer Sutherland
    • Billy Bob Thornton
    • Vince Vaughn
    • Bruce Willis
    • Owen Wilson
    • Hillary Clinton
    • Tina Fey
    • Jada Pinkett Smith
    • Sarah Silverman


    • Jeff Golbum
    • Alfred Hitchcock
    • Colin Mochrie
    • Jim Parsons
    • Ryan Stiles
    • Kari Byron
    • Ashley Olsen
    • Mary-Kate Olsen


    • Pierce Brosnan
    • John Cena
    • Eric Clapton
    • George Clooney
    • Matt Damon
    • Jodi Foster
    • Heather Locklear
    • Julia Roberts
    • Sharon Stone
    • Charlize Theron


    • Johnny Depp
    • Leonardo Di Caprio
    • Vin Diesel
    • Snoop Dogg
    • Bob Dylan
    • Albert Einstein
    • Lindsay Lohan
    • Demi Lovato
    • Michelle Obama
    • Natalie Portman
    • Uma Thurman
    • Emma Watson
    • Rachel Weisz


    • Hugh Jackman
    • Ricky Martin
    • Mike Myers
    • Russell Brand
    • Isla Fisher
    • Heather Graham
    • Jennifer Garner
    • Alyson Hannigan
    • Salma Hayek
    • Audrey Hepburn


    • Danny Devito
    • Robert Downey Jr.
    • Tom Hanks
    • Philip Seymour Hoffman
    • Michael Jackson
    • Christina Appelgate
    • Kim Basinger
    • Kate Beckinsale
    • Monica Bellucci
    • Cher
    • Lance Armstrong
    • David Beckham
    • George H.W. Bush
    • Sean ‘P-Diddy’ Combs
    • Katie Couric
    • Chris Evert
    • Steffi Graf
    • Justine Henin
    • Martina Navratilova

    Personality Type - ENTJ: The Evil Overlord

    ...and finally

    (extraversion, intuition, thinking, judgment...the Evil Overlord)
    ENTJs focus on the most efficient and organized means of performing a task. This quality, along with their goal orientation, often makes ENTJs superior leaders, both realistic and visionary in implementing a long-term plan. ENTJs tend to be fiercely independent in their decision making, having a strong will that insulates them against external influence. Generally highly competent, ENTJs analyze and structure the world around them in a logical and rational way. Due to this straightforward way of thinking, ENTJs tend to have the greatest difficulty of all the types in applying subjective considerations and emotional values into the decision-making process.

    ENTJs often excel in business and other areas that require systems analysis, original thinking, and an economically savvy mind. They are dynamic and pragmatic problem solvers. They tend to have a high degree of confidence in their own abilities, making them assertive and outspoken. In their dealings with others, they are generally outgoing, charismatic, fair-minded, and unaffected by conflict or criticism. However, these qualities can make ENTJs appear arrogant, insensitive, and confrontational. They can overwhelm others with their energy, intelligence, and desire to order the world according to their own vision. As a result, they may seem intimidating, hasty, and controlling.

    ENTJs tend to cultivate their personal power. They often end up taking charge of a situation that seems (to their mind, at least) to be out of control, or that can otherwise be improved upon and strengthened. They strive to learn new things, which helps them become resourceful problem-solvers. However, since ENTJs rely on provable facts, they may find subjective issues pointless. ENTJs appear to take a tough approach to emotional or personal issues, and so can be viewed as aloof and cold-hearted. In situations requiring feeling and value judgments, ENTJs are well served to seek the advice of a trusted Feeling type.

    In Relationships
    ENTJs put a lot of effort and enthusiasm into their relationships. Since their major quest in life is to constantly take in knowledge and turn that into something useful, the ENTJ will try to turn everything into a learning experience. Within the context of relationships, that means they will constantly seek knowledge and revise the rules and definitions of their relationships. They value their relationships highly, especially those relationships which present them with new challenges and stimulate their learning. Such exchanges promote genuine affection and satisfaction for the ENTJ. Relationships which do not offer any chances for growth or learning hold no interest to the ENTJ. As in other areas of life, the ENTJ likes to be in charge of their relationships. In conversation, they are very direct and confrontational, and can be highly critical and challenging towards others. People involved in close relationships with the ENTJ need to have a good amount of personal strength. For those who do, the ENTJ has a tremendous amount to offer.

    Ten Rules to Live By to Achieve ENTJ Success

    1. Feed Your Strengths! Give yourself every opportunity to show others your appreciation of a situation and how you could see it through to a good outcome. Take charge where you can make it count.
    2. Face Your Weaknesses! Understand you have limits too. Your careful world view is not the whole deal. How things look and feel may not concern you, but they concern many others. Try and allow such things to be and learn from them.
    3. Talk Time to Find Out How Others Really Think. You need to drive past your thoughts with others and let their appreciations of a situation reach you at a deeper level. It will then be possible for you to take account of their needs as real world objectives which if included in your ideas will bring greater harmony and quality to life and relationships.
    4. Take Time Out To Let The Whole Situation Speak To You. Don't dismiss those abstract and seemingly hard to understand or bothersome aesthetic and feeling judgments coming from others or from inside yourself. Drop everything for a while, stop thinking and worrying and just relax into those ideas and let them speak to you. Perhaps they can be accommodated, perhaps something is hiding in there which offers a new way
    5. When You Get Upset, You Lose. Your energy and rational understandings are strong assets, but can be very harmful if they turn against you and leave you with nothing but emotions you cannot deal with. Remember that others cannot always be expected to fall into your ways of seeing, and when your drive to make them do so fails you will suffer feelings of resentment and even abandonment. You cannot deal with the world like this. Moderate your ideas, allow others their spaces, and you will grow.
    6. Respect your Need for Intellectual Compatibility Don't expect yourself to be a "touchy-feely" or "warm-fuzzy" person. Realize that your most ardent bonds with others will start with the head, rather than the heart. Be aware of other's emotional needs, and express your genuine love and respect for them in terms that are real to YOU. Be yourself.
    7. Be Accountable for Yourself. Don't blame the problems in your life on other people. Look inwardly for solutions. No one has more control over your life than you have.
    8. Be Humble. Judge yourself at least as harshly as you judge others.
    9. Take a Positive Approach to Differences in People. Don't distress yourself and others by dwelling on what seem to be their limitations. They need you to guide them and you need them to see things through. Try and recognize who can perform the most ably within certain fields outside your own competence. Let the feelings of others become a strength rather than a hindrance to you.
    10. Don't Get Obsessed! Recognize the value that personal world has to you, your friends, your family, your own inner selnse of self worth and life. Take pride in just being a good person and don’t allow external situations to control you. Try to relax and let the moment belong to the best things you can find in others and yourself. Nothing out there is more important than your own happiness.

    Personality Type - ENFJ: The Cult Leader

    (extraversion, intuition, feeling, judgment...the Cult Leader)
    Extraverted feeling types seek continuity through harmonious relationships and collective values. They excel at picking up on the tone of a situation and acting accordingly, adding warmth to a cool setting or turning sour into sweet. They naturally seek to know what people do well, what they enjoy, and where and how they work. They seem to have an infinite number of acquaintances from all walks of life and are always on the lookout for people in need and those who can help out. ENFJs weave and strengthen the collective fabric of social conventions and interactions. Inclusiveness is important and they are particularly sensitive to those who are excluded.

    ENFJs focus on others, feeling a glow when those around them are happy, and troubled when something is amiss. They are natural cheerleaders, often expressing support, gratitude, and encouragement, and heaping praise onto those they appreciate. They take note of what is being done and what needs doing, offering their assistance wherever necessary.

    ENFJs enjoy organizing group activities and tend to take their commitments seriously. In general, they are reliable and do not like to disappoint others. As team players and project leaders, they have a gift for rallying their players, focusing on what is being done right and each member's strengths. They are loyal and they expect loyalty. They carry conversations well, finding common ground with their speaker. They tend to find the correct and gracious way to respond in any given situation, no matter how tense or uncomfortable it is.

    Types with dominant extraverted feeling may uphold a wide range of values, simply because shared values are what create harmony. Some will profess the importance of tough-minded logic, justice and scholarly debate because their environments have these shared values. They tend to adopt the collective values of those in their social group.

    In Relationships
    ENFJs put a lot of effort and enthusiasm into their relationships. To some extent, the ENFJ defines themself by the closeness and authenticity of their personal relationships, and are therefore highly invested in the business of relationships. They have very good people skills, and are affectionate and considerate. They are warmly affirming and nurturing. The excel at bringing out the best in others, and warmly supporting them. They want responding affirmation from their relationships, although they have a problem asking for it. When a situation calls for it, the ENFJ will become very sharp and critical. After having made their point, they will return to their natural, warm selves. They may have a tendency to "smother" their loved ones, but are generally highly valued for their genuine warmth and caring natures.

    Ten Rules to Live By to Achieve ENFJ Success
    1. Feed Your Strengths! Make sure you have opportunities to involve yourself with others in situations where your input is valued.
    2. Face Your Weaknesses! Realize and accept that some traits are strengths and some are weaknesses. By facing your weaknesses, you can overcome them and they will have less power over you.
    3. Express Your Feelings. Understand that your feelings are as important as others are in the overall situation. Without your feelings and needs being valued the best result is not realised, so value and speak to your own feelings as much as you value those of others.
    4. Make Decisions. Don't be afraid to have an opinion. You need to know show others the qualities and potentials you can see are worthy of action.
    5. Smile at Criticism. Try to see why disagreement and discord indicate the differences between people, and use this as an opportunity to make your value judgements useful for growth, because that's exactly what they are. Try not to feel responsible for another’s criticism, but try to hear it and understand the feelings and images it engenders within you. Then you may see a path not only to agreement but to a shared and truly valuable end.
    6. Be Aware of Others. Remember that there are 15 other personality types out there who see things differently than you see them. Most of your problems with other people are easier to deal with if you try to understand the other person's perspective.
    7. Be Aware of Yourself. Don't stint your own needs for the sake of others too much. Realise you are an important focus. If you do not fulfil your own needs, how will continue to be effective and how will others know you are true to your beliefs?
    8. Be Gentle in Your Expectations. It is easy for you to see the value in others, but stressing this too much can drive them away. Try to show that you understand their fears and limitations and lead them gently to see how you feel: lead them gently into understanding and love.
    9. Assume the Best. Don't distress yourself by feeling that your values are lost upon others – they are not. Perhaps it just has to sit with them too. Let the situation resolve itself and never stop believing that love is the true answer.
    10. When in Doubt, Ask Questions! Don't assume that the lack of feedback is the same thing as negative feedback. If you need feedback and don't have any, ask for it.

    Personality Type - ESFJ: The Control Freak

    Next up we have 
    (Extraversion, Sensing, Feeling, Judgment...the Control Freak)
    ESFJs focus on the outside world and assess their experiences subjectively. They largely base their judgments on their belief system and on the effects of actions on people. ESFJs are literal and concrete, trusting the specific, factual information gathered through their physiological senses. 

    ESFJs project warmth through a genuine interest in the well-being of others. They are often skilled at bringing out the best in people, and they want to understand other points of view. They are serious about their responsibilities, seeing what needs to be done and then doing it. Generally proficient at detailed tasks, they enjoy doing little things that make life easier for others. They value tradition and the security it offers.

    Easily hurt, ESFJs seek approval. They take pleasure in other people's happiness. They give generously but expect appreciation in return. Sensitive to the physical needs of others, they respond by offering practical care. As expert people readers, ESFJs often adapt their manner to meet the expectations of others. However, they may have difficulty recognizing the shortcomings of loved ones.

    ESFJs tend to be vocal in expressing their sense of right and wrong. Their value system derives from the external standards defined by their community, as opposed to a personal set of ethics. (This is one of the traits that distinguishes them from their ENFJ counterparts.) ESFJs raised in an environment of high ethical standards tend to display true generosity and kindness. However, those who grow up surrounded by a skewed set of values may develop a false sense of integrity and use their people skills to selfishly manipulate others—particularly if their intuition is poorly developed, leaving them unable to foresee the consequences of their actions.

    ESFJs seek structured, controlled environments, and tend to be good at creating a sense of order. They generally feel insecure in an atmosphere of uncertainty. They value the rule of law and expect the same of others. ESFJs may be less interested in understanding the concepts behind the rules, tending to shy away from the abstract and impersonal.

    In Relationships
    ESFJs are warm-hearted individuals who highly value their close personal relationships. They are very service-oriented, and their own happiness is closely tied into the happiness and comfort of those around them. They are valued for their genuine warm and caring natures, and their special ability to bring out the best in others. They usually do not handle conflict well, and may tend to be very controlling or manipulative. Relationships are central to their lives, and they put forth a great amount of energy into developing and maintaining their close interpersonal relationships. They expect the same from others.

    Ten Rules to Live By to Achieve ESFJ Success
    1. Feed Your Strengths! Let your talent for caring and giving spill out into the world around you, show your gifts to the world. Allow yourself to take opportunities to nurture and develop situations in your home and work environments which bring value for yourself and others. Find work or a hobby which allows you to realise these strengths.
    2. Face Your Weaknesses! Realize and accept that some things are never going to be how you would like them to be. Understand that other peoples need to deal with the world regardless of how it seems. Facing and dealing with discord or differences in others doesn't mean that you have to change who you are; it means that you are giving yourself opportunities to grow. By facing your weaknesses, you honour your true self and that of others.
    3. Discover the World of Others. Don't let yourself fall into the trap of thinking you always know what is right for others. Open your heart to the possibility of understanding that their true needs are something that must be discovered through a recognition that their view of the world might be very different, yet just as valid as your own.
    4. Don’t be too hasty. Try to let things settle before you make a judgement, allowing others to discover the best for themselves while you try to see all the variables and contingencies in a situation
    5. Look Carefully at the World. Remember, things are not always what they seem on the surface. You might need to look deeper to discover the truth, particularly when it seems you are sure of your first quick judgement. There are layers of meaning and truth beneath everything
    6. Try to Let Others Take Some of the Load. By letting others make their own judgements, you are not letting things get out of control, but are validating their own need to be a part of your life. Remember, it is better to guide another to see your point of view than keeping them out of the picture.
    7. Be Accountable to Others. Remember that they need to understand you and your needs too. Express your doubts and difficulties as well as your reasons and let them become partners to your goals.
    8. Don’t Hem Yourself in. Staying in your comfort zone is self defeating in the end. Try to make every day one where you get out and discover a little something different about the world and others. This will broaden your horizons and bring new ideas and opportunities into focus.
    9. Assume the Best and Seek for it. Don't wait for others to live up to your expectations. Every person has a goldmine of worth in them, just as every situation can be turned to some good. If you let yourself believe this, you will find yourself discovering ways to make it true for you.
    10. When in Doubt, Ask For Help! Don't let your fears leave you on the horns of a dilemma or lead you into disaster. If you are uncertain of something or someone then get input from others who have greater experience in dealing with this difficulty.

    Personality Type - ESTJ: The Bureaucrat

    Today are the last posts about Myers-Briggs (phew).
    Covering the last 4 personality types

    The ones that are stuck through have already been covered. 

    First up ESTJ

    (Extraversion, Sensing, Thinking, Judgment...the Bureacrat)

    ESTJs are practical, realistic, and matter-of-fact, with a natural head for business or mechanics. Though they are not interested in subjects they see no use for, they can apply themselves when necessary. They like to organize and run activities. ESTJs make good administrators, especially if they remember to consider others' feelings and points of view, which they often miss.

    In Relationships
    ESTJs are very enthusiastic people who are driven to fulfill their obligations and duties, especially those towards their families. Their priorities generally put God first, family second, and friends third. They put forth a tremendous amount of effort to meet their obligations and duties, according to their priorities. They are dedicated and committed to their relationships, which they consider to be lifelong and unalterable. They like to be in charge, and may be very controlling of their mates and children. They have high esteem for traditions and institutions, and expect that their mates and children will support these as well. They have little patience and need for dealing with people who see things very differently from the ESTJ.

    Ten Rules to Live By to Achieve ESTJ Success

    1. Feed Your Strengths! You have been given the great ability to create logical, ethical principles that transcend personal experience. Allow these principles to be as good as they can be by creating them with consideration for all available data.
    2. Face Your Weaknesses! See your weaknesses for what they are, and seek to overcome them. Especially, resist the tendency to judge too quickly, and remember the importance of considering other people's feelings.
    3. Talk Through the Facts or write them down. You need to step through the facts in order to define good principles to live by. Verbalizing them or putting them down on paper may be a valuable tool for you.
    4. Take in Everything. Don't dismiss ideas prematurely because you think you already know the answer. Seek first to understand, and then to be understood.
    5. When You Get Angry, You Lose. Your passion for your principles is admirable, but becomes destructive when you fall into the "Anger Trap." Remember that Anger is destructive to personal relationships, and can be extremely hurtful to others. Work through your anger before you unleash it upon others. Disagreements and disappointments can only be handled effectively in a non-personal and dispassionate manner.
    6. Be Yourself in Relationships Don't expect yourself to be a "touchy-feely" or "warm fuzzy" person. Realize that your most ardent bonds start with the head, rather than the heart. You expect your actions to speak for themselves to your loved ones. This may not be enough for some. Be aware of other's emotional needs, and express your genuine love and respect for them in terms that are real to YOU. Be yourself.
    7. Be Accountable for Yourself. Don't blame the problems in your life on other people. Look inwardly for solutions. No one has more control over your life than you have.
    8. Be Humble. Judge yourself at least as harshly as you judge others.
    9. Resist the Urge to Control Others. You can't force others to adhere to your ways of thinking. You may think that you know what's best for others, but you really only know how they can best act according to your ideas of what is right. Just as you are entitled to live as you see fit, so are they. Instead of judging and controlling others, focus on using your judgement to create better impartial principles.
    10. Spend Some Time Alone. Encourage the development of your introverted side. You'll find many tangible benefits to becoming a more well-rounded person.

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011

    Personality type - ENTP The Mad Scientist

    (extraversion, intuition, thinking, perception...
    The Mad Scientist)

    Using their primary function-attitude of extraverted intuition (Ne), ENTPs are quick to see complex interrelationships between people, things, and ideas. These interrelationships are analyzed in profound detail through the ENTPs auxiliary function, introverted thinking (Ti). The result is an in-depth understanding of the way things and relationships work, and how they can be improved. To the ENTP, competence and intelligence are particularly prized, both in themselves and in other people.

    ENTPs are frequently described as clever, cerebrally and verbally quick, enthusiastic, outgoing, innovative, flexible, loyal and resourceful. ENTPs are motivated by a desire to understand and improve the world they live in. They are usually accurate in sizing up a situation. They may have a perverse sense of humor and sometimes play devil's advocate, which can create misunderstandings with friends, coworkers, and family. ENTPs are ingenious and adept at directing relationships between means and ends. ENTPs devise fresh, unexpected solutions to difficult problems. However, they are less interested in generating and following through with detailed plans than in generating ideas and possibilities. In a team environment, ENTPs are most effective in a role where they can draw on their abilities to offer deep understanding, a high degree of flexibility, and innovative solutions to problems. The ENTP regards a comment like "it can't be done" as a personal challenge, and, if properly motivated, will spare no effort to discover a solution.

    In Relationships
    Typically good-natured, upbeat and laid-back, ENTPs can be delightful people to be around. They get a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction from interacting with others, and especially enjoy discussing and debating theories and concepts which interest them. They may be prone to initiate arguments because they so enjoy the debate. They are generally fun-loving and gregarious, and can be quite charming. They have a problem with sometimes neglecting their close relationships when they become involved in the pursuit of a new idea or plan.

    Ten Rules to Live By to Achieve ENTP Success
    1. Feed Your Strengths! Realize your gift of seeing past the obvious brings you a great capacity to reward yourself and others through your cleverness. Make sure you engage in activities and which can expose this potential at its most valuable level.
    2. Face Your Weaknesses! We all have weaknesses. Recognizing your weaknesses for what they are (without beating yourself up) will give you the power to change your life for the better.
    3. Talk Through Your Perceptions. Discussing what you see with others will them understand where you are coming from, and offer you the chance to discover the ways in which their input can balance your ideas.
    4. Relax and Enjoy the View. Take the time to consider what you have, the gifts life has already brought to you. Try and discover the value and importance of those constant day to day things which support and nourish you.
    5. Be Aware of Others Understand that everyone has their own lives and their own perspectives. Everyone has something to offer. Try to identify people's personality type.
    6. Recognize Norms and Structures Are Necessary. Remember that without the support and constancy of others, no-one can follow their dreams. The path you walk was laid by others, each of its stepping stones created to fulfill a different part of the human need for constancy and security. Without this support structure, you cannot go far.
    7. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone Understand that the only way to grow is to get outside of your comfort zone. If you're feeling uncomfortable in situation because it seems to be going nowhere, that's good! That's an opportunity for growth.
    8. Identify and Express Your Feelings You may have a hard time understanding your feelings. It's important that you try to figure this out. Don't let people down. If you determine that you value a person, tell them so every time you think of it. This is the best way to make them feel secure in your affections, and so to promote a long-lasting relationship.
    9. Be Accountable for Yourself Remember that no one has more control over your life than you have. Don't be a victim.
    10. Assume the Best, But Be Wary. Your positive attitude nearly always creates positive situations. Just remember: to make them lasting and worthwhile you must build them on solid, carefully planned foundations.

    Personality type - ESFP...The National Enquirer Writer

    (Extraversion, Sensing, Feeling, Perception...The National Enquirer writer)

    "ESFPs live in the moment, experiencing life to the fullest. They enjoy people, as well as material comforts. Rarely allowing conventions to interfere with their lives, they find creative ways to meet human needs. ESFPs are excellent team players, focused on completing the task at hand with maximum fun and minimum discord. Active types, they find pleasure in new experiences.

    ESFPs take a hands-on approach in most things. Because they learn more by doing than by studying or reading, they tend to rush into things, learning by interacting with their environment. They usually dislike theory and written explanations. Traditional schools can be difficult for ESFPs, although they tend to do well when the subject of study interests them, or when they see the relevance of a subject and are allowed to interact with people.

    Observant, practical, realistic, and specific, ESFPs make decisions according to their own personal standards. They use their Feeling judgment internally to identify and empathize with others. Naturally attentive to the world around them, ESFPs are keen observers of human behavior. They quickly sense what is happening with other people and immediately respond to their individual needs. They are especially good at mobilizing people to deal with crises. Generous, optimistic, and persuasive, they are good at interpersonal interactions. They often play the role of peacemaker due to their warm, sympathetic, and tactful nature.

    ESFPs love being around people and having new experiences. Living in the here-and-now, they often do not think about long term effects or the consequences of their actions. While very practical, they generally despise routines, instead desiring to 'go with the flow.' They are, in fact, very play minded. Because ESFPs learn better through hands-on experience, classroom learning may be troublesome for many of them, especially those with a very underdeveloped intuitive side."

    In Relationships
    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.

    Ten Rules to Live By to Achieve ESFP Success

    1. Feed Your Strengths! Encourage your natural expressive abilities and hands-on talents. Nourish your appreciation of the world. Give yourself opportunities to enjoy life to the full.
    2. Face Your Weaknesses! Realize and accept that some traits are strengths and some are weaknesses. Facing and dealing with your weaknesses doesn't mean that you have to change who you are, it means that you want to be the best You possible. By facing your weaknesses, you are honoring your true self, rather than attacking yourself.
    3. Express Your Feelings. Don't let worries build up inside of you. If you are troubled by doubt or fear, tell those close to you who will listen and offer counsel. Don't make the mistake of “blipping over it” or “sorting it out” some quick fix way.
    4. Listen to Everything. Try not to accept everything at face value. Let everything soak in and listen to your feelings.
    5. Smile at Criticism. Remember that people will not always agree with you or understand you, even if they value you greatly. Try to see disagreement and criticism as an opportunity for growth. In fact, that is exactly what it is.
    6. Be Aware of Others. Remember that there are 15 other personality types out there who see things differently than you see them. Try to identify other people's types. Try to understand their perspectives.
    7. Be Accountable for Yourself. Remember that your every word and action affects those around you, so it is important for you to be fully responsible for your self, and to the values you hold.
    8. Be Gentle in Your Expectations. You will always be disappointed with others if you expect too much of them. Being disappointed with another person is the best way to drive them away. Treat others with the same gentleness that you would like to be treated with.
    9. Assume the Best. Don't distress yourself by assuming the worst. Remember that a positive attitude often creates positive situations.
    10. When in Doubt, Ask Questions! If something seems to be wrong and you can’t put your finger on it, maybe someone else can. Remember, there are many ways of seeing the world, and perhaps someone else’s way will reveal the truth.

    Personality type - ESTP: The Conman

    Three posts tonight to try and get back on track with the aim for next week being moving on the personal goal setting.

    So we're still looking at Myers-Briggs :-
    The ones that are stuck through have already been covered. 

    (extroversion, sensing, thinking, perception...The Conman)

    According to Myers-Briggs, ESTPs are hands-on learners who live in the moment, seeking the best in life, wanting to share it with their friends. The ESTP is open to situations, able to improvise to bring about desired results. They are active people who want to solve their problems rather than simply discuss them.

    In Relationships
    ESTPs are gregarious and fun-loving individuals who want to make the most of every moment. They love action, and always seem to be doing something. This enthusiasm is carried over to their personal relationships, which they approach with the desire to make the most of their relationships on a daily basis. They tend to get bored easily, and may be prone to switching relationships frequently unless they find an outlet for their boredom elsewhere. They approach life on a day-by-day basis, so long-term commitments are not naturally comfortable for the ESTP. They may feel tremendously committed, but they want to take their commitments day by day.

    Ten Rules to Live By to Achieve ESTP Success

    1. Feed Your Strengths! Give yourself every opportunity to show your innate skills. If you are not in a relationship or a job which allows this to happen, it might be time to discover ways to change this. Remember, your strengths derive from being able to deal with the world, with situations where getting things done, where opportunities to surmount difficulty exist.

    2. Face Your Weaknesses. Try to be straight up with yourself. You have limitations others find as strengths. So what? You don’t have to hide behind a curtain of fear just because you have difficulty with feelings or sorting out your inner perceptions. Allow yourself to be who you are and at the same time let others help you be more honest with your limitations.

    3. Talk About Your Thoughts. Discussing your ideas and perceptions with others will help you to develop your separate, inner reality, make you a “real” person to them even without all that external activity. How well you use your auxiliary function is very important to your overall health and happiness.

    4. Don't Be Afraid to Show Emotion. Your inferior functions want you to be still a child inside, and that makes you run, that makes you want to prove yourself even more. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone in this regard. Everyone feel emotion and everyone is a little child inside. Find those people whose eyes tell you that you are not alone, and let them hear your child’s voice.

    5. Respect Your Need for Action. Understand that you need to be actively working with your environment to be "in the groove" with life. Don't chastise yourself for not being the sort to sit around and read a book or watch a movie. Choose a partner and companions who value active lifestyles, but remember to allow yourself time out to consider how their input into your life will change it. Don’t just follow your nose – life is not an endless party or expedition.

    6. Recognize the Differences in Others. Realize that everyone is different, not just a little different, but very different. Everyone has their place and value. You need to notice those values and places, places where you cannot easily fit. You can learn from these people, for they have gifts you can use, gifts they offer simply by being who they are. Try figuring out their psychological type for yourself and notice how certain types can lift you out of negative feelings just by being who they are

    7. It's OK to Get Out of your Comfort Zone. Understand that the only way to grow is to get outside of your comfort zone. If you're uncomfortable with an idea or situation because you're not sure how to act, that's good! That's an opportunity for growth.

    8. Identify and Express Your Feelings. You may have a hard time figuring out exactly how you feel about someone that you're involved with. It's important that you do figure this out. Don't lead someone on with your ambivalence. If you determine that you value the person, tell them so every time you think of it. This is the best way to make them feel secure in your affections, and so to promote a long-lasting relationship.

    9. Be Aware that You can Fail, and that it is OK. Not every mountain can be climbed, not every customer will be satisfied, no matter how hard you try or no matter what tricks you bring to bear. Getting beaten is an opportunity to reflect upon what is important, what really matters in life. Next time you will take up a challenge more worthy of your skills, and more valuable to others. You can be a champion, and it will be at your own game. Try to let it be a game of life, where everyone wins if you do.

    10. Assume the Best. Don't distress yourself with fear and dark imaginings. Expect the best, and the best will come.