Systems Thinking and Personality Types LO22572

J.C. Lelie (
Fri, 03 Sep 1999 13:59:51 +0200

Replying to LO22530 --

Hello Max,

Thank you for your reply. I'll tell you what i think.

First, off course, the Weick's three baseball umpires, who were debating
when a ball, thrown by a pitcher, was in or out.
The first said: "I calls them as i sees them"
The second said: "I calls them as they are"
And the third added: "they aint nothing until I calls them".

Applied to any test, tests show you: who you are, how you see yourself
and and they show nothing about yourself until you say so.

> I notice that my own typology is much more blurry, depending on who
> I am around, where I am in terms of cultural environment, both general and
> corporate, and what is happening in my life as a whole. Seen from that
> perspective, if you stick to being mainly one type or configuration, your
> problem is so to speak flexibility.

I agree, but i prefer a different approach. I think our personality is a
unique blend of basic characteristics. We all look different, but we are
build using the same rules and materials: two leg, two arms a head and a
chemical factory in between. Our human spirit isn't different. So
everybody is the expression of a mix of basic types, the materials a mind
is made of.

I suspect that within a certain population some characteritics are
favoured over others. Culture is a way of surviving. I think that our
world is biased towards some characteritics, like being extrovert,
thinking and judging. These traits helped us survive in the desert, the
North Pole, the mountains and the sea.

Also, i think everybody can, to a certain extent, use any of the different
elements. Like, we can all, or most of us have the capability, walk, run,
play football, swim. So everybody can be introvert, extrovert, sensing,
thinking, perceiving, judging, what ever.

Because of our "build", some of these things come to us easily, others are
more difficult. As we all obey to the Law of the Least Action, we prefer
to use the faculties that come most naturally, that are easiest. But we
have to learn even the things we can do easy, we have to perfect the use
of our talents and abilities. And in the end, we're confronted with the
things we're the least successful in. We have also to learn to live with
what Jung calls "our shadow". That is the way to grow our personality.

I sometimes call a person a kind of hidden message. The word person, i've
been told, is derived from per-sona or through sound and refers to the
masks the Greek players used while performing a play. The masks were made
to amplify sounds. The purpose of a person in a play, is to speak and
through speach, acting and dialog tell a "hidden message", like a morale.
That is why we, as a people, have these phases of political messages in

Now, a play, is a metaphore for life. So, according to this metaphore,
life is about searching for, expressing of, a quaeste for a message, a
hidden message. Some people call this "a calling", others say it a purpose
or a mission, some may think it is a vision on life, while a fourth group
of people experience it as a deep spirituality, a kind of constant

I think w're equal in the quaeste for this "hidden message", this "inner
purpose", but that we differ in what is real for us, the mix of things.
Also, because we develop ourselves, we need, at different times, different
environments, different feedbacks. So we meet different people along the
road. We travel together for some time, support each other, and then go
our seperate ways. The company we choose depends on the road we're on. And
is also limited by the availability of company. As the worlds opens up to
us, more and more different companions become available.

With regard to using personality type tests, i think they're fun, i have
learned a lot from them and - basic parardox of learning -learning in
order to control inhibits learning (Aryris). So applying a test in order
to control a person or people: that is the problem with tests. By the way,
why are so many of these tests in magazines for women?

Met vriendelijke groeten,

Jan Lelie


Drs J.C. Lelie CPIM (Jan) LOGISENS - Sparring Partner in Logistical Development Mind@Work - est. 1998 - Group Decision Process Support Tel.: (+ 31) (0)70 3243475 or car: (+ 31)(0)65 4685114 and/or taoSystems: + 31 (0)30 6377973 -

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