Understanding Energy and People

"If you want to build a ship, don’t gather your people and ask them to provide wood, prepare tools and assign tasks. Call them together and raise in their minds the longing for the endless sea!" ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Everyone has people in their lives they just can seem to connect with or get on the same page. Well today I want to give you a framework for identifying different personality types and tips for dealing with them. Now this is very different from the personality types discussed by Myers Briggs. The chart above is from Bruce D. Schneider's book entitled, "Energy Leadership". This is one way to look at personalities is from their energy levels. Other possibly better words to describe it might be drive, energy, behavior, essence or mojo. For simplicity sake however, I will refer to them as either personality types or levels. But you can call it whatever you like.

There essentially 7 different levels that are characterized by thoughts, feelings & actions. I will try to describe by using people you may know or their defining traits to give you a picture. Once you understand the different types, what drives influences and motivates them, I will suggest some strategies for dealing with each type. The levels are:

Level 1: Victim – characterized by Hopeless and Helpless

Level 2: Fighter – Conflict and Anger

Level 3: Rationalizer

Level 4: Caregiver – Mother Teresa

Level 5: Opportunity Seeker – Entrepreneurs

Level 6: Visionary- Ghandi

Level 7: Creator – Dalai Lama

Now it is important to understand that people fluctuate between levels during the course of the day or depending on the situation for example if they are in a stressful situation or not. And every person may have a bit of all of these levels within themselves.

I would first like to go into detail about the core thoughts, feelings and actions associated with each levels. The first two levels are catabolic or negative, destructive energy. The next five levels are anabolic or constructive energy.

Level 1: The Victim

Their core thought is Often times they are victims of crimes or someone who has been physically or verbally abused. The core feelings are apathy, hopelessness and helplessness. There is a total lack of engagement and enthusiasm. The results of these feelings are people who are lethargic with an inability to take action. There is a total lack of initiative and failure to see options. Their mantra is, “I lose”. They tend to have a weak personal identity and low self-worth or sense of importance. They have little or no trust or confidence in themselves, people in general or ideas. They feel so helpless or powerless that they avoid making decisions or taking action. They tend to judge themselves harshly and feel like they lost before they ever begun. They may have great difficulty facing a current reality or envisioning a future. No faith = no miracles.

We can all exhibit the traits of the victim personality when our thoughts, beliefs, emotions and perceptions work against us or prevent of from doing something. It can be our doubts, guilt fears, worry or anxiety. However, if someone exhibits a chronic victim mentality, they may be difficult or impossible to motivate. You can identify them by listening for continual statements such as, I can't or I shouldn't. They only see problems and impediments.

All levels have advantages and disadvantages.The advantages of Level 1 are you don’t have to do much, you have a low energy output. This may allow you to be nurtured. The disadvantages are there is a lack of engagement and no ability to lead yourself or others. Once again, no level is all good or all bad.

Level 2: The Fighter

The core thoughts are: conflict, struggle, judgment, black and white or right and wrong thinking.The core feelings are anger, resentment, annoyance, hostility, irritability and frustration. The results of their actions are results are resistance, disobedience, contempt and rebellion. Their mantra is, “You lose”. An example of how you could use a Level 2 technique by dealing with an employee who has done something wrong is by just outright firing them. You are not looking for a win-win, you are just telling them, you did something wrong, here is your punishment, You Lose!

Most people spend most of their time in Level 1 or Level 2 between victim-passivity and anger-conflict.Their fear based energy makes them accustomed to focusing on problems instead of solutions. The advantage of Level 2 is your aggressive behavior leads you to getting a lot done by yourself. They are also able to motivate others.The disadvantage is that motivation comes from anger or fear so those results cannot sustain themselves so it will cause people to become dissatisfied, unproductive, and give up or quit.

Level 3: The Rationalizer

The core thought is responsibility.You should own your feelings and be accountable for your experiences and choices. The core feelings are forgiveness, condoning, pardoning, letting go of resentment or anger or excusing fault and mistakes .The results of these feelings are cooperation and working towards a shared or common goal or benefit. They are good at coping and easily given to feelings of “it is good enough”.

People at Level 3 are prepared to take responsibility for their actions knowing that no one can make them feel anything.It is their responsibility and choice to react or not react to anything that comes along in their life. Their mantra is, “I Win”. It is OK if you win too but I must win.” They tend to have a strong personal identity with good self-esteem and self-confidence. They have a confident belief in the truth, value or trustworthiness of people, ideas and other things outside of themselves. They are willing to work with people they like and tolerate people they don’t and the result is cooperation. The way to promote cooperation is to release everything that blocks it.So threatening someone at this level would be counterproductive. You need to find a way to help them release their fear, worry, guilt and anger.

To put this in perspective, an example of a situation is where you could use a technique that resounds with someone at Level 3 would be if you have an employee who is an alcoholic. You can give them the option to stay sober and keep their job or else they would have to leave the company. You will win be either getting them to change their behavior by staying sober or leaving the company if they can’t. Using this method you can help them to see that it is to their advantage to get help. But either way you win.

Level 4: The Caregiver

The core thoughts are: concern, care, interest or involvement in connection with others.The core feelings are compassion, sympathy and concern for the suffering of others, empathy, sensitivity, warmth, tenderness, kindness and self-compassion.

They tend to be happy, successful, playful and fun. Their mantra is, “You Win”. They don’t’ take words or actions personally. They have a confident belief in the truth, value or trustworthiness of people, ideas and other things outside of themselves. They don’t waste time worrying about what others may have done to them; instead they consider what each person’s current problem may be and how they can help fix it.

Like the Rationalizer at Level 3 they also tend to have a strong personal identity with good self-esteem and self-confidence.

The advantage is they take very little personally. They truly care for and help everyone to do their job the best they can. The disadvantage is they can get caught up in other people’s drama and sympathy.

Level 5: The Opportunist

The core thought is reconciliation.We should all come together in agreement. They try not to judge and don’t focus on right or wrong. Things just are what they are. You always have the power to make choices. They are not driven by fear but instead by opportunity. These people tend to be entrepreneurs and natural leaders.

They are inspiring and motivating.Their core feelings are Peace, calmness, contentment and harmony. The results of these feelings are acceptance, believing, willingness to receive, agreement for what is, and accepting of differences instead of identifying and focusing on changing them. Their mantra is, “Win-Win”. Also like the Rationalizer and Caregiver, they tend to have a strong personal identity with good self-esteem and self-confidence. They have a confident belief in the truth, value or trustworthiness of people, ideas and other things outside of themselves.

The advantage is they find opportunities in all challenges and take little to nothing personally.The disadvantage is they can experience paralysis by analysis and be disengaged from emotions.

Level 6: The Visionary

The core thought is synthesis.They like to combine separate elements to create a coherent whole or a Gestalt in which the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Their core feelings are joy and a permanent sense of pleasure, happiness and delight.The results of these feelings are wisdom and an attitude of, “We will figure this out.” Their mantra is, “Everyone Always Wins”. There is no or minimal sense of ego. They live in the present moment and are acutely aware. There is a deep inner knowing and belief which does not need to be logical or have proof.

The advantage is they are empathetic and have the ability to feel and connect without judgment as well as great intuition. The disadvantages are they may not be grounded and could be out of touch with others and viewed as aloof. They may be high risk takers.

Level 7: The Creator

This is the highest level.The core thought is non-judgment, objectivity and lack of fear.People at this level transcend their ego and become one with everything. The core feelings are total bliss, energy, intense desire or enthusiasm for all experiences. Their actions result in creation, bringing something new into existence, spontaneous manifestation of ideas, thoughts and genius thinking. Their mantra is, “Winning and losing is an illusion”. They are not really interested in happenings in the real world which of course can be a weakness.Few people operate at this level. They also live in the present moment and are acutely aware.

The advantage is they can create anything they want.They are connected to an intelligence of the highest order.The disadvantage is nothing is seen as real.

Moving Between Levels

Keep in mind that levels are not inherently good or bad. And each level has pluses and minuses. When are aware of the seven levels, you can consciously choose the level you want to work for you. Why would you want to do that? You may choose to do that because each level has its advantages and disadvantages.

To visualize moving between levels think of it like a stock in the market. During the course of the day the price fluctuates going up and down depending if there are more people buying or selling. Thoughts and feelings such as non-judgment and joy raise the price of your stock while their counterparts like victimization and anger lower the price.

To deal with difficult people or situations, you need to get to the core of the situation and help them from the inside out.You need to empower those around you. Try to understand their feelings and motivations and address them directly. That gives people a sense of control and when they feel it, they become engaged in what they do. Once this occurs, performance can skyrocket.

Do you remember in the section on Job Dissatisfaction when I told you about my old boss? Our department got a new manager that was transferred from the Beverly Hills Private Banking operation to head up the credit department in New York. He started interviewing employees to get a lay of the land as he was new to our office. When he got to interviewing me, I essentially told him I don’t care who he was, this company was so rotten and inbred that he had no hope of ever changing anything or making any positive difference. He was taken off guard by my anger and directness.

He was a great manager. And it was his task to turn me around and get me on board. I essentially attacked him and told him off. I wouldn’t be surprised if he viewed me as a challenge.

Start thinking about what Level I was operating at and what could be done to deal with someone like me who was obviously a disgruntled employee. What techniques would you have used to make me a productive employee? Would you like to know how it actually turned out?

I was operating at Level 2 in which I was angry, frustrated and hostile. Realizing this, he reeled me in by first acknowledging and empathizing with me. He then put himself in my shoes and asked for my input by asking how we could work together to fix this. He asked me what I would do about it if I was in his shoes. This gave me the opportunity to feel as if I was part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

He was a great manager and he understood all of the things we talked about today. Ultimately he became a huge influence in my life as he is person responsible for bringing me to California which completely changed my life. All because he recognized where I was at and what he needed to do to move me to a different level. So this is not just some theoretical mambo jumbo. There are real techniques for effecting positive change in your life by changing the way you interact with people around you, some of whom can be quite challenging.

You may have noticed that I spent more time talking about people at the lower levels. That is because people at the lowest levels probably constitute 85% of the people out there in the world.

Now that you understand the different levels or personality types, if you want to learn how to deal with each level which will greatly and enhance the quality of the relationships in your life, both at home and at work, contact me Joe@PlatinumMethodCoaching.com. Remember, “the best way to predict the future is to create it “.

Until next time, remember, Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice.It is not something we wait for, it is something we achieve!So make it a great day!

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