Reading People: How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything
This was a really excellent book regarding some of the various personality frameworks. It touches on ten topics. The author does a really nice job writing in an easy to read format which makes it really enjoyable. I think I read it in a couple of days and as I read a lot of technical books, this was a refreshing break.
I enjoyed reading this well-written book as I wanted to have better insight into my staff’s personality types so I can align myself to how they need to receive information from me. Since we all intake and process information differently, this book helped me learn in greater detail about some of the personality frameworks which will help me as I reflect on ways to communicate more efficiently and effectively and have better outcomes from my conversations.
You will really enjoy this book and have a better understanding of personality frameworks and types.
Here are my learning nuggets or seeds to hopefully encourage you to dig deeper.
Anne Bogel starts by providing a personal example that many of us can relate to when it comes to being in a church and it sometimes feels uncomfortable for us. She noted that she was not a bad Christian, rather she was an introverted Christian in an extroverted Christian church. That was an “ah-ha!” moment for me. I am an introvert and go to a church that believes in a lot of service, which is an extrovert thing to do and can at times be challenging for me. It makes sense now.
She also expressed that sometimes when she and her husband disagree, she did not understand why he could not see it her way and it was not until later that she realized, “…he wasn’t me, and I’d been expecting him to act like me.”
How many times have we experienced that in our own marriages or in our work place with people around us? We sometimes expect others to understand us and do the same things we do, but many times they are different in the way they receive, interpret, and process information. And knowing this is what we need to facilitate change.
Extroverts need stimulation vs. introverts need quiet time like a book, to stay healthy. Something to keep in mind when you see someone reading a book – they might really need that down time. I know I need to read each day to just escape and it allows my mind to wind down. Even though I am reading technical books, it still provides that time I need as an introvert.
Introverts generally take longer to make decisions as they process information. As you read the book, this makes a lot more sense.
Extroverts are outspoken and outgoing. Introvert are more quiet and subdued.
Another topic she writes about is compromise. Compromise can be challenging when you have someone with a strong personality or someone who does not want to do what they want to for fear of hurting someone’s feelings. She offered the suggestion of telling the other when you “feel strongly” or “not as strongly” (reminds me of “I statements”) so you can easily decide what to do when there are two different or opposing ideas. My wife and I do this when it comes to deciding on dinner – whoever feels the strongest about what they want decides what we eat that night. It really works.
She talks about Gary Chapman’s “5 Love Languages”. The books about the 5 Love Languages are excellent and I have read them many times. Definitely worth your time to read about the 5 Love Languages as they are insightful to understand what around you need. As a manager or leader, having this knowledge will help you better identify and talk to those around you (such as employees, leaders, stakeholders, etc.).
The 5 Love Languages
1. Words of affirmation
2. Quality time
3. Giving and receiving gifts
4. Acts of services
5. Physical touch
As we explore the other topics in the book, one quote she had that I really liked was:
“We can learn to put practices in place that will help us realize when we’re falling into familiar unhealthy patterns so we can instead learn to choose better ones.” As we always want to improve, knowing this will help us achieve those the goal of continuous improvement.
I also liked this quote as I often hear negative rebuttal about the word “acceptance”:
“Acceptance does not mean agreeing with or condoning every behavior – whether our own or others’. But when we see that is truly happening, we are empowered to take action to change it.”
As I have noted in previous posts, and Anne Bogel reiterates the same, we are driven by emotions. She talked about an Enneagram that has nice components that can drive and focus us.
She does express that Enneagram is notably a “negative” system, but it shows us root emotional causes. And as a systems thinkers and want continuous improvement, we want to know root causes.
The other really nice aspect that an Enneagram provides for us as we look at all 9 components is that it can help us expose what’s underneath, like the iceberg. 85% of what makes up the iceberg is below the surface. This model and process helps us figure out and expose what is below the surface so we can work on it.
Enneagram – helps us know who we are and our weaknesses, so we can be aware. Knowledge is power and if we are aware, then we can address and fix the root causes. And this helps us fight bad habits.
Mindfulness doesn’t mean looking for what we want to see; it means watching for that is.
The author writes that you can change the cards you were dealt with, some don’t think you can change them – some think cards you are dealt are just the beginning. I believe you can change the cards you are dealt. It can be an uphill challenge, but anyone can change. It is a choice.
Jim Rohn said we become like the five people we spend the most time with. Think about that for a bit. It can really open your eyes. Be aware of how you spend time with and do you want to be like them or have their traits. Spend time with those who are going to make you a better person and people who are going to support and lift you up.
Really great read, you will be grateful you read it.
If the viral Buzzfeed-style personality quizzes are any indication, we are collectively obsessed with the idea of defining and knowing ourselves and our unique place in the world. But what we’re finding is this: knowing which Harry Potter character you are is easy, but actually knowing yourself isn’t as simple as just checking a few boxes on an online quiz.
For readers who long to dig deeper into what makes them uniquely them (and why that matters), popular blogger Anne Bogel has done the hard part–collecting, exploring, and explaining the most popular personality frameworks, such as Myers-Briggs, StrengthsFinder, Enneagram, and others. She explains to readers the life-changing insights that can be gained from each and shares specific, practical real-life applications across all facets of life, including love and marriage, productivity, parenting, the workplace, and spiritual life. In her friendly, relatable style, Bogel shares engaging personal stories that show firsthand how understanding personality can revolutionize the way we live, love, work, and pray.
She suggested this book and it looks like a good read (I will get it soon) – Renovation of the Heart