It’s probably a safe bet to assume that you agree when I say that’s it’s in our best interest to know ourselves and those around us. I and the other folks here at the THEE-Online Project (TOP) are all about figuring people out.

It’s not all so easy, though. It’s not like we ask someone a few questions and decide whether or not they are a “Type A” or a “Type B” personality. In fact, personality and “personality types” are vague, almost meaningless words used to ambiguously describe a wide range of psychological traits and features.

No, there are many layers to people (even before you factor in their social context). A few examples:

  • How people interact with others, explained in detail in the Interacting for Benefit framework. 
  • How people make decisions and achieve their goals, explained in detail in the Deciding and Achieving framework. 
  • The particular quest any given person is on—their purpose if you will, explained in detail in the Your Better Self framework. 
Still, these are not everything a person is—and in the interest of full disclosure, these frameworks are simply the ones I’m most familiar with. But once you get a handle on these frameworks and begin applying them to someone in your life, the multidimensional person begins to emerge.

Every person is truly unique and the infinite number of possible factors that go into creating an individual are the reason for that. I personally don’t think it would be possible to ever truly understand another person in their entirety, but we can make a lot of headway when we begin considering just the three previous typologies.

For my part, I am a cause-centered, community-centered person in terms of my interacting for benefit mentality. I’d like to think that I drift higher up the self-development axis into perspective-centered, reality-centered at times, but that might be my ego. However, I do know I show tendencies of those two mentalities at times—particularly perspective-centered.

Regarding how I make decisions, I’m a pragmatist, which can sometimes be frustrating for my rationalist wife. As for my overall purpose, my primal quest? I have it narrowed down to meaning, creative, or enlightenment. I’m not sure, but that probably means I’m on a meaning quest.

Now, if you go and figure out exactly what I’m talking about, (which is as easy as clicking the links and registering for you’ll have a pretty big chunk of me figured out—which is probably not too high on your priority list today, but think of the implications for your own life.

As I’ve been learning about THEE frameworks over the last 9 months or so, I have been able to both use the information to my advantage when dealing with many of the people in my life and successfully advise others in their interactions.

For example, I quickly identified a client as being on an enlightenment quest and, as a result, knew that perhaps accuracy in our work would be of the utmost importance to him. Furthermore, we developed a good rapport because I knew he’d like talking about what is wrong with society and possibilities for real solutions.

Another example:

My wife was having some trouble with her boss. He couldn’t see the benefit of a new tool my wife had developed for the company. She tried to convince him in the usual way—talking about how it would be easier and more efficient and faster than the previous method, whatever that might have been. I don’t know her boss, I’ve never met him. But just from her descriptions of him, I knew that he is about as market-centered as they come. So I told her to stop talking to him in terms of time and efficiency and start talking to him in terms of money. The new tool was implemented shortly thereafter.

I’m not trying to pat myself on the back here. I’m trying to illustrate just one of the many ways understanding various aspects of THEE can actually help you.

I’m going to end this blog with a fun little challenge. We’ll call it the THEE self-evaluation challenge! Here’s how it works:

  1. Take one hour out of your life (not much in the grand scheme of things) and quickly scan the Interacting for Benefit framework only through the 7 mentalities. 
  2. Determine which mentality you think you are. This is easy. It’s just the one you agree with the most. 
  3. Come back and leave a comment saying which one. 
  4. I will respond with one descriptive sentence about you. 
  5. You can either be shocked and amazed by my accuracy or you can ridicule me unmercifully for my lack of insight. I will appreciate both. 
See you in the comments!

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