The following discussion is reliant on the accuracy of the theory that our temperaments are genetically set before birth. I will assume that such a theory is correct. Therefore, the purpose of this topic is not to debate that issue.
The conjecture I make in this discussion is made on the following basis. Keirsey states on page 23 of Brains and Careers
: “So it is that our human instincts shape our human actions....Thus our instincts predispose us to try to achieve some results more than others, which is to say that we are born with a certain temperament that inclines us to want some results more than others.”
Thus, my conjecture* is that one pursues one’s temperament-specific work method
** in order to meet one’s primary need
. Brains and Careers
tells us that each of us has an in-born need that is temperament-based (thus there are four different needs). For example, the Idealist need is to bond
with others. How does this need connect to the temperament-specific work method, in the case of Idealists: enabling well-being
? The work method is the means to the end of fulfilling the need. It is this pursuit of meeting the need that fuels, or motivates, the work method. Our skill in executing the work method subsequently improves through frequent and regular practice^ in the pursuit of fulfilling this need. So, it can be said that our primary
agenda is to fulfill our
need, with practice resulting in a by-product that is known as our work method. An example for the Idealist temperament is shown below. Idealist
: The Diplomats' primary need is to be bonded with others. Brains and Careers
says on page 124, “...to pledge, to promise, or to avow are only means to an end, the end being assurance that the Idealist is bonded with others. No other means will do, for in the view of Idealists no bond exists that is not secured by a promise, pledge or avowal.” If this need is set at birth, due to temperament, then the means
of fulfilling the need becomes the primary agenda.
In concert with a life-long quest to meet their need to bond with others, Idealists develop methods that enable others’ well-being: Advising, Advocating, Conciliating, Educating. These well-being enabling occupations require Idealists to bond with others, thus fulfilling this need regularly and continually. How is this concept observed for each specific role variant?Advisor
- In an effort to feel bonded with others, Advisors choose to engage the person of their focus in a face-to-face manner, confronting, or contending with, the issues directly and giving directives. When they are able to attach themselves to another for this specific purpose and receive recognition in return for their efforts, the Advisor feels bonded. Advocator
- CoWorking Diplomats pursue the action of obtaining information, through inquiry, and then pass along their newly discovered or dreamt up ideas to whoever will listen. They learn very quickly that this method achieves a link to others, thus fulfilling their need to feel bonded. Conciliator
- These Accomodative Idealists gain a sense of connection with people by seeing a need and responding to fill that need. Put in other words, in an effort to acquire a bond with another, they sooth, comfort, appease and reconcile. Educator
- By taking the preemptive route, the Educator aspires to direct a group, lead, and give purpose to those around them. In doing so, they make an assurance of their interest in the other and expect that such assurances are met with an eagerness to comply. When such compliances are made, the Educator feels bonded.
* This is not directly stated in Brains and Careers
or any other works in Keirsey Temperament Theory.
** Work Methods – methods specific to brain type and character (ex: Diplomatic Idealist)
^ Practice - “By continuous practice we gradually learn how and therefore come to know how to use tools and words. And by learning how to use tools and words we become more informed, capable, observant, and imaginative.” - Brains and Careers
page 31. For further discussion of this topic, see also here
The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.-- Carl Jung