Now that you have taken the student inventory on www.janetlevine.com and know your triad, in this blog on Generation E and the E-model, I am going to introduce you to the three personality types in the Detacher triad and briefly describe how they may act and interact as students at school. If you are a friend of one of these E-types how can you help them?
“The Observer” (Point Five) is private, measured, and logical. As a knowledge seeker, Observers avoid emotional attachment and focus on intellectual activities. Observers can be overly self-controlled, and detached from their emotions. Predictability feels safe; Fives don’t like surprises. Knowledge is power—this is their motto.
Working with Themselves: Point Five students are Observers; detachment and a non-judgmental stance are part of their personality. This presents a bind in the classroom: How to learn to stay present in interpersonal interactions with teachers and peers (even how to participate in class discussion)? How to be part of a team when group work is required, and you long to work independently? Five Observers need to learn to share information about their personality traits of privacy and detachment, and to encourage peers (and even teachers) to ask for more feedback and interaction when they are frustrated by the Point Five’s perceived aloofness.
Friends Can Help Observers: Try to include your Observer friend in all social interactions. Often they want to join the group but lack the social skills to do so. Give them some space and time alone, and don’t be discouraged by their withdrawal. Keep them engaged even if it feels thankless.
“The Questioner” (Point Six) is thoughtful, loyal, rational, dutiful and responsible. Sixes focus on finding hidden dangers. Questioners can be fearful of success, and show ambivalence—one moment being doubtful, and the next eager to conform. This back-and-forth can lead to indecision, procrastination and unfinished projects.
Working with Themselves: Point Six students are natural skeptics who question everything. They are actively engaged, independent thinkers. Questioner Six interactions in the classroom can be undermined by their core defense mechanisms that are built around worst-case scenario thinking, doubts and fears. To find certainty and safety, the overly suspicious Questioner must be careful not to question peers and even teachers too sharply. Point Six needs be aware when thinking replaces doing, and seek reality checks to allay suspicions.
Friends Can Help Questioners: Realize Questioners seek safety by expressing their doubts and fears. Answer their questions to allay their fears. They may act out pronounced anti-authoritarian behavior. This is their way of going against their fear. Let them know you care when they endanger themselves, and that there are other ways to find a safety net.
“The Entertainer” (Point Seven) is enthusiastic, upbeat, charming, spontaneous and entertaining. Entertainers focus on being active, engaged with life, and having many pleasant options to choose from. They enjoy spending time planning and fantasizing. Entertainers have trouble making and keeping commitments. Sevens can be self-involved and do not like the routine or mundane.
Working with Themselves: Entertainers can learn to ground their highly charged energy by structuring tasks into interesting, disparate projects, while giving themselves a safe place to play with the many ideas racing in their minds. Future trippers, Point Seven feels secure when engaged in planning, and keeping options open. Entertainers are wonderfully articulate but should try not to monopolize classroom or other discussion. It is important they meet deadlines, and are aware when they split their attention in class and escape into a fantasy world. If an Entertainer needs help with structure and keeping academic commitments, they can ask their friends or teachers for help.
Friends Can Help Entertainers: Try to help Entertainers keep their feet on the ground, encourage them to find constructive ways to express their buoyancy and enthusiasm. Entertainers are ideas people who take off on imaginative flights like helium balloons. Encourage Entertainers to play sport or undertake other body-based activities to learn to stay in the present. Some teens with this personality have trouble concentrating or performing in the ways classrooms are structured. Encourage them to seek professional help with this problem.