©’99 Janet Levine: Transforming Teaching Workshops
In association with David Rehorick, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, University of New Brunswick, and Consulting Faculty, The Fielding Institute
Let’s begin with nine simple questions. There are no right or wrong responses to this well-tried methodology for identifying the foundation of your personality, your dominant motivational mode. Once you understand what motivates you, you’ll be prepared to discover whether you are a Helper, Organizer, Dreamer, Observer, Questioner, Entertainer, Protector, Peacekeeper, or Moralizer. Following each question are three statements. Choose one that fits you the most closely. Unless you print this material, make a note of your response on a piece of paper, for example, 1a, 2b, etc, as you will not be able to do so online.
1.) You are working with other students on a project. Observing the impact on the project of how other students interact and behave, gets you thinking about the way you work with others. You assess your behavior in work groups as:
a. My behavior in groups has to do with interaction and energy, with connecting to people. I ask myself, am I getting through on an emotional level? Do the others understand where I’m coming from? How am I coming across, how do others see me? It’s important that we connect in a meaningful way.
b. My behavior in groups is instinctive, I have a “gut” feel about what is right and wrong, fair and unfair. I don’t like being taken for granted—whether by institutional rules, expectations of others, demands that are extraneous to the job I’m doing. I don’t always like conflict, but I have a great need to say what I have to say, to be heeded.
c. My behavior in groups is intellectual, no question. I live in my head—conceptualizing, fantasizing, thinking things through are important to me. Rationality is a big word with me. I’m interested in how people think, process information, work with ideas.
2.) How do you assess the way you communicate your input when working in groups?
a. What you see is what you get. I don’t use guile, or fancy gimmicks. I present the way I understand it; I give it my best shot. People get my honest sense of how it is.
b. Presentation, connection, and performance are important to me—the medium is the message, that kind of thing. So I try to put on a show, highlight my ideas; find the nuances of expression that will enhance the basics. I use emotion and show time, anything that will help people better understand what I’m saying.
c. I try to keep things as conceptual, uncluttered and intellectually pure as I can. I love to ask questions, to practice skepticism, to be a discerning thinker. I try to probe below the surface: if we can stick with what’s rational and logical, we’re on solid ground.
3.) How do you learn?
a. I learn through the mental activity of finding answers, of the excitement that comes from seeing my mind open to the possibilities, to big-picture connections, to new conclusions. Mental energy in the classroom stimulates my own thinking.
b. I value people, so I learn through the possibilities of all sorts of human contact and connection: the emotional highs and lows, the feeling of achievement when we all “click” and experience some profound interconnection in the moment. The classroom is like the theater when the audience and the actors (students and teachers) become one—unity built on empathy, human understanding, little else. I like personal connection with a teacher.
c. I learn by trusting my instinct—when something falls into place for me I feel it in my body—this is it! I need to get a sense of things, of how they sit with me, of where I stand in relationship to them. The world is difficult to understand, you can lose your way all too easily. Learning for me is getting some skills, some tools, and some road maps to take on my journey.
4.) Although you get along with most of your teachers, every so often one comes along with whom you clash, whom you think doesn’t like you. Why do you think they don’t appreciate you?
a. I come on too emotionally when I’m in class, when I’m talking. They often feel like I’m trying to manipulate them, and the others into interacting with me. Why can’t I just say things out straight? I try to shine it on. I need to be the center of attention; it’s almost like I need their approval.
b. I’m too abstract, too theoretical, too detached. They need more interaction from me. They’re talking, I’m listening, but they have this sense that I’m not really there, that I’ve moved to somewhere in my head. The harder they try to know where they are with me, the more I distance myself. They question if anything gets through to me on a personal level.
c. I have a sense of boundaries around myself. I can come across as an immovable force, solid, implacable, although I’m not usually aware of this. I know I can dig in and nothing people say or do will shift me. I’ve been accused of being overly defensive, stubborn, critical. I’m not usually aware of my impact on people.
5.) Some of your friends are in serious trouble because of a grave misdemeanor. They break the news to you. How do you try to help in this difficult moment?
a. I try to help by being rational, and not getting caught up in emotions. I can support them best by being logical, by trying to explain the inevitability of the disciplinary decision based on school rules. We can have reasonable discussions, and they can see all the reasons for this outcome. They know what I feel for them personally, this has nothing to do with that.
b. I try to help by being straightforward and down-to-earth. We’ve known one another long enough, we know where we stand. This does not affect my relationship with them, it isn’t a big deal. So what? School rules are school rules. Face-to-face, saying it straight without any extraneous talk, that’s always the best way to handle these interactions.
c. When my friends are in trouble, it strikes at my heart. I’m more anxious about this than I want to admit—emotional upsets really get to me. We know one another well, have a good understanding, a good connection. I know what they’re feeling, as if it were myself. How best to support them? Although they are in the wrong—and we all know that—I try to get through to them how much I care.
6.) You sign up for a course you want to take above all others. When you see the list your name is not there. How do you react?
a. Disbelief, I can’t accept this at all. I knew the numbers were tight, but why me? I’ve wanted this course for years. I feel like my heart has been wrenched out of me, I’m so disappointed. I can’t get beyond my feelings. I’ll never get over this one.
b. I guess I should have seen this coming. They cut people last year too. All the signs were there, I just didn’t think they were pointing in my direction. If you think about it rationally and logically, it’s a perfectly legitimate studies office decision—too many students. I allowed myself to be blind sided by my own expectations. I’ll learn other good things in another course. Maybe this course wasn’t for me anyway. I won’t take this personally.
c. I’m uncomfortable, and angry about this. There’s no place to feel you belong in this world. I did everything anyone could ask of me to get into this course. You get slammed one way or the other. The anger is overwhelming; I feel it in my whole body. This just reinforces my sense that life is unfair, life is hard. My mistake was to leave myself open to be kicked around.
7.) You want to be a great student—contribute to the school in all areas—your dream reflects the deepest parts of yourself. Your passion stems from:
a. A feeling that I’ve got something to share that people can relate too, I believe I’ve got what it takes to put across my vision in a way that’s honest, good, and effective. It’s all about people. I can get through to people, I’m in tune, I understand people. In my heart I know this is true.
b. A hunch, an instinct that I’m in the right place at the right time doing what I’m supposed to be doing—when my head, heart, and belly are aligned behind something, I can trust that sense. I can put my full force behind it. I would never commit myself if I didn’t feel 100 percent about it.
c. The knowledge that I have thought through first rate ideas that will be of benefit and break new ground in terms of concepts. I wouldn’t be involved in anything if I wasn’t convinced of the validity of my ideas. If I weren’t one hundred percent sure of my thinking I wouldn’t be putting myself on the line.
8.) The senior personnel of a student governing body on campus are interviewing you for a position. You feel confident you can handle the job because:
a. Of my proven record as an ideas person. No one can question that what I do is conceptually thought through and mentally sound. My prior experience attests to my theoretical ability and know-how. I’m as intellectually solid a student leader as any on the market.
b. Of my track record of getting through to people. Whether it’s in the classroom, the sports team, the choral society committee, running assemblies, I’ve always been able to put across what I believe in a way that people feel they want to be part of it. I know people, people are my life. I can get the world on board.
c. Of the fact I just know this is the right job for me, I can fit right in here. I have reliable instincts. I’ve proven it to myself and others time and again. Lots of people have made good from my instincts. Only something that I believe in 100 percent would get me into this chair to ask for a job. My peers know where they stand with me, which makes them feel safe.
9) Your peers nominate you for an Outstanding Student award. What is your response?
a. The award is objective validation that the way I think through what I do, my intellectual energy, and the highly mental approach I bring to all my activities are verifiable, something others can measure. I’m pleased.
b. Public recognition for my efforts is gratifying, but it’s not about me, I’m not what I do. This award won’t change things one way or the other, make me a better person, or bring meaning to my life. I’ll just go on contributing the way I always have.
c. I know I’m a good person, so I deserve this, but many of my peers are good people, too. What is important about this, is that they nominated me. That means the world to me. Enough people know me, value me, are connected to me and want to acknowledge me this way. That really gets to me.
SCORE: The following majority of choices indicate your modality.
You may find you have several choices in different areas. There are sound reasons for this. For example, many students are secure in their student life and the inventory can reflect this. Nonetheless your primary triad is the one that shows the most choices. Please tally your score.
Attacher: 1a, 2b, 3b, 4a, 5c, 6a, 7a, 8b, 9c
Detacher: 1c, 2c, 3a, 4b, 5a, 6b, 7c, 8a, 9a
Defender: 1b, 2a, 3c, 4c, 5b, 6c, 7b, 8c, 9b
Please read the TP1 DESCRIPTORS explanation and descriptions. They are separated into the Attacher, Detacher, and Defender triads. Read the three profiles in your triad first. Find yourself, and then go on to read the others.
Copyright © Janet Levine, All Rights Reserved, 2022