Discovering how each member of your family, social circle or work colleagues likes to work and communicate can greatly enhance your relationships through improved communication.
This exercise, called Psycho Geometrics is based on Karl Jung’s theory on personality types. There is an 89% chance of the individual choosing the correct shape first time, which links to how they like to work and communicate as part of a group and aids us in improved communication.
Try this first by yourself - without reading ahead to the answers, and before trying it with your family, friends or colleagues. It is a great way for people to express how they like to do things and gives you and those you interact with a better understanding of how best to have improved communication with each other.
While we all use some of the behaviours each of the shapes describes, we are usually strongly drawn to one of two.
Have a piece of paper ready.
5 Random squiggly line
Choose the shape you are most attracted to. Feel the shape, perhaps see it in a three dimensional way.
There is no right or wrong answer – only different.
Now put your favourite shape and second favourite shape down on paper.
Did you write the word for the shape or did you draw it? Or did you do both? This illustrates how we all interpret information differently.
We know that the chemistry of the human brain impacts on right or left brain.
The Square, Triangle, and Rectangle are primarily left brain, logical thinkers. They expect the world to be organised and prefer predictable work. Is this you?
Circle and Squiggles have a right brain preference, with less emphasis on organisation and more emphasis on people and creativity.
Some people use both left and right brain, while others are very one sided. It is important to take into account the second shape chosen, as this can balance the first shape.Understanding these differences can greatly enhance and improved communications.
1 The square
The hard worker.
Likes clear and specific instructions.
Committed to the task.
Likes to work alone.
Will do the job well.
Very rarely creative.
Likes to separate personal and professional life
Doesn't believe in personal contact at work.
Strengths - well organised, data collector. Always likes to have lots of copies, just in case.
Believes there is no authenticity in the spoken word so wants things in writing.
Slower decision maker.
Leader - in his/her mind.
Strongest of the 5.
Triangle is right, don't argue with him/her.
Focused on goal. Logical left brain.
Fast processor, quick decision maker.
Always has something to say in any situation.
Lands on his/her feet.
Highest level of self confidence of all 5 shapes.
Ambitious, most politically aware.
Going to get there one way or another.
Risk taker - most successful.
Only one in a state of transition.
Very often are people who question “Is this what I want?”
Period of re-examination and change.
Most people go through this stage, ie adolescence, mid- life crisis.
When we take on a new role ie wife, parent, manager, retirement – we will feel rectangular.
Rectangle - only one of the shapes which can be any of the others in any one day.
Growing and changing, evolving and learning.
The lovers. Cares, nurtures.
Smooths things over, making everyone happy.
Best listener and communicator – shows empathy.
The sufferers - can't deal well with conflict.
Problem with wielding power over others.
Best team player.
Excellent at reading people ie interviewing.
Only shape that was open ended.
Most right brained - conceptual, theory, the system, process.
Doesn't think like others.
Mind works at random.
Most creative. Innovation. Loves to do the unusual.
Needs freedom, no time barriers.
Most enthusiastic, energetic, dramatic.
Difficult to manage.
Did you choose the shape that feels right for you?
Have you been various different shapes at different times in your life? The squiggle will say they have been all five.
But we all have bits of each shape with us.
One will tend to dominate at any one time, but we can access any one when we need it.
How does this help with improved communication?
Helps to realise we are not all the same and appreciate the differences. Understanding that the person who drives you up the wall is a ‘square’, and that I'm a ‘squiggle’ - we are simply looking at life in a different way. This greatly helps with improved communication.
To communicate with the other shapes you need to use the behaviours that they most like to use, and communicate in his/her language.
Think of the people in your life - what might their shapes be?
Try this exercise with them and having explained the different shapes, ask them to decide what shape they think you and the others in are. They may see you very differently from the way you see yourself.
Improved communication with each shape
Likes to relate to someone who is consistent.
Who gives instructions in writing rather than verbally.
Who is organised or respects their organisational skills.
Who doesn’t change their mind all the time.
Who doesn’t waste their time with chats.
Who allows thinking time before having to make decisions.
Wants to be with people they respect.
Prefers communication to be direct.
Enjoy taking risks.
Like to lead rather than follow.
Likes competition rather than cooperation.
Doesn’t like being part of a group– would rather lead it.
Two triangles together become competitive rather than cooperative.
They ask lots of questions as they try to clarify their role in life or work.
They are using some of all the shapes.
They will not stay in this shape for very long.
They like to be in harmony.
Will say ‘yes’ to things they don’t want to do in order to avoid conflict.
Need regular positive feedback.
Enjoy being part of the group with people that they like
Very creative and full of enthusiasm and new ideas.
Enjoy being able to do things their own way.
Will ask why you have always done things the same way.
Get very frustrated if they feel constrained.