I had to take art classes for my elementary teaching credential. What a challenge for me! But it turned out to be a very rewarding experience. One of the benefits is that I learned some things that apply to our study of personality differences. We had to make a mat for any painting or picture we created. (A mat is the cardboard frame of various widths that keeps glass off the work of art and also makes the work of art more pleasing to look at.) So I bought the mat board, a metal ruler, and an exacto knife. The teacher pointed out to us that to get a mat of 2 inches all the way around we had to take at least three points of measurement for each side. So 2 inches from the edge at the top, near the bottom and somewhere in the middle. If you only take two measurements, the line you draw or the cut you make with the knife will be crooked and be wider at one end than the other! Surveyors will also tell you they take multiple measures to be sure they have the distances exact.
So what does this have to do with type? Well, we need more than one measure and even more than 2 measures for more accuracy. Often people take a personality ‘test’ and assume that is accurate. First of all, it is only one measure. Secondly, there are multiple factors that contribute to measurement error. I’ve spoken about this several times in blogs and in YouTube videos.
We are multidimensional creatures and we need at least a three-dimensional look. It turns out that the InterStrength™ Approach has evolved to have three different lenses to give us 3 different kinds of information. This gives new meaning and increased clarity to the self-discovery process we use and recommend others use. We could develop an instrument of some kind that is built on these lenses, but instruments have many sources of measurement error that we prefer to use a process of presenting the patterns and having clients or participants try them on for fit, much like trying on shoes.
We now have a new understanding of the 3-D approach since we now have three lenses that give us distinctly different information. When these lenses line up, we are likely to find the best fit pattern. When they don’t line up, then we need to dig deeper.
Each lens describes 4 patterns. Each of these patterns can be described in terms of a core driver or need, some values, talents to get the needs met, stressors when the needs are met and some typical behaviors.