No matter what business you are in, psychology is something you shouldn’t overlook.
It’s not just something you should know in order to land the next client, or how to better build your team, but also to help you grow.
You need to understand yourself to know what obstacles you need to overcome. When you understand your own psychology, you open a whole new world of possibilities.
Getting to know your personality type means you’ll know what to adjust when you meet someone else. It also means you’ll know what to look out for when someone is trying to manipulate you.
In every way, knowing psychology can be important to help you achieve the greatness you want. That’s why I put together this new mashup with the bests: Scott Barry Kaufman, Chris Lee, Gretchen Rubin, John Danner and Chris Kuenne
In this episode of The School of Greatness, you’ll get a solid look as to various personality types that exist. You’ll also learn about the tendencies we all have and how to turn them into a strength.
Each of my guests also give real world examples on how you can use the information provided in this episode.
I hand picked the best of the best information from these episodes because I want to see you get out there, use this knowledge, and succeed.
Anyone listening to this episode will take away something that they didn’t know before — I learned new things re-listening to these clips!
Get ready to better understand psychology, on Episode 656.
Lewis Howes: This is episode number 656, Understanding Human Psychology.
Welcome to The School of Greatness. My name is Lewis Howes, former pro-athlete turned lifestyle entrepreneur and each week we bring you an inspiring person or message to help you discover how to unlock your inner greatness. Thanks for spending some time with me today. Now, let the class begin.
“To be yourself, in a world that is constantly trying to make you into something else, is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.
I am pumped, because every single week we bring you insights from the greatest minds in the world, from the greatest teachers, from the greatest human beings, to help you discover what it is you were born to do on this Earth. How to overcome the greatest challenges in your life, and how to accelerate your growth, to achieve your dreams faster than you could ever imagine.
And this episode is a mash-up of some of the best wisdom I’ve heard on understanding your own personality and core strengths, so that you can do the work that suits you best; so that you can live the life that serves you, and humanity, the best. We’ve got clips, today, from the great psychologist, Scott Barry Kaufman, yes! He is a master!
We’ve got from Chris Lee, transformational coach for thirty plus years, from John Danner and Chris Kuenne, and the incredible Gretchen Rubin. We’ve got these masters in here who are going to share some wisdom, some nuggets and talk about how to really understand human psychology to optimise connection, understanding yourself, why we do the things we do, and how you can improve your own life in this process.
This is a powerful one, guys! Some of you haven’t heard these golden nuggets before, so I wanted to make sure we bring them to the forefront, so you can hear them. If you enjoy this, make sure to share it with your friends, lewishowes.com/656. This will be a powerful one for you to truly understand human psychology.
And I want to give a big thank you and shout out to the Fan of the Week! This is from Matt Holiday, who said, “This is a podcast for all people, all ages, colours, all genders, rich or poor; this podcast is for you. I have to say this podcast is especially for people who are in a growth period in their lives, and are looking for that extra thing that is going to take that growth to the max.
“There is always at least one quote in every episode that just gives me the chills, and allows me to look at my life a little bit differently. This causes me to grow, little by little each episode. Tune in if you are a human that is wanting to make some positive changes in your life, and the lives around you.”
So, Matt Holiday, thank you for that warm review, I appreciate it! And you are the Fan of the Week, my friend! If you guys have not left a review yet, we’ve got over 3,000 plus, five star reviews. You can just open up your podcast app and leave a review right there. We’d love that very much, and get your chance to be shouted out as the Fan of the Week.
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Alright guys, I’m excited to dive into this one! Again, powerful episode, all about understanding human psychology. Let me know what you think about this. Take a screenshot right now, and tag me on your Instagram story, lewishowes.com/656, to let your friends know.
And without further ado, let’s dive in to Understanding Human Psychology.
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Scott Barry Kaufman: You ask me what the key is, the best way to develop greatness, I think the best way is to recognise that there are multiple paths to greatness. And that’s kind of one of the big points I wanted to make in that book, is that every person needs to find out for themselves, what their unique value is in this world and what unique package of personal characteristics, including their motivations, their cognitive ability.
Like, are you a very verbal person? Are you not? Are you a visual/spacial person? And figuring out what kind of environments, niches, will be best for you. But what I’ve discovered in working with people who really reached those highest levels, they didn’t necessarily have all of those stereotypical markers that we use to predict potential, when you’re young.
This includes, I wrote this article recently about what predicts NBA success, for instance. And people would be surprised to know that so many of the things that talent scouts go through and do, are just not predicting greatness whatsoever, within those forced means.
Researchers looked at this, you know, the NBA combined, how they do this? They have all these prospective NBA players, test for their agility, test for their height, their combine, to find out that’s completely non-predictive, it’s a worthless thing.
Lewis Howes: It shows their athleticism, but it doesn’t show their teamwork, their leadership, their emotional intelligence, their ability to bounce back, all those things, right?
Scott Barry Kaufman: Exactly, mental toughness, all the things that really are the most important for differentiating those at the very top versus those that aren’t. That’s right.
Lewis Howes: Well, you know, everyone talks about – at least, when I was going up in school – everyone was talking about IQ. Can you talk about what is IQ, just for people that don’t know. What does it stand for, what is it’s purpose, and is it even effective? Because it kind of sounds a little like what you just talked about.
Scott Barry Kaufman: Yeah, so if we could fast-forward, like, ten years from now, and have this conversation, I would say IQ stands for Imagination Quotient, because that’s what I’m working towards on my own.
Lewis Howes: Nice!
Scott Barry Kaufman: Yeah, that’s what Imagination students are trying to do, is come up with a whole new test. But we live, right now, in 2014, the IQ, everyone knows, Intelligence Quotient. It’s supposed to be this measure of your general cognitive ability.
Think of it just like you go, and you do the physical fitness test, like you have to run with your racer back and forth, or you have to do the chin press-up or whatever, run 500m, et cetera, et cetera, and you can take an average of all of those physical fitness tests that most of us had to take in high school, and I bet you kicked ass on that, right?
Lewis Howes: I did pretty well.
Scott Barry Kaufman: Yeah, you’ve been through that one, yes, the physical, and you get a rough idea of someone’s general physical fitness. By the way, I went to high school with Colby Bryant, and I did better than him on the racer one, I got the all out, I won the thing, so that’s my one thing, within that sports domain, he kicks my ass in everything else.
But anyway, you get this general, rough index, and so same kind of logic is used with IQ tests, we make people like, “What’s your vocabulary? Mentally rotate objects in your mind. Put these blocks together or what pattern comes next?” And then you just take the average and that’s supposed to index your general intellectual functioning.
But, as you know, with general physical fitness as well, is that some of the greatest athletes have a lot of – they’ve developed very specific adaptations to that specific sport that make them stand out. It’s not the general fitness that necessarily matters the most, but that specific skill set and expertise that you’ve mastered.
Lewis Howes: Sure, so do you think it’s effective then, or is it pretty much worthless?
Scott Barry Kaufman: I don’t, so I’m not anti it, I’m not trying to say they’re worthless, but I think the way that they’re used in the school system to hinder opportunity, we’re effectively letting way too many students fall between the cracks. And I can give you so many examples.
So, with learning disabilities, because with dyslexia, schizophrenia, behavioural disorders or whatever, there’s so many multitude of reasons that could cause someone to do poorly in a little testing session with a psychologist where you have to focus, and a psychologist who says, “What’s the one correct answer?”
And in all these conditions, that are so anxiety provoking, there’s so many reasons why you could score low in this kind of environment, and then the score concludes, “Oh, well, then this student is not doing well in school because of their low intelligence.”
What I’ve been trying to challenge, and I’m not trying to say that those tests are useless, or they’re not important information, but what I am trying to do, what I’d like to change is what is the first thing that we think of when a student is low achieving, and it’s not, “Let’s pull out the IQ banner and see if it’s stupid, if that explains it.”
Instead, I want to look at so many other factors first, like engagement, effort, environmental support, family background. Like, what are this student’s priorities and is the student in an environment where everyone’s getting killed all around them? That surviving seems to be more important than doing well on an IQ test, for that person.
I think people, educators, lots of them just have such a misguided view of how we view life’s potential and what those tests actually measure.
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Chris Lee: Ideally, a leader has access to all four personality types. So if I know that my audience is one personality type, mostly, then I get to speak in a way that they understand and then bring them the message, because everybody listens in a different way. And it just allows me to be more effective.
Lewis Howes: Okay, cool! So let’s go into it. What are the four personality types?
Chris Lee: So, let’s talk one by one, because each one is complex. So, the first personality style – and, by the way, you may, as you listen to this, you may feel that you fit into one, it’s possible you fit into two, it’s possible that you have a little more of one than the other, a little less of the other than this on.
And also, it could also be depending on the circumstance, for example, I could be a personality type in bed, or I could be a personality type at work, or I could be a different personality type socially. But there’s generally a home base. Okay?
So, the first personality type I want to talk about is the controller.
Lewis Howes: What’s the controller?
Chris Lee: The controller is the person that always wants to be right. The controller’s the person that always wants to be in control of himself, so he’s in control, but he also wants to be in control of everyone around him.
Lewis Howes: So, can you give me some examples of that?
Chris Lee: Yeah, it’s somebody that likes to be the source of all the ideas, so even if it’s your idea, they thought of it. A controller is somebody who is usually a leader, they’re very powerful, they’re powerful with their conviction, they’ve got a lot of confidence, and they think that they can get it done better than anybody else.
So, a controller, the gift of a controller is that they make things happen. These are the movers, the shakers, the people that do whatever it takes. And the gift of a controller is that a controller is confident, a controller is a leader, they take initiative, they make decisions, they’re all about the result.
Lewis Howes: Yeah, goal oriented.
Chris Lee: Completely goal oriented, results oriented. So, the down side of a controller is that they appear insensitive, they appear mean, they don’t listen, they like to be right, therefore everyone around them is wrong. Ring a bell, people?
So it’s that boss that won’t listen to feedback, won’t listen to ideas.
Lewis Howes: Can’t take criticism.
Chris Lee: Doesn’t take criticism, it’s that person that likes to be right, and they don’t listen. As a matter of fact, they’ll ask a question, but they’ll answer it. So that’s the person that is inflexible. So, if they have a plan, they’re going to dinner and they want Chinese food, that’s it. It’s Chinese food, period. You want to go with them, it’s got to be Chinese. If you say, “I want to eat Thai food,” forget it. You’re eating alone.
And a controller, the good news about a controller, is that they make things happen, they’re powerful, they take initiative, and they usually have results. The down side is the biggest cost, or the biggest price, is relationships. Because, who wants to be around somebody who doesn’t listen and who’s always right?
And so, if you’re a controller and if you identify with that, well, obviously, you need to work on your social skills, your relationship skills, your listening skills, et cetera, et cetera. And as I describe some of the other personality types, you’ll know what you need to work on as well. If you have a controller and you are addressing a controller in terms of managing them or you want to convince them to do something, you need to speak their language.
Lewis Howes: So, if someone’s always right, say you’re trying to sell me something, or you’re trying to get me to do something, that maybe I’m not convinced on doing or buying yet, and you want to speak my language – say I’m the controller – and I like it my way, a certain way, I have something in my mind that it’s got to be that way, how would you speak to me to convert me into buying or coming along on a trip, or whatever?
Chris Lee: Or investing in your company. Yeah, so first of all, I’ve got to be confident. If I show up wishy-washy or wimpy or unsure, it’s over.
Lewis Howes: Then he’s not going to trust you, he or she is not going to trust you.
Chris Lee: No, because he’s going to look at you and it’s like, “You’re full of it.”
Lewis Howes: And he knows more than you and he’s always right.
Chris Lee: He always knows more than you. So, you’ve got to be confident, you’ve got to be clear, you’ve got to show up dressed in a formal way, because controllers are formal. They’re formal in their dress, and they’re dominant. So, they’re dominant and they’re formal.
So, you’ve got to show up formal, and you’ve got to show up in a, not necessarily over domineering, but you’ve got to show up that you’re powerful, too. So, you’ve got to match their energy.
Lewis Howes: So mirroring them.
Chris Lee: Yeah, you’ve got to match their energy. And to convince a controller, you’ve got to make everything their idea. So, you’ve got to turn the thing into, you know, you need to agree with them and as you’re agreeing, you’re inputting whatever it is you want them to do. Like, once you have their trust, once you have their attention, then you can convey your message.
Lewis Howes: It’s almost, stroke their ego, in a sense.
Chris Lee: Stroke their ego, but yeah, you need to connect with them at their level. Powerful people like to be around powerful people. And they’re not going to put money into someone that shows up wimpy. Or not sure, or unclear. So, a controller is someone who’s dominant and somebody who is formal, so you’ve got to present to them in a dominant and formal way.
The complete opposite of a controller, is the person who is a supporter. And a supporter is somebody who, they’re not so concerned about the result, they’re more concerned about the feelings. And so, they’re about feelings, they’re about love and acknowledgement and self-worth and respect.
And the supporter, the positive thing about a supporter is that they’re loving and they’re caring. They’re the nurturers, they’re the caretakers, they’re the people that will give the shirt off their back for other people, they put other people first, they’re always focussing on your needs.
Lewis Howes: Giving, giving, giving.
Chris Lee: Givers, total givers. The down side of a supporter is that they show up like a doormat, people take advantage of them, people walk all over them.
Lewis Howes: They don’t stand up for themselves.
Chris Lee: They don’t stand up for themselves, their voice doesn’t count, and so, if you have somebody in your life that’s a supporter, and you try to dominate them, then they’re just going to shrink. They’re going to go into their cave and they’re not going to come out, they’re going to shut down. They’re going to feel abused by you.
And so, if you’re a controller, and you’re in a relationship with a supporter, you’ve got to access, love and care and stroke their heart. In other words, they respond to acknowledgement, they respond to love, they respond to, “Great job! I’m proud of you! Thank you!” That, you’ll inspire a supporter that way and they’ll be loyal for life.
So, if you’re a supporter, you’ve got to work on your voice and your courage, and your self-confidence, and you’ve got to step up. And if you’re a supporter that needs to motivate a controller, then you’ve got to own your power, you’ve got to show up confident, you’ve got to speak up.
One of the things that I talked about is how we put ourselves in a box, and we say, “Well, that’s just kind of how I am.” And so, the idea of these quadrants is not to put yourself in a box, the idea of these quadrants is to identify where you are and to shift.
We have the ability to shift; what does shift mean? It means moving from one space to the other, and if you learn these quadrants and you learn to navigate through these quadrants, you could access the positive gifts of each quadrant, therefore becoming successful.
Lewis Howes: Right, and the greatest leaders probably have one or two dominant, but they can always access the other two any time.
Chris Lee: Absolutely! I mean, we’ll talk about me, where I operated from before, because of this work, what I do now. So, being a supporter, they’re feeling oriented. The questions that supporters ask is, “Why? Why is this happening?” And they’re easygoing, they’re informal, so their way of being is casual, easygoing, informal. They go with the flow.
So, if the controller goes, “We’re eating Chinese,” but the supporter hates Chinese food, “Oh, I’ll find something I like. It doesn’t matter.”
Lewis Howes: Very flexible.
Chris Lee: Super flexible! The gift of supporters is that they’re the heart of every organisation.
Lewis Howes: They’re the best customer support.
Chris Lee: Totally! Supportive, they’re great at encouraging teams and they’re peace makers, they avoid conflict. Controllers love conflict, they’re like, “Let’s confront this now!”
Lewis Howes: “Let’s see who’s right!”
Chris Lee: Right! And so, a supporter needs to shift their way of being. So that’s the second quadrant, I would say.
Lewis Howes: Right, so we’ve got the controller, supporter.
Chris Lee: Yeah, the controller and the supporter.
Lewis Howes: Which are opposites.
Chris Lee: Yeah, they’re opposites. One is results oriented, the other is feelings oriented. One is about, “Okay, what are we creating?” and then the supporter is about, “Why?” which is a non-confrontational question. And a non-results producing question. They’re like, “Why is this happening?” Okay?
So then we go to the other two quadrants, and the other quadrant is the promoter. And the promoter is the passionate life of the party, they’re outrageous, they’re all about relationships. You know, if you invite them to the party, they’re not going to ask, “Why are you inviting me?” or, “What’s going to happen?” They want to know, “Who’s there? Who’s at the party? And if I like them, I’m there! And if it’s fun, I’m in!”
So, promoters are all about being the centre of attention, they want to shine and shine bright like a diamond! They want people to remember their name. And the gift of the promoter is that the promoter is outrageous and passionate and energetic and talkative.
You can imagine what quadrant I fall into! I love being outrageous and passionate and communicative and expressive. I love being in relationships, I love doing things with groups of people, and that’s my home base.
Lewis Howes: Like speaking in front of audiences, you thrive off that.
Chris Lee: I love it. You could put me in front of two thousand people and I’m feeling it, and meanwhile, somebody who’s the opposite quadrant, you put them in front of two thousand people and they freeze! So, a promoter is relationship driven, a promoter is all about fun and energy, and that’s the gift of a promoter.
And so, if you want to inspire a promoter, you can’t be boring or cold. You can’t be too soft, you’ve got to show up exciting. If you’re going to sell your idea to a promoter, or you want a promoter to invest his money, his millions of dollars into your business, you got to make it exciting, make it passionate.
Lewis Howes: “This is the next big thing.”
Chris Lee: Yeah, this is it, this is IT! Yeah. And you can’t control him, and you can’t be wimpy with him either, because a promoter is actually dominant with their energy, they’re very dominant, they love their ideas, and, at the same time, they’re easygoing. So, they’re casual in terms of their approach at life, they’re pretty casual.
You could see them in a suit, you could see them in flip-flops. A lot of directors are that way, and you’ve seen these Hollywood directors that make millions of dollars and they look homeless, you know? They’re promoters, they’re full of energy. And so, a promoter has a lot of energy and the gift of a promoter is the ability to communicate, their ability to express, their ability to make people feel good.
The down side is that they have so many ideas, they don’t finish anything.
Lewis Howes: The lack of focus, maybe?
Chris Lee: They suffer from ADDDDHD, permanently. Like, when the next shiny object comes up, they’re gone! So I’m sure a lot of you can relate to that. All of the promoters are like, “That’s me!” And of course, ‘me’ is one of their favourite words.
So, if you want to inspire a promoter, you’ve got to be passionate, you’ve got to show up alive, you’ve got to show up with energy, and if you want to coach a promoter, you’ve got to coach them on how to create specific goals and stick to them. Because, one of the down sides of a promoter is that they break their word; they say yes to everything.
Lewis Howes: They say yes to everything, so they have to break somewhere. They probably feel overwhelmed at some point. Like, “I just agree to everything and I don’t have time.”
Chris Lee: Completely overwhelmed, right, and people get mad at them. And they also show up, since they’re so energetic and passionate, they also can show up inauthentic. They can show up like, phony, like actors, actresses, there are a lot of people acting that are promoters. Great energy, but little follow through.
And, of course, the opposite of the promoter is the analyser. The analyser is somebody who is formal in their way of being, like, very strict and structured, but they’re easygoing in the sense that they don’t really push through their ideas. So they could ponder on something for a long time.
Lewis Howes: Before they make a decision.
Chris Lee: Absolutely.
Lewis Howes: So, buying a home could take five years, looking at a hundred homes and analysing every square footage.
Chris Lee: Exactly. Like, they’ll take a contract and they will dissect it, decipher it, they’ll talk to ten lawyers, and then they’ll sign. So, an analyser, the gift of the analyser is detail, structure, organisation. Notice, this is what promoters don’t have. They’re detailed, structured, organised, analysers are their word – so if they say they’re going to do something, take it to the bank – but before they give their word, they need to think about it forever.
A promoter gives their word and thinks later.
Lewis Howes: And says sorry later.
Chris Lee: Like, “Oh, I’m sorry, I thought I could make it.” So, what’s great about an analyser, they’re great with numbers, they’re great with computers, they’re great with structure, organisation, detail oriented. The down side of the analyser is…
Lewis Howes: They could probably run a company well, they could run the structure of it, have the spreadsheets.
Chris Lee: Absolutely. Down to a ‘T’. And then the down side is, they lack passion, they lack spontaneity, sometimes you’ve got to put a mirror underneath their nose to see if they’re breathing, because a lot of times they show up dead. There’s just no expression. It’s like, from the neck down, not connected. I’m talking about severe cases obviously.
Lewis Howes: Sure.
Chris Lee: So, the gift of the analyser, of course, is that they are disciplined, they’re organised, they’re structured, they could set up systems and they could decipher problems and problem solving.
The down side is, by the time they get to it, someone else thought of it, and did it. So, if you have an analysing client, you need to make sure you got the information. Because not having your information clear is like being caught with your pants down.
It’s like, “Oh, got busted!” So you got to have the facts, the details, if you’re selling an analyser a car, you’ve got to have every single detail about that car, you’ve got to know your product, you’ve got to know what you’re communicating.
Same thing if you have an employee that’s an analyser, you’ve got to explain to them all the detail so that he can finally feel confident, and obviously coach him on being passionate, and coach him on being spontaneous.
Lewis Howes: So, to give an example of that, let’s say you’re selling a car, if you’re selling it to a promoter, you would say, “This is the fastest car on the road, and you’re going to have the best time! It’s going to be talk of the town, the way it looks!”
Chris Lee: “You’re going to look good in it! You’re going to look amazing in it! People are going to want to ride the car with you! You’re going to feel confident! You’re going to be a superstar!”
Lewis Howes: And if you’re selling to an analyser, you’re saying…
Chris Lee: “You’re going to get X amount of miles per gallons and the warranty is amazing, and the structure of it, and look, it’s got lithium, and it’s got this, and it’s got unbelievable steel.”
Lewis Howes: “And six cupholders.”
Chris Lee: Yeah, exactly! “And then the air conditioner has all these modules,” and they want to know all the details of the car, and how much money they’re going to put down and how much they’re going to save, and how, being with you, they’re saving money, and all the details.
Lewis Howes: And if it’s a supporter, “It’s going to feel very safe for your family, comfortable.”
Chris Lee: If it’s a supporter, “You’re going to feel safe, you’re going to be able to carry your entire family with you in this minivan,” because they all have minivans, because they want everybody in it.
Lewis Howes: Right, “Lots of space, to put the groceries, the dog.”
Chris Lee: Yeah, “You’re going to be able to carry people’s luggage and help people.”
Lewis Howes: “Take them to the airport.”
Chris Lee: “Carpool.” So, yeah, and if it’s a controller, they’ve got to feel how it’s never going to break down so, it’s reliable, you’ll be able to get to work on time, and you won’t miss days at work.”
Lewis Howes: “It’s efficient.”
Chris Lee: Yeah.
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And now, let’s get back to the conversation.
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Gretchen Rubin: Self knowledge! I mean, I really think when people know about the four tendencies, they really do, in my vanity, I have to believe that they really do see themselves differently and more clearly and then they understand others better, too, and they can see how to set up situations in a way that just allows everybody to thrive.
Lewis Howes: Helps them to thrive, but does it also give you peace of mind and clarity? What’s the main thing it does for you?
Gretchen Rubin: Yeah. Well, part of it is peace of mind, and it’s also compassion, it’s like, you’re struggling with something that’s easy for me, instead of feeling disdain for you, or being puzzled or frustrated that you’re not following through in a way that would make sense to me, I think, “Oh, well, somebody else just needs things to be set up in a different way. So, let’s set up the situation in a way that is going to allow you to thrive.”
The fact that I wouldn’t need this to be set up this way, doesn’t really matter. It’s like, “Okay, well you need something different from what I need, so, okay, well let’s just figure that out.”
Lewis Howes: Yeah, and Christine was going over these tendencies and she is the ‘obliger’.
Gretchen Rubin: Okay, well, that’s the biggest tendency, that’s the one the most people fit into, so it makes sense.
Lewis Howes: She said she’s like, when there’s challenges or rules that other people give her, she lives up to it, but if she sets her own rules, she’s like, “Eh, I can slide on these things.”
Gretchen Rubin: That’s obliger! Yeah.
Lewis Howes: She’s like, “That’s me!”
Gretchen Rubin: That is the definition of obliger.
Lewis Howes: And then, what am I, Christine? I’m a rebel?
Gretchen Rubin: When somebody else tells you to do something, you’re very likely to resist?
Lewis Howes: Yeah, I’m like, I resist, unless it’s my idea, it’s my vision, it’s my way.
Gretchen Rubin: That’s right, see, rebels can do anything they want to do. Shall I go through the framework?
Lewis Howes: Let’s do it, yes.
Gretchen Rubin: Okay, so it has to do with how people respond to expectations. Outer expectations, like a work deadline, or a request from a friend, or inner expectations – your own desire to keep a New Year’s Resolution, your own desire to write a novel in your free time.
So, upholders readily meet outer and inner expectations, they meet the work deadline, they keep the New Year’s Resolution without much fuss.
Lewis Howes: Upholders?
Gretchen Rubin: Upholders.
Lewis Howes: Anything that they set for themselves, or anyone else asks them to do, they do?
Gretchen Rubin: Yes.
Lewis Howes: Okay. Why do they do that?
Gretchen Rubin: Hermione Granger is, right now, probably the most famous upholder in the world.
Then questioners – questioners question all the expectations. They’ll do something if they think it makes sense. So, they make everything an inner expectation. If it meets their standard, the will meet it, no problem. It it fails their standard, they will resist.
They hate anything arbitrary, inefficient or unjustified. Whenever anybody uses the word, ‘arbitrary’, it’s a big warning sign that, it’s a big signal that they’re a questioner.
Then obligers. So, this is Christine, obliger, they readily meet outer expectations, but they struggle to meet inner expectations. Like, I had a friend who said, “Oh, when I was on a track team, I never missed track practice, so why can’t I go running now?”
It’s like, “Oh, when you had a team and a coach waiting for you, you had no trouble showing up, but when you were just trying to go running on your own, you struggle.”
And then, finally, rebels. Lewis, you’re a rebel. So, rebels resist all expectations, outer and inner alike. They want to do what they want to do in their own way, in their own time. If you ask or tell them to do something, they’re very likely to resist. Typically they don’t even want to tell themselves what to do.
Like, they might say, “I’m not going to sign up for a 10am spin class on Saturday, because I don’t know what I’m going to feel like doing on Saturday.”
Lewis Howes: That’s me! I don’t like planning anything!
Gretchen Rubin: That’s the thing. Spontaneity.
Lewis Howes: Wait until last minute, then I’ll plan and commit.
Gretchen Rubin: Yeah, a lot of spontaneity. Again, there’s certain things that people say, and you’re like, “Mm, that’s a tip off.” When anybody’s trying to talk about, it’s important if you’re spontaneous, I’m like, “I bet you’re a rebel.”
Lewis Howes: So, someone who likes to schedule out a year in advance, who’s that?
Gretchen Rubin: Well, that could be upholders or questioners or obligers, but that’s very typical of upholders. But, the thing about rebels – and I think you’re a great example of this, Lewis – is they can do anything they want to do. They can do anything they choose to do.
You and I are both friends with Chris Guillabeau, brilliant, great guy; he’s a rebel. Because, once they make up their mind, they can do anything, but the fact that you’re telling them to do something is not going to make them do it. It might make them be like, “You know what? You’re not the boss of me, I’m not going to do that right now,” or, “I’m not going to do it at all.”
Lewis Howes: It’s kind of like reverse psychology, if you tell me I can’t do something, then I’m going to rebel against you and I’m going to show you.
Gretchen Rubin: So, in that, people can use that. So, say for instance you have a rebel in your life and you want to encourage that person to quit smoking. You wouldn’t say, “You have to quit,” you wouldn’t say, “You should quit,” you shouldn’t say, “The doctor says you have to quit,” you shouldn’t say, “You promised me you’d quit.”
Lewis Howes: “I bet you can’t quit, though!”
Gretchen Rubin: Yeah! “Guy like you! You’ve been smoking ten years! You’re addicted, man!”
Lewis Howes: “There’s no way you can quit.”
Gretchen Rubin: “There’s no way you can quit, Big Tobacco’s got you right where they want you! You’re pouring money into their pockets, why even bother?”
Lewis Howes: “Don’t even try.”
Gretchen Rubin: “You can’t do it. Don’t even try!”
Lewis Howes: “Keep smoking for the rest of your life.”
Gretchen Rubin: Yeah, “Keep smoking, yeah, Big Tobacco, you’re the guy they’re depending upon, yeah. You’re stuck, you can’t quit.” And then often, they’ll do something in their own way, too. Like doing a typical cessation program. They’re like, “No, I’m just going to go hardcore and quit overnight and I’ll have my own system for doing it.”
Lewis Howes: Some or other process for them, that works.
Gretchen Rubin: They want to do it their way, yeah. So, sometimes you could say, “Well, sometimes this works for some people, and some people like this, and I’ve seen some people have success with this, and maybe you want to think about this, when you’re thinking about what would work for you. But then, it’s just whatever you think. Whatever works for you.”
“And, you know, I’ve seen you do amazing things in your time. If you make up your mind that you want to quit. I don’t know, maybe you could quit, because I’ve seen you do some pretty powerful stuff when that’s what you want, so, when you make up your mind,” you know, that kind of thing.
Lewis Howes: And are we born with these tendencies?
Gretchen Rubin: Yes.
Lewis Howes: We are?
Gretchen Rubin: I think they’re inborn, I think they’re part of our personality.
Lewis Howes: Or is it triggers of things that happened in our childhood that make us start resisting and reacting and then we become rebellious, or whatever, no?
Gretchen Rubin: I really think that these are inborn. You’re not one at twenty and one at forty. You’re not one at work and one at home. They’re really hard-wired into your personality.
* * *
Chris Kuenne: What’s fascinating about what we found in interviewing thousands of entrepreneurs, is that there’s not just one way to build a team. And so, when we looked at a whole series of factors that make up one’s personality, or we call it your ‘builder personality’, what we discovered is that there are actually four types.
You know, the press wants us to believe that you have to be like Steve Jobs or Elon Musk, and, in fact, that personality type exists, but it’s only one of four.
Lewis Howes: This genius, savant, type of like…
Chris Kuenne: Well, it’s that, and it’s hard driving, and the other key aspect of it is someone who focuses more on the product than the people or the problem or, perhaps, the mission. In fact, John will tell you a little bit about [that]. So, the driver is this, we like to say he’s product, or she’s produce fixated, but quite different from another type that we call…
Lewis Howes: Like, obsessed with the product, it’s got to be their way, perfect.
Chris Kuenne: Yeah, exactly.
Lewis Howes: It’s like when you hear the stories of Steve Jobs punching people or throwing stuff in the fishtank. It’s like, “There’s air bubbles in there!” or whatever, right?
Chris Kuenne: Exactly, exactly! But very different from the explorer. John will tell you a little bit about that.
John Danner: Yeah, the explorer is really the puzzle solver. The explorer is really drawn to the intricacy of some challenge, and almost see the entrepreneurial activity as a way of commercialising this ingenious solution that they’ve come up with.
They have a tendency to shift their curiosity, because the next new puzzle may attract them before they’ve had an opportunity to fully scale.
Lewis Howes: Shiny ball syndrome. It’s hard to keep them focussed on one thing for few years, or even a few moments.
John Danner: Yeah, or to recognise the diversity of the talents that they need to surround themselves with so that the business can actually scale, based on that initial solution.
Lewis Howes: As opposed to it just being the million dollar idea guy.
John Danner: That’s right!
Lewis Howes: It’s like, “I’ve got this million idea, let’s do it! And then another!”
Chris Kuenne: That’s the first one, that’s the driver, million dollar idea, it’s all about the idea.
Lewis Howes: That’s not the explorer?
John Danner: Yeah, so that’s the explorer. The explorer’s about, that’s the systems, that’s the systems analytic, the puzzle solver.
Lewis Howes: The puzzle solver, got it.
John Danner: The puzzle solver. So, the third one is what we call the crusader, and the crusader is somebody who is fundamentally inspired by long term vision. Sometimes not even a vision about the business, per se. You might become an entrepreneur by accident, almost, if you think about a couple of crusaders like Ben & Jerry’s, you know?
Was Ben & Jerry’s created to sell ice-cream, or was it created to sell social change, using ice-cream, and using the social benefit and the quality of ingredients as a way of getting the message out to millions and millions of people?
So, those are the first three, and then the fourth one…
Chris Kuenne: Yeah, and then the last one is the captain, and so, if the first one’s about product, the second is about problem, the third is about mission, the captain is really most about people.
Of course, they all have to worry about people, but just like when you played sports, the captain of the team could tap the inner productivity of the team, right? Could go to the guy who’s not playing well, and say the right things to get him or her to play better.
So, the captain taps that sense of productivity in a way that the others don’t.
Lewis Howes: Right, so if you’re a driver, then you need a captain on your team.
Chris Kuenne: Such a great point, right? Such a great point!
Lewis Howes: So you can’t do it on your own without having a captain.
Chris Kuenne: You are an amazing dude, because you just went to the very last chapter, where we talk about the fact that these four actually pair quite elegantly in terms of their ability to teach one another. The driver needs to learn from the captain, and vice versa; the crusader from the explorer and vice versa.
Lewis Howes: Can someone be all of them, or a mixture?
John Danner: Well, it’s interesting, you know, let’s use you, you were a decathlete earlier in your career. So, we suggest that, basically, at some point, yes, you have to know yourself, we pay homage to Socrates, of course, but if we were going to amend that statement, it would really be, “Apply yourself.” Use the knowledge that you have and then put it into action.
* * *
Lewis Howes: Oh, yes, there you have it my friends! Understanding Human Psychology, lewishowes.com/656. If you enjoyed this one, make sure to share with your friends, tag me on your Instagram story and let me know what you think.
This is all about how do we understand ourselves better. How do we understand the way we think, the way we feel, and optimise this process so we can optimise our lives.
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And as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you into something else, is the greatest accomplishment.”
Again, you are a unique individual in the world. No one is like you! No one has your make-up, no one has your abilities, you are different, you are special, you are unique. And it’s important to understand your own psychology, what makes you tick, what makes you unique in that way, so that you can learn to connect with other people and pursue the life of your dreams.
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