Ray Lincoln is the founder of Ray W. Lincoln & Associates, providing life coaching, parenting seminars, personal growth seminars, marriage seminars and more.
I looked in the mirror this morning and all I could see was how I was built on the outside. Is there a mirror for showing us how we are built on the inside? I think so. In fact, I know so!
Think about this. Most of us are either parents or grandparents and we are the experts at knowing our child’s or grandchild’s behavior. We study their behavior, laugh about it, admire it, correct it, and pray about it. It fills our minds. But wouldn’t it be wonderful to know why they do the things they do? How about why they think and feel the way they do? That would give us a tremendous advantage in the most difficult and demanding task in this universe – raising, training, and leading the complicated human species. We could even do with a better understanding of ourselves. Right?
How we are made on the inside (or if you like, how God has made us on the inside) is the compelling story of temperaments. It’s all about how our personalities shape all we do and how our lives can develop to reach the potential of their individual designs.
Why has the study of the four temperaments stood the test of two and a half millenniums and remained as helpful today as it was in the beginning? Because it is useful, accurate, and produces results in all our relationships.
By completing a temperament assessment you will find the mirror you have been looking for. (You can find two temperament keys — one for yourself and one for discovering your child’s temperament — in my book, I’m a Keeper.) Once you know your temperament and that of your child, you will know the strengths, the urges that have lurked unexplained in you and your child, the drives that mold the child’s life and the direction that will keep both your lives on the track where performance is at its best.
When we oppose these drives in our children we meet resistance and, sometimes, big trouble. No one method of parenting fits all temperaments, and the only way to parent and lead with success is to parent to the individual temperaments of our children. Try setting tight boundaries on the risk taking, bold, fun-at-all-costs temperament, and you will understand what I mean. Withdraw from the super-sensitive child and speak harshly to them, and you will find they develop into your worst nightmare. Invade the space of an introvert when their battery is flat, and you will unleash their anger; or fail to approve an extrovert and you will lose them. The complications are endless and we need a user-friendly guide to walk through the minefield of relationships in parenting.
Parenting is leadership of the most difficult kind. Perhaps all leaders could find great benefit from the parenting/grand parenting school in leadership training. A leader must understand those they lead in order to develop them to their potential. Children will soon teach us that. Parenting also develops the intuition that sees behind the mists of behavior and into the depths of true motivation, a task in which we all need the steady hand of understanding. Understanding leads to wisdom, but snub its offer and we may enter the maze of foolhardiness and find its impact devastating to our relationships.
This article is an adapted excerpt from the book, I’m A Keeper, by Ray W. Lincoln. Ray is offering a great package of supporting gifts for a limited time to those who purchase I’m a Keeper. Go here to access this helpful book and the incredible offer.
Great blog post Mark. I especially like the line, “A leader must understand those they lead in order to develop them to their potential.”
Every powerful quote right there. Keep up the good work Mark!
Karl G Larsen
Articles on temperament have always fascinated me. I know that the cookie cutter approach to dealing with those one leads- whether it be your own children, those you work with or those in your personal life- the one size fits all does not apply. We are all shaped by our life experiences- it’s what sets us apart from the next person. It’s so interesting to find out what makes people tick- and use to that information to form better relationships.