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Personality: What Type Are You?

June 1, 2008
Our personality type determines how we interact with our world, how we gather information, how we make decisions, and how we orient our lifestyles. It is who we are and dictates how we communicate with others.
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Our personality type determines how we interact with our world, how we gather information, how we make decisions, and how we orient our lifestyles. It is who we are and dictates how we communicate with others.

In the previous article we discussed personality type and temperament as defined by Dr. David Keirsey. The 16 types were identified based on specific personality traits that people exhibit. You had the opportunity to review the traits and determine what type you felt you were. Hopefully, you had the chance to visit a Web site ( or and complete the actual Keirsey questionnaire and compare those results with what you originally came up with. If not, you can visit at any time to do so. We're now going to discuss the four temperaments — Guardian, Idealist, Artisan, and Rational — as defined by Dr. Keirsey.

In his book People Patterns: A Modern Guide to the Four Temperaments, Dr. Stephen Montgomery uses an analogy based on four of the main characters in J.K. Rowling's wonderful and imaginative Harry Potter books. Ms. Rowling clearly wants to establish distinct personalities for her characters and does so quite well. And, as the characters age and grow with each new adventure, so do their personalities. Dr. Montgomery selects the following as representative of the four temperaments:

Hagrid — This gentle giant who was expelled from his third year at Hogwart's due to his very adventurous and impulsive nature. He is representative of the Artisan.

Ron Weasley — This loyal young man has the secret desire to be Gryffindor house prefect like his older brother. He is representative of the Guardian.

Harry Potter — This spirited young man must fight the evil that destroyed his family while at the same time trying to understand his own nature. He is representative of the Idealist.

Hermione Granger — This spunky young lady keeps her nose in the books and seems to always know the answers. She is representative of the Rational.

The latter three were all placed in the same house, Gryffindor, by the Sorting Hat since they all represent chivalry and are similar in their fight for what is right and what is wrong

On that note, I'd like to follow with the four temperaments, each of them inclusive of four of the personality types.

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The Artisan
All Artisans share the following core characteristics:

  • They tend to be fun-loving, optimistic, realistic, and focused on today.
  • They pride themselves on being unconventional, bold, and spontaneous.
  • They make playful mates, creative parents, and troubleshooting leaders.
  • They are excitable, trust their impulses, seek stimulation, value freedom, and dream of mastering action skills.

    The Composer — ISFP
    These introverted sensing types are quiet, sensitive, and modest about their abilities. They don't enjoy leadership but are very loyal followers. They don't like disagreements and usually don't force their opinions on others. They are relaxed about getting things done because they live in the moment and don't want to spoil it by hurrying.

    The Crafter — ISTP
    These introverted sensing types are quiet, reserved, and cool onlookers. They like to observe and analyze life with a detached approach and a bit of humor. They are interested in cause and effect and why things work the way they do. They organize facts by using logical principles.
    Famous Crafters: Michael Jordan, Lance Armstrong, Chuck Yeager, Woody Allen

    The Performer — ESFP
    These extroverted sensing types are outgoing, accepting, and enjoy everything. They know what is going on and jump right in. They like facts better than theories as they are easier to remember. They thrive on sound common sense and practicality with people and things.
    Famous Performers: Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland, Bill Clinton, Elvis Presley

    The Promoter — ESTP
    These extroverted sensing types are good at on-the-spot problem-solving. They are not worriers but instead enjoy what life brings them. They are adaptable, tolerant, and usually conservative in values. They want to get right to the point so they dislike long explanations. They work best with things that are tangible and can be handled.
    Famous Promoters: Ernest Hemingway, Donald Trump, Teddy Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy

    The Guardian

    All Guardians share the following core characteristics:

    • They pride themselves on being dependable, helpful, and hard-working.
    • They make loyal mates, responsible parents, and stabilizing leaders.
    • They tend to be dutiful, cautious, and credential and tradition focused.
    • They are concerned citizens who trust authority, join groups, seek security, and dream of administering justice.

    The Inspector — ISTJ
    These introverted sensing types are serious, quiet, and successful through concentration and thoroughness. They are practical, logical, realistic, and see to it that everything is organized. They like responsibility and are not easily distracted. They make up their minds as to what needs to be accomplished and work steadily to achieve it.
    Famous Inspectors: Queen Victoria, J.D. Rockefeller, Harry S. Truman, Warren Buffet

    The Protector — ISFJ
    These introverted sensing types are quiet, friendly, and conscientious. They work hard to meet obligations and are patient with details. They are stable, loyal, perceptive, and considerate of how others feel.
    Famous Protectors: Mother Teresa, Jimmy Stewart, George H.W. Bush

    The Provider — ESFJ
    These extroverted sensing types are warm-hearted, talkative, born cooperators, and active committee members. They need harmony and are often good at creating it. They enjoy being involved in activities that help people's lives.
    Famous Providers: Dolley Madison, Barbara Walters, J.C. Penney, Sam Walton

    The Supervisor — ESTJ
    These extroverted sensing types are practical, realistic, and matter-of-fact. They are not interested in subjects they have no use for but will apply themselves if necessary. They like to organize and be in charge of activities. They make good administrators but sometimes may forget about others' feelings in the process.
    Famous Supervisors: Judge Judy, Sandra Day O'Connor, Mike Wallace, Vince Lombardi

    The Idealist

    All Idealists share the following core characteristics:

    • They pride themselves on being loving, kindhearted, and authentic.
    • They tend to be giving, trusting, spiritual, and believers of human potential.
    • They make intense mates, nurturing parents, and inspirational leaders.
    • They are enthusiastic, trust their intuition, seek romance, and dream of attaining wisdom.

    The Champion — ENFP
    These extroverted intuiting types are warmly enthusiastic, high-spirited, ingenious, and imaginative. They are able to do almost anything that interests them. They often improvise instead of prepare ahead of time and can find compelling reasons for whatever they want. They are also always ready to help anyone with a problem.
    Famous Champions: Phil Donahue, Joan Baez, Charles Dickens, Bill Moyer

    The Counselor — INFJ
    These introverted intuiting types are quietly forceful, conscientious, and concerned for others. They succeed by perseverance, originality, and a desire to do whatever is needed or wanted. They are likely to be respected for their clear convictions in how to best serve the common good.
    Famous Counselors: Mohandas Gandhi, Sidney Poitier, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jane Goodall

    The Healer — INFP
    These introverted intuiting types are full of enthusiasm and loyalties, but rarely talk about them until they know you better. They tend to take on too much but manage to get it done anyway. They are friendly but often seem unsociable due to their self-absorption. They have little use for possessions or physical surroundings.
    Famous Healers: Princess Diana, Audrey Hepburn, George Orwell, Richard Gere

    The Teacher — ENFJ
    These extroverted intuiting types are responsive and responsible, sociable, and popular. They feel a real concern for what others think or want and try to handle things with due regard for others' feelings. They lead a group with ease and tact and are responsive to praise and criticism.
    Famous Teachers: Oprah Winfrey, Ralph Nader, Margaret Mead, Pope John Paul II

    The Rational (NT)

    All Rationals share the following core characteristics:

    • They tend to be pragmatic, skeptical, self-contained, and focused on problem-solving and systems analysis.
    • They pride themselves on being ingenious, independent, and strong willed.
    • They make reasonable mates, individualizing parents, and strategic leaders.
    • They are even-tempered, trust logic, yearn for achievement, seek knowledge, and dream of understanding how the world works

      The Architect — INTP
      These introverted intuiting types are quiet and reserved and enjoy theoretical and scientific pursuits. They like using logic and analyses when solving problems. They have little need for parties or small talk. They tend to have strong interests and like to use these in their work.
      Famous Architects: Gregory Peck, Charles Darwin, Thomas Jefferson, David Keirsey

      The Fieldmarshal — ENTJ
      These extroverted intuiting types are hearty, frank, and decisive leaders. They are good with anything that requires reasoning and intelligent talk, such as public speaking. They are well informed and enjoy adding to their knowledge base. They may appear more positive and confident than they actually are.
      Famous Fieldmarshals: Bill Gates, Napoleon Bonaparte, Golda Meir, Carl Sagan

      The Inventor — ENTP
      These extroverted intuiting types are quick, ingenious, and very good at many things. They may argue on both sides of a question just because they can. They are resourceful in solving challenging problems but can not be depended upon with routine assignments. They are skillful in finding logical reasons for what they want.
      Famous Inventors: Walt Disney, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Mark Twain

      The Mastermind — INTJ
      These introverted intuiting types are skeptical, critical, determined, and sometimes stubborn. They usually have original minds and great drive for their own ideas and purposes. They have a great power to organize a job and carry it out with or without help.
      Famous Masterminds: Dwight Eisenhower, Stephen Hawking, Sir Isaac Newton, Ulysses S. Grant

      Do these descriptions accurately represent you and your type? Do you feel that you can relate to any of the famous individuals listed? As I stated previously, remember that your type is simply representative of who you are in general and that each of us has a little of each of the preferences and types indicated. Use who you are in relating to others and remember, their differences can be an advantage to you and make you a better person if you heed them. Embrace who you are and make the best of it!

      About the Author

      Stephanie Wall, RDH, MSDH, MEd, has been in dental hygiene for 21 years as a clinician and educator. Her company, Dentally Speaking, offers services in personality assessment, identifying learning styles, behavior modification in patient education, and emotional intelligence. She is currently certified to administer the Keirsey Temperament Sorter" (KTSII) and Integrated Performance Management" (IPM) assessments. She is available for speaking engagements, workshops, seminars, and private practice consulting. You may contact her at [email protected], by visiting, or by phone at (952) 818-5057.