I write a lot about my Four Tendencies framework — and Elizabeth and I have talked a lot about it on our podcast. To find out if you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel, go here, or take the online Quiz here.
I so appreciate all the readers and listeners who have shared their insights and experiences — it has given me such deeper insight into the Four Tendencies.
I introduce the framework in my book Better Than Before, and ever since the book came out, I’ve been deluged with people wanting more information about the Four Tendencies, how they interact. “How do I manage my Rebel child?” “How do I hire only Obligers?” “How can Questioners avoid analysis paralysis?” “Can’t you give more ideas for how Rebels can change their habits?” are some of the questions I keep getting.
So I’m working on a whole book on the Four Tendencies. With every book I write –I think, boy, it will never get better than this, I’ll never have this much fun writing a book again. And then I do. I never forget how lucky I am.
As I’m writing, I’d love to learn more about what you think about the following issues (or anything else, really):
- Can you think of any famous examples of the Four Tendencies? Either in real life (Andre Agassi is an Obliger) or fictional (Hermione Granger is an Upholder).
- Obligers, I’d love to hear about your experiences with Obliger-rebellion. What triggered it — and I’m even more curious to hear — what stopped it or cured it? Or if you’re close to an Obliger (and all of us are, because it’s such a large group), how did you address Obliger-rebellion?
- If you’re someone who’s in a long-term relationship with a Rebel (which means you’re very likely to be an Obliger), how does that work out? One particular question: Does it give you a feeling of greater control of how things are done, do you respond to that?
- What do you like or dislike about your Tendency? What would be the motto for your Tendency?
- Have you noticed that you get along better, or worse, with a particular Tendency, and if so, why?
- If you use the Four Tendencies at work, I’d love to hear about that. If you use it as a doctor, in hiring, as a nutritionist, as a teacher, as a manager, etc. — tell me about that.
- How do you think your Tendency suits you to your job — or not?
- How does your Tendency influence your romantic relationships?
- Finally — and this is a big one — I need help with the title. I want to call the book “The Four _____ Tendencies” or “The Four Tendencies of _____.” How would you fill in that blank? Ideally, it’s a word that’s concrete and colorful and adds a layer of meaning beyond “Tendency” really to explain what this framework is about. Similar to “The Five Love Languages.” Abstract concepts or adjectives, like Personality, Fundamental, Responsive, Self-Knowledge are apt but, I suspect, not as compelling. Think away! GOLD STAR if you come up with something terrific.
This is a lot of questions, I know, but I’m so curious.
Thanks, as always, for sending my your observations. I’m endlessly fascinated by the Four Tendencies, and just can’t read and hear enough about how they play out in people’s lives. Henry James himself couldn’t invent these marvelous, precise, riveting examples.
Let me know what you think, what you’ve noticed, what you’ve experienced.