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Working Effectively With Different Personality Types

by Diana Khanagov
January/February 2007
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/working-effectively-with-different-personality-types/5017366/

Whether it’s NAEYC accreditation or helping a child move from diapers to toilet, a child care career promises plenty of opportunities to work with people with the same goals but different ideas about how to approach and achieve them. These differences, ever so slight changes in viewpoint, can cause friction, feuds, and overall frustration that makes one throw up his hands and ask, “Why can’t everyone just do it my way?”

At times, these differences lead us to toss people into negative categories. A teacher who plans the smallest details of the day is obsessive, while the teacher who leaves free time in the planning book for spontaneous activity is lazy. In 1921, Carl Jung wrote about four different types of personality, identified 24 centuries ago by Hippocrates. Jung was ahead of his colleagues at the time when he theorized that these differences were not abnormalities in personality. Instead, he maintained that human behavior is predictable and classifiable, that we each have and act upon personal preferences, established early in childhood. He maintained that we choose our preference out of habit just as we choose to write with the left hand or the right hand. There isn’t a right preference or a ...

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