25. Oct, 2018

Are People Really That Predictable?

Several readers following these articles have asked if people are really this predictable and the answer is an emphatic, yes!

Though some practitioners in my world argue in favour of genetics (nature) over learned behaviour (nurture), we argue that learned behaviour makes up the bulk of normal personality [see personality definition in last week’s BLOG].

Within that definition, each person’s personality is ‘wired’ by their 5th birthday and, though all personality trait models are founded on the original observations of the 5th-century Greek Physician Hippocrates, too many modern practitioners overcomplicate the simple observations in recognising HOW someone wants to be dealt with, right now.

Some Background

After observing his patients, Hippocrates concluded that each of the four personality types was determined by biological conditions and as a leading physician of his day gave rather clinical descriptions to each of the four types, which isn’t too helpful in daily recognition of the two key behaviour characteristics that everyone possesses.

Today, we know that personality is essentially determined by learned behaviour, not biology!


Each of us has two degrees of ‘control’:

1)   Emotiveness ~ a readily observable tendency to keep our feelings to ourselves OR to freely display them!

2)   Assertiveness ~ a readily observable tendency to tell others what to do OR to ask them to do it!

No Second Chances

When people encounter each other, first impressions are critical and if you’ve ever felt uncomfortable in someone’s presence without knowing exactly why you’ll know what I mean!

Though formal profiling through dedicated questionnaire allows for the degree of extreme in one direction or the other, for everyday purposes using a best guess on someone’s high or low emotiveness, and high or low assertiveness is sufficiently accurate to establish a productive relationship.

On the odd occasions when it seems harder to best-guess a particular individual, however, that person is probably displaying a higher level of psychologically maturity meaning any close similarities or gross differences between you are less important within that relationship [see online store BEST YOU Part III ‘Motivating Values’].

Our COOL / TELLER, COOL / ASKER, WARM / TELLER and WARM / ASKER model is easy to remember and highly descriptive in everyday situations for every business manager, co-worker, sales professional, parent, teacher and other practitioners who wishes to get on with more people, more often [see online store BEST YOU Part I, “Who Do I Think I Am?”]

Personality Age

Another popular question we receive is whether getting older has any effect on personality and whilst advancing years can seem to mellow some people, we've found no correlation between ageing and changes to predominant personality. So, why wait until you’ve retired to learn how to get on better with people in general and those who are most important to you in particular?  

NOTE: Fundamental and permanent change in personality is usually associated with severe mental trauma and is beyond the scope of this article. 

To arrange your introductory workshop, email john@uetp.co.uk or call 00 44 7900 251 258 and discover “Who Do I Think I Am?