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Please Understand Me: Character and Temperament Types

David Keirsey & Marilyn Bates
Prometheus Nemesis Book Co., 1984
ISBN 0-9606954-0-0

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Do you understand yourself; that is, do you know your character and temperament type? Do you understand your significant other or your children? If they donĀ¹t act or think like you, do you know why? Do you try to change them or mold them into you? If you do, you need to read Please Understand Me.

This book asks you to complete a questionnaire, similar to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test and read a picture of yourself. Dr Keirsey challenges the reader to "Abandon the Pygmalion Project," that endless and fruitless attempt to change the Other into a carbon copy of Oneself.

Table of Contents:

  1. Different Drums and Different Drummers
  2. The Four Temperaments
  3. Mating and Temperament
  4. Temperament in Children
  5. Temperament in Leading

  6. Appendix: The Sixteen Types

This book can help your in your career and in your every day life, by understanding that not everyone thinks, acts, feels and judges the same as you do. The application to managing projects is that as a project manager, you manage people. Project members must function as a team. Understanding that each team member has something different to offer, because they all have different opinions and suggestions, challenges the Project Manager to use different leadership and motivational techniques in managing a team.

You can also have fun with this book. Last summer, I gave the questionnaire to all my relatives at our vacation site and then read back a description of their personality traits. If answered honestly, you may be surprised by how little you know about yourself and others. Good reading for all!

Contributed by Ron Jotz, Integrated Project Systems

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