From Conversations with Designer Theorizers


The following is adapted from Linda V. Berens and Dario Nardi, The 16 Personality Types: Descriptions for Self-Discovery (Telos Publications, 1999) *Used with permission.

What's it like to be you?

Descriptions for Self-Discovery

I want to know the truth and get down to the bottom of things. It's an internal life, living in the head, theorizing constantly about how things work.

I can link many thoughts and shoot off in multiple directions at once in an attempt to clarify and explain things really well or to try to represent the fullness of who I am and all the different things I can do and can't do. I like to design-not just implementation but the stuff before that. There is a goal, a theme, and I start from that and work through the specifics one by one, keeping the whole thing integrated as I go, until I come up with "the elegant solution." Often when I talk to people they only get from me a few steps-one, thirteen, a hundred. That's all that gets verbalized, and what's very clear to me either I've forgotten or find unnecessary to say out loud, which can come across as confusing at times.

I am very knowledge and big picture oriented. I want to bring everything that can be known into understanding a problem or situation. I enjoy working with those who think like I do but verbalize better. We can end up leaping forward rapidly and building off of ideas, asking questions with an answer in mind but wanting to verify things and learn more. If I am knowledgeable in that area, I always have something to add, to help better understand the idea and add something new. Although sometimes, even when I know we agree, people feel like I am trying to challenge them, which is frustrating because I am just doing it out of excitement. I try to understand all the variables and possible influences and then apply as broad a range of information as I can bring to the problem, to impact why the problem exists. I am interested in developing new skills and trying new ideas with those skills, and I am a good team member, and yet sometimes a little group work can go a long way. Most of all, I love to learn.

Central for me is honesty and integrity, especially intellectual integrity. If it's not an honest approach to the issue at hand or to the relationship or organization, then it becomes an illusion-it only appears to have substance. I respect people who are genuine, honest, and open and doing what they are good at and what they enjoy and are up front about what is important to them...

I can be seen as too unfeeling, too quick to start into work with not enough basis laid out for the day, and I'm not much for the personal amenities or socializing. Yet it is important that others are aware they are important to me. It's not the first thing, but it's in my awareness. I tend to try solving personal problems all by myself. Then sometimes I wind up without accurate information from others or about how it will affect others. I believe there must be an answer or a solution if I can just figure it out.

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