Waking Up as a Rational
An investigation into my place in the Keirsey Temperament Spectrum
Personality tests where never really my favorite thing in the world. As frequent and common as they are on the internet these days, I have always managed to avoid the links sent from friends. I was always aloof to the results, even as to what Marvel superhero I was. However, the survey for the Keirsey Temperament System intrigues me. The test was an appropriate length, but not excessive. The questions were interestingly simple, asking such things as “Do you like to pick up the phone or let someone else get it?” Unlike The Political Compass Test online, the questions for the Keirsey Temperament System could be answered in a heartbeat.
After taking the test, the numbers were crunched and I was plucked as a Rational. These kind of people are independent and fiercely logical. We are often cold and distant, but in our way we are simply dedicated to achieving a higher level of understanding. Rationals are complex problem solvers, whether it be building a skyscraper, a physics theory, or even a successful nation. Rationals like myself pride themselves on ingenuity and problem solving skills. However, we are also liable to throw aside established methods or authority if we see it as wasteful or unnecessary.
There are certain patterns of behavior exhibited by Rationals. For instance, as a Rational I am prone to working tirelessly on a project I have set my mind too. I am likely to seem distant and cold during work, but this is due to the level of concentration devoted to my work. When recognized for my abilities and perhaps placed in charge of others, I am likely to wish to return to my previous assignments where I can work at my own pace and without the obstacles of management. I am also likely to frown upon authority and workplace practices if they can be seen as hindering my progress. Rationals are also exceedingly skeptical, and at work I am likely to be skeptical of all ideas, including my own, until proof can be reached. As a Rational I am likely to have little respect for political correctness and immense respect for innovation and results.
Upon finishing the Keirsey Test, I took some time to reflect upon the results and tried to draw connections between my life and the life of a Rational. I tried all four temperaments, actually, and though I wished that I could be an Artisan all roads led me back to Rational. I believe that Rational is a valid placement for me in the Keirsey System.
One of the convincing arguments for me was the people in my life that I connect to and identify with. Most of these are other Rationals. All of my favorite teachers in high school are without a doubt Rationals. They dealt with the schools methods as needed, but often with resentment for reducing the efficiency of the learning capabilities of the school. All brilliant minds, a few were members of MENSA and all were immensely dedicated to their work, hating interruptions. Another suspected Rational in my life is my father. Even from early childhood I cannot remember my father ever being anything but innovative, determined, and independent of social taboo. Even now, as a retired man around the house, my father is always looking to streamline the systems within the house, be it laundry or dishes. To him the old comfortable ways of the past, even as insignificant as washing clothes, are wrong when better methods are available.
I believe that Rational is the best fit for me and my goals. I am very independent of others, and I tend to work how I feel will be most effective to the ultimate goal. I feel I am also extremely dedicated to understanding in my learning. Satisfaction comes for me when I can use my understand of the world to produce results on my own. Often my methods of thinking seems strange to others, but I'd rather work by myself as I see fit than waste time with others who are not operating at 100% efficiency.
The leadership abilities of a Rational can be deeply impacted by their personalities. For instance, as a Rational I am excessively independent in my work, and thin patience results from working in groups that do not share my specific understanding or will to continue. However, my strong will and logical ways can be used to combat that impatience and ultimately inspire achievement. Though being distant is mostly seen as a significant hindering to leadership, it keeps my unbiased from personal involvement in any decision and ultimately, like an engineer should be, devoted to results. Another double-edged sword in the mind of a Rational is the prospect of casting aside authority and established methods. One way hand I being a leader without consideration for the social practices involved with interacting with my team could deter some great people from working with me. However, since a system that belittles progress is evil in my eyes, if a member of my team exhibited such behavior in achieving a substantial result I would at first see the progress in the results rather than the problem in breaking code.
In any leadership position, interactions with other people unlike oneself are inevitable. The following table, as suggested in the paper guidelines, demonstrates how each temperament on the Keirsey Scale has distinct advantages and disadvantages, and how these can place against those of other temperaments to help with respective problem areas. For instance, when one mixes the strong will of a Rational and the impulsive yet original thinking of an Artisan, the two can work together to tie together the scattered workings of the Artisan an land with a solid, quality solution.
I can see these relationships in my everyday life. My best friend, for example, is considered an Artisan in the Keirsey System. The two of us often worked on projects in high school together with a Guardian, who would often be the one returning our brainstorms to a common methodology. I believe that the three of us worked very well in balancing each others traits. Drew the Artisan had a powerhouse of an academic mind, but often would find himself distracted or unable to located notes. As the Guardian Adrian would almost always play his role as our safety controller in working methods and concepts. As the Rational, I was often spending other class periods working on the drawings and research.
In conclusion, I feel the the role of Rational is a good fit for me. Once the qualities and typical actions of a Rational were pointed out to me by the Keirsey Temperament Spectrum, I almost instantly recognized them in my past actions, present choices, and even future goals. While in part I do wish that my results fit that of a carefree Artisan, I am beyond satisfied with my analysis. If anything, I hope that this analysis of my personality can help me to trust my working methods and accomplish great things.