I've been to plenty of seminars and discussion groups about understanding personality type. They're the kind of thing that are always used to pad out the slot before lunch on team-building courses. Many's the time I've been stuck with a whole load of Shapers as they've enthusiastically envisaged a future of cooperation while the Completer/Finisher in me has just wanted them all to agree to stop talking and head for the canteen. I've also sat by quietly as a bunch of extroverts have argued on how to bring out the best in the introverts around them. On one occasion, in order to encourage my repressed spontaneity, I even had to report the team's conclusions while bouncing on a trampoline.
The one personality trait that always seems to surface, however, is my low tolerance for discussion groups. I can't stand them.
Thankfully, I think I may have found the solution to avoiding them in future. Having presented all my children with the opportunity to visit the Build-A-Bear Workshop, I've discovered a whole new way to assess personalities in a creative and visual manner.
Lewis, being the calm and gentle type, built a laid-back frog wearing a dressing gown:
*Picture removed due to a seven-year-old bursting into tears because he was adamant that his frog didn't want to be famous. :-(
Rather than having an afternoon at the shops with Sarah, Fraser decided he'd prefer to stay at home with me, spend twenty minutes building a snowman and then the rest of the time playing the Wii. Unfortunately, due to a lack of sculpting practice, combined with snow that refused to stick together, it didn't all go entirely to plan. The snowman came out looking pre-melted:
Top marks for effort, though, and at least I won't have to try to eBay it in a few years' time.
Unlike Marie's creation:
Note the sparkly butterfly wings on the costume. She wanted roller skates as well but they weren't compatible with the high heels.
All in all, it's possible to learn an awful lot about my kids from what they made. I think this is a pretty conclusive proof of concept - every office worker in the land should have a self-built bear on their desk, then their colleagues would know exactly what to expect and what sort of person they were dealing with.
I must mention my findings to Useless Dad for the next management training course he runs. I could be onto something special here...
Yours in a woman's world,
PS EdgeOfTheOtherworld.com is back today.