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Faces Change, Personality Types Don’t

Let’s say you’re a teacher or a coach.
You look out over a group of 12. We choose the number 12 arbitrarily, because it’s the size of a basketball team or a volleyball team, or the amount of students in a small class.
You meet them on Day 1, and as time goes by, you get to know them better. You learn their strengths and weaknesses, what makes them tick. Or maybe you never do.
What types of personalities and behaviors would you find as you cross from one group to another?
We can agree on a few at the start.
There’s the person who meets and even surpasses expectations.
There’s the one who does the work satisfactorily, but nothing more.
There’s the one who could excel with just a little more effort.
There’s the one who always seems to swim cross-current, never in line with the aims of the group.
These types have consistently appeared in my quarter-century of coaching at the middle school, high school and NCAA level. They appear in classrooms, office settings, and on sports teams.
The fact that certain personality types repeat themselves across broad ranges of human experience suggests that what you see in any group is not random, but what we can call a natural distribution. Perhaps nature generates these types in an ordered and useful way, the same way it produces the ratio of male and female offspring.
Let’s go back to the four personality types listed above. As an admissions officer, or sports team executive, which one would you choose? The answer is not as clear-cut as it might seem. Each group contains underlying factors that can either lead you astray, or help you uncover what we call an “invisible gem.”
For now, I’d love to hear from teachers, coaches, anyone who must evaluate and develop human potential: What personality types do you consistently see in your work?


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