Personality Dimensions® – Musings from the Back Office

Why Was Personality Dimensions® Developed?

listening dog

Every once in a while someone will ask me why we developed Personality Dimensions®. To answer I tell the story of a meeting of career counsellors and resource people that took place in the late ‘80’s. I had taken along a pile of new things that I thought the group would be interested in knowing about and was seated at my usual place at the back of the room. This was a great group of people; we knew each other well and took great delight in sharing information and networking, all with the goal of providing the best for the students we helped. Since this meeting was in the Toronto area it was well attended with about 50 or 60 people present. From the front of the room the head of career services for the largest public school board in Canada called to me and asked if I knew of something that they could use with students who were on track to be early school leavers. These kids had had enough, wanted out and wouldn’t be sticking around; and the career counsellors and educators were looking for something that would help them as they moved into this new phase of their lives. She asked for something that would help the students learn about themselves, perhaps understand why they didn’t do well in the school environment and maybe help them in their job hunt. Oh, and by the way, it couldn’t look like anything else they had done at school! A tall order, for sure!

That was the very beginning of how I became involved in working with temperament theory models. Personality Dimensions® evolved as we realized that far more research needed to be done, both on the tool itself and on the theory that it supported, to make the theory more usable and acceptable in the Canadian cultural context. We asked for input from facilitators, counsellors, educators and individuals from all walks of life on what would make it as useful and valuable as possible and how the final tool should look. And these folks were very generous in their support. They participated in the baseline survey we devised to determine statistical validity; some attended Focus Groups across the country and we paid attention to every concrete suggestion made for any and all aspects of the system.

So, in short, Personality Dimensions® was developed because we listened. You asked for it, you shaped it and you continue to evolve it through your suggestions, comments and feedback. And I promise you that we’ll keep listening and trying to help just like we did way back in the late ‘80’s (or, as my kids used to say, “back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and Mom was young”).

Yours, from the back office … Denise


Denise Hughes is the Director and owner of Denise HeadshotCareer/LifeSkills Resources Inc. and general editor of Personality Dimensions® materials and products. She just noticed the calendar and realized it is just past the 41st anniversary of her introduction to career and type and temperament materials. Those experiences and the expertise she gained through her years with the Guidance Centre, University of Toronto, and now with CLSR, continue to shape the direction that both Career/LifeSkills Resources and Personality Dimensions® take.

3 thoughts on “Personality Dimensions® – Musings from the Back Office

  1. Thanks Denise! This is helpful information since I am always stating how proud I am to be delivering a Canadian product. Now I know “the why” behind its existence, which makes the part of me that is “Inquiring Green” excited.

    Liked by 1 person

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