Personality Dimensions® Statistics

PD Stats Robot (Patent Pending)
PD Stats Robot (Patent Pending)

It’s that time of year again when the PD Stats Robot (patent pending) finally gets to take a rest after crunching a year’s worth of Personality Dimensions® workshop statistics.  The PD Stats Robot and the rest of the staff at Career/LifeSkills Resources Inc. would like to thank all of the Certified Trainers who took the time to send in their workshop statistics over the past year.  Collecting workshop statistics allows us to do further research on the reliability and validity of Personality Dimensions®.  If you look at the Primary Colour Breakdowns over the past 11 years, you will notice very little change with them over time.  Full statistics for the Canadian market, including this year’s are published every year in July and are posted at:

Collecting workshop statistics also helps us in creating new products.  For example, the job categories found in Career Dimensions™ were taken directly from the statistics reported to us by Certified Trainers. Your statistics also helped us in developing PD for Youth™.

We ask that every time you conduct an Introductory or Application Session that your keep track of your participants’ Primary Colour Preference, and Introversion/Extraversion preference.  You can find a form on the disk included with your Building Blocks/Manual to do this.  Statistics can then be faxed in to 905-760-0113, or emailed to  You can also submit your statistics through the web at:

Once received at our office, our PD Stats Robot (patent pending) diligently processes and categorizes every number and colour submitted!  Also remember to submit your statistics even if you are administering Personality Dimensions® Online.  Remember that the assessment component isn’t the final word on an individual’s primary colour, especially if scores are close; clarification also comes from the Brightening Group exercises in a workshop.

Personality Dimensions® – Greetings from Hong Kong

It seems like yesterday when I delivered my very first Personality Dimensions® workshop in Hong Kong in July 2005 at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Continuing Education Program!  From then onward, we started training qualified Personality Dimensions®  Trainers in Hong Kong, and translating the materials into Chinese.  To date, we are an active network of 1,171 Level 1 Trainers and 53 Level 2 Facilitators in Hong Kong, Mainland China, and Macau!  We have developed the Chinese Participant pack (which is translated from the English Basic version), Chinese Dimension Cards, Chinese Picture Card and Poster Card, Chinese Career Dimensions, and Personality Dimensions® Manual and Building Blocks.

2016-06-09 20.40.23We held our very first Talking in Colour on January 23, 2016 which was well attended by trainers, and we decided we should continue this tradition so that the trainers have a platform to share their experiences and learn about new Personality Dimensions®  materials.

Stay tuned for the pre-order of Chinese PD for Youth.   We have just completed the translation of the PD for Youth Dimension and Picture Cards, PD for Youth Participant Pack, and PD for Youth Power Point Presentation CD.   We will be posting the link for pre-ordering in the next week or two!   The items will be offers at 30% discount during the pre-order period.  We have also begun the translation of the 2nd edition of the Personality Dimensions® Manual and Building Blocks.  Last but not least, we are working on the development of the Chinese PD-Online system.  We encountered major programming problems, which delayed our launch in the beginning of 2016.  We have to painfully decide to scrap the whole system and start from scratch again.  The good news is we have found a great programmer, who is working on the system as we speak.  The expected delivery date of the Chinese PD- Online system is October 2016.  We will keep you posted of any new developments.

Please feel free to drop me a line or two…or drop by when you venture out to Hong Kong!

Have a great summer!


Angela ShikAngela Shik, PhD MSW is a PD Master Trainer the Director of Dr Motivate  – Distributor of Personality Dimensions materials in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Macau, and Taiwan.  She can be reached at  Her office is at Level 15 Langham Place, 8 Argyle Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong.

Personality Dimensions® – Raising Awareness of Learning Styles

Personality Dimensions®  of Year 5/6 Students and Teachers – Raising Awareness of Learning Styles and the Implications for Educators



“When someone is teaching us in our most comfortable style, we learn.” (McCarthy, 1980)

Personality Dimensions® uses the metaphor of colour to describe the four types of learners and how they need to be responded to (Tudor & Konyu, 2011). Based on the Learning Style descriptors of Bernice McCarthy, these types are:

  • Authentic Blue or Type 1 – Innovative Learners
  • Inquiring Green or Type 2 – Analytic Learners
  • Organised Gold or Type 3 – Common Sense Learners
  • Resourceful Orange or Type 4 – Dynamic Learners

In addition, Personality Dimensions® incorporates an understanding of Introversion and Extraversion preferences and the impact of these preferences, not only on the individual – by recognising how they are energised – but also on how others see and relate to them. According to Tudor and Konyu, “the Introversion/Extraversion function will impact…the participatory needs of the learner.”
Personality Dimensions®

Personality Dimensions® (PD) is a human relations model, presented in an interactive workshop format. Its strength lies in its self-discovery process and balanced learning style delivery. The Colour picture card depictions of the four temperaments are designed to help participants retain the information. They often begin to immediately apply this information to their lives.


Personality Dimensions® and Temperament Theory

Personality Dimensions® relies heavily on earlier theorists as well as independent studies. Theorists responsible for developing the concept of four temperaments are the ‘pre-psychological theorists: Hippocrates; Galen; Avencena; Kant, and the late 19th to mid-century theorists: Adickes; James; Spranger; Kretschmer; Jung and Fromm (Campbell, 2014).

Temperament Theory states that individuals are born with a predisposition to act and interact in certain ways to meet underlying needs. The term “Temperament Styles” was introduced by Keirsey in his seminal book Please Understand Me II (Keirsey, 1998). His publication contains in-depth descriptions of the four Temperaments: Intuitive Feeler (NF), Intuitive Thinker (NT), Sensing Judger (SJ) and Sensing Perceiver (SP).

Personality Dimensions® has added descriptors (as above) that reflect important aspects of each Temperament Style – Authentic Blue (NF), Inquiring Green (NT), Organized Gold (SJ) and Resourceful Orange (SP).

Personality Dimensions® states that we are all a “blend” of the four Temperaments and, although we have a preferred Temperament Style – Core self – other Colours are available to us in varying degrees – Developed self and Contextual self (Berens, 2010).



Since 2004, the author has delivered Personality Dimensions® to the corporate sector, Not-for-profit organisations and universities for multiple applications including: developing leadership cultures which engage employees, team building, developing people skills, improving communication, building relationships; raising awareness of learning and teaching styles; and career development. In 2009, a simplified format of the self-assessment, PD for Youth, was developed by the publishers, at the behest of the author. For the first time, anywhere, PD for Youth was introduced into the level 4 school curriculum (grade 5/6) of Melbourne Metropolitan schools.

At any level of education, Personality Dimensions® can assist students to recognise their learning styles, and to discover their natural skills and talents. It validates students for who they are and can, thereby, build self-worth – the vital component of confidence. Personality Dimensions® can also foster an understanding of others – building empathy and respect. Thus, it lays the foundation for developing two pillars of emotional intelligence: self-awareness and awareness of others.


The Study

Over a period of six years, 398 students (in years 5 and 6) and 48 teachers, at seven schools located in the Yarra Ranges, Manningham and Whitehorse Councils, undertook the Personality Dimensions® assessment.

A total of ten workshop programs were facilitated, each with a minimum of 12 students and their respective teachers. Results for a teacher professional development day are included in this study. (Principals results were excluded unless they had direct teaching responsibilities).

School Year of workshop
Warrandyte Primary S 2010 & 2011
Yering, Chum Creek & Gruyere PS 2012
Wonga Park PS 2012, 2013, 2014, 2014, 2015
Anderson Creek PS 2012
Orchard Grove PS 2014



First preference colours were collated and the percentages of teachers versus students were compared. The table and chart below show the comparisons.

Authentic Blue (Keirsey – NF) Type 1 – Innovative Learners Inquiring Green (Keirsey – NT) Type 2 – Analytic Learners Organised Gold (Keirsey – SJ) Type 3 – Common Sense Learners Resourceful Orange (Keirsey – SP) Type 4 – Dynamic Learners



6.3% 31.2% 10.4%



29.4% 11.8% 12.6%




This data show an under-representation of both Resourceful Orange and Inquiring Green teachers in these Primary Schools. Authentic Blue and Organised Gold teachers comprise over 80 per cent of teachers. Authentic Blues and Organised Golds have a higher ratio of teachers to students with the same temperament. This is advantageous to their similarly traited students, because the way they teach is the way their temperaments learn.

Each temperament presents special challenges to their non-similarly traited teachers. However, as Resourceful Orange students constituted 46.2 per cent of students, and the ratio of Resourceful Orange teachers to students is grossly disproportionate, the discussion will focus on the ramifications on learning for this cohort, as an example. It is not to be construed that these students are the most difficult to teach or that they require the most adaptation by a non-Resourceful Orange teacher.

Resourceful Orange students are dynamic learners and as such need an active, changing environment. They learn through movement (Robinson & Aronica, 2009) and this is likely to be considered as hyperactivity, by teachers with temperaments whose learning needs are different. They are action and hands-on learners and prefer to be manipulating, operating or making something (Tudor & Konyu, 2011). Sitting at a desk is anathema to them.

A failure to understand the needs of Resourceful Orange students may result in a relatively high number of these students unable to thrive in the conventional school system. Indeed, the author has observed a preponderance of this temperament in disengaged adolescent and young adult clients, whose parents turned to her to provide career counselling for their children. (A study of “at-risk” students would be needed to confirm this observation).

So, how well are teachers of different temperaments able to provide a learning environment which engages Resourceful Orange students?
The Authentic Blue preference endows people with innate temperament traits which enable them to “read others very well and adjust their communication style to meet the situation…. They are intuitive and sensitive to the needs of others… They are empathic and very good at inspiring and motivating others to reach their full potential” (McKim, Detailed Descriptions of the Four Temperaments, 2013). Authentic Blue teachers can mirror others’ behaviour to build rapport, so they are adaptable and able to provide an empathic learning environment for all the other Temperaments.

These Authentic Blue traits were corroborated in a separate adult study conducted by the author (a NeuroPQ® assessor) with Dario Nardi and presented as a concurrent session at the Brisbane AusAPT conference (Riddle & Nardi, 2014). The study, which focused on Personality Dimensions and Emotional Intelligence (EQi), found that Authentic Blues scored high in the EQi cognitive skills areas of the neo-cortex (F7, T4 and T5 and O2) related to “Awareness of Others” and “Managing Others” including: social rapport (they are able to mirror others’ behaviour); intuitive listening; sensitivity to facial expressions and social feedback ( they notice how other people respond to them and adjust their behaviour to aid, conform or appease) and attention to body language (Nardi, 2014).

On the down-side, Authentic Blues are “very concerned about the impact of process” (McKim, Tying it all Together, 2013) and so they tend to give what may be perceived as lengthy explanations. Resourceful Orange students have no time for wordy details and prefer to jump in and get going.

The Organized Golds are caring and concerned with the well-being of others. They show this by being highly organised and efficient. They see rules, procedures and routine as necessary to make things easier for people to understand (McKim, Detailed Descriptions of the Four Temperaments, 2013). However, these very attributes are all key learning stressors for the Resourceful Orange Temperament (Tudor & Konyu, 2011). Organized Golds do things in a particular way and this involves prioritising, planning and having timeframes. Whereas, Resourceful Oranges are multi-taskers – often doing several things at once – and they like to do things in their own way and in their own time. Resourceful Orange students may feel constrained and view the Organized Golds’ approach as “authoritarian” and perceive their feedback as criticism – further learning stressors.

The results of the NeuroPQ study showed that Organized Golds’ scores were weak in the F7 and O2 regions of social rapport and attention to body language, so they may tend to be less intuitively aware of others [than Authentic Blues] so may not see the need to adapt their style to provide learning environments which suit the Resourceful Orange student.

Inquiring Greens are innately curious and focussed on the pursuit of knowledge. They need to “know” and are comfortable when they can explain how and why they “know” (McKim, Detailed Descriptions of the Four Temperaments, 2013). Semantics tend to make Resourceful Orange students phase-out – they prefer action to discussion and analysis (McKim, Tying it all Together, 2013). In addition, Inquiring Greens present information as abstract concepts – a further learning stressor for the Resourceful Orange student (Tudor & Konyu, 2011).

The results of the NeuroPQ study showed that Inquiring Greens were weak in the F7 and O2 regions of social rapport and attention to body language, so they, like Organized Golds, may not instinctively provide learning environments which suit the Resourceful Orange student.


Outcomes of Introduction of Personality Dimensions® into Primary School Curriculum.

In this study, teachers observed the environments which different temperaments valued and which allowed them to work at their best. Teachers reported that seeing their students from a new perspective helped them to better understand their needs, skills and challenges. This enabled them to construct strategies to connect students to their style of learning. They were now able to better plan and develop their lessons so they could appeal to, and engage, each of the temperaments.

Furthermore, teachers commented that “it was great for students to understand their Colours and [validate] how they learn. The students were “now able to use this language of Colour to their advantage” and apply it to achieving their full potential. “This has given them transferable skills and knowledge for the future.”

One Principal reported that “Personality Dimensions® will definitely stick in my head better than others I have done”. A teacher relayed that “None of the other programs I have done were as useful in the classroom as this one.”


Conclusions and Implications

There is a high ratio of Authentic Blue and Organized Gold teachers to their same temperament students, which is advantageous for these students.

The innate traits of Authentic Blue endow them with the ability to adapt to the learning needs of disparate Temperaments. Organized Golds and Inquiring Greens do not have these innate traits.

It is noted that Inquiring Green teachers are largely under-represented in the Primary schools in this study. The effect on Inquiring Green students has not been discussed in this article.

There is a pronounced disparity in the ratio of Resourceful Orange teachers to students of the same Temperament. The implications on learning, for this Temperament, have been discussed, as an example.

Primary school provides the foundation for learning. It is essential that educators have an understanding of the learning needs of the diverse temperaments in order to provide learning environments and strategies that maximise education. An understanding of Introversion and Extraversion preferences is also necessary to meet the participatory needs of the learner. Personality Dimensions® provides a user-friendly approach to help achieve these educational goals.

Awareness is the key. Not all temperaments are able to innately “read” the learning styles of their non-similarly traited students. The author recommends the introduction of Personality Dimensions® into teacher education and professional development. This will enable teachers to expand their toolkit of strategies to maximise the learning experience of all temperaments. Combined PD workshops for teachers and their students can assist teachers to recognise the behaviours of the disparate temperaments and to adjust their communication and teaching styles, accordingly.



Berens, L. (2010). Understanding Yourself and Others: An Introduction to the 4 Temperaments. Huntington Beach, CA: Telos Publications.

Campbell, S. (2014). History of Personality Dimensions. Retrieved from Personality Dimensions CLSR Canada:!history/ckqh

Keirsey, D. (1998). Please Understand Me II. Del Mar, CA: Prometheus Nemesis Book Company.

McCarthy, B. (1980). The 4Mat System: Teaching to Learning Styles with Right/Left Mode Techniques. Barrington, Illinois: Excel Inc. Retrieved from ISBN0-9608992-0-0

McKim, L. (2013). Detailed Descriptions of the Four Temperaments. Personality Dimensions [Facilitator] Manual Ed 2. Concord, Ontario, Canada: Career/Lifeskills Resources Inc.

McKim, L. (2013). Tying it all Together. Personality Dimensions – A Guide for Facilitators Ed 2. Concord, Ontario, Canada: Career/Lifeskills Resources Inc.

Nardi, D. (2014). Cognitive Skills Profile. Neuroscience of Personality: Certification Workshop. Los Angeles, California, USA: Radiance House.

Riddle, C., & Nardi, D. (2014). Leadership Qualities (EQi) for Career Development. AusAPT 11th Bienniel Conference. Brisbane.

Robinson, K., & Aronica, L. (2009). The Element. New York: Viking.

Tudor, M., & Konyu, L. (2011). Personality Dimensions: A Guide for Facilitators and Teachers. Concord, Ontario, Canada: Career/Lifeskills Resurces Inc.



The author wishes to acknowledge the invaluable contribution of Catherine Gerhardt, Level I Personality Dimensions® facilitator. Cathy was trained and accredited by the author. Her excellent organisation and presentation of the workshops has been a pivotal aspect of this study. Cathy’s diligent collection and reporting of temperament preference statistics has enabled the author to produce this study.
The author is grateful for the comprehensive proof-reading and suggestions by Denise Hughes and Julia Bartrim, which have enriched this article.



Cecile Riddle MHealthSc (HRM) LaTrobe; Fellow, Career Development Association of Australia; Member, Australian Association of Personality Type


About the Author

cecileCecile Riddle is a Coach, Mentor and Learning Facilitator who specialises in developing emotionally intelligent leaders. She is an International Master Trainer of Personality Dimensions® and trains assessors to be internationally certified as Personality Dimensions® Level I facilitators.
For more information:


This article was first published in the Australian Association of Personality Type Magazine, Summer Ed. 2016

Personality Dimensions® – Did You Know?

Participant-PackFrom the initial launch in 2003, Personality Dimensions® has aimed to meet the needs of the individual trainer by carefully listening to and understanding their feedback.  We recognised early on that a “one size fits all” approach would not be in the best interest of trainers or their clients.  This is why there are different versions of the same Personality Dimensions® resources.  Currently, there are 7 different Participant Pack and Dimensions Cards versions (soon to be 8!) in different languages, reading levels and contexts.  These are: Adult English, English Basics, English PD for Youth, Adult French, French Basics, Adult Spanish, Adult Chinese, and coming soon, Chinese PD for Youth.

The Adult English materials are where we started.  These are written at a grade 8 reading level, using the Flesch–Kincaid readability formula.  The Adult English Participant Packs are designed to be used in conjunction with the Adult English Dimensions Cards and Picture Cards.  These materials are best suited to a general adult population.

PD Basics English Participant Packs and PD Basics Dimensions Cards are contextually the same as the Adult English Participant Packs, however they are written at a grade 5 reading level.  These materials are not intended to be used in conjunction with the Adult materials; however the same Picture Card is used with either version.  They are designed to be used with an adult population where literacy is a challenge, or where English is not the primary language.

One of the latest additions to the Personality Dimensions® lineup is the PD for Youth Participant Pack.  Like the PD Basics resources, it is also written at a grade 5 reading level, however the content is contextually different from the Adult resources.  Paired with the PD@School Dimensions Card, and the standard English Picture Card, this version better speaks to teenagers in high school.  A separate PowerPoint is also available that matches the context of the materials.

The Adult French Participant Packs are much the same as their English counterpart, and are also written at a grade 8 reading level.  These are intended to be used with the Adult French Dimensions Cards, and French Picture Cards.  The Adult French resources are best used with a general adult, French-speaking population.

Similarly the PD Basics or DP l’essentiel Participant Pack and DP l’essentiel Dimensions Cards are contextually the same as the Adult French Participant Packs, however they are written at a grade 5 reading level.  These materials are not intended to be used in conjunction with the Adult materials; however the same Picture Card is used with either version.  These are designed to be used with an adult population where literacy is a challenge, or where French is not the primary language.

The Spanish Participant Pack, Dimensions Cards, and Picture Cards were developed over a period of time with translators in Mexico, overseen by a Personality Dimensions Level II Trainer.  These materials are designed to be used together, and are written at a grade 6 reading level.  They are best suited to a Spanish-speaking adult population.

The Chinese-language (Traditional) Participant Packs, Dimensions Cards, and Picture Cards was a large undertaking that involved translators in Canada and Hong Kong, as well as testing, and verification taking place in both countries.  This was overseen by PD Master Trainer, Dr. Angela Shik.  Necessary contextual changes were made to best reflect the language and culture in Hong Kong.

Soon to be released, initially in Hong Kong, and eventually Canada, is the PD for Youth Participant Pack and Dimensions Cards in Traditional Chinese.  These resources will be similar to their English counterparts, where the content is contextually appropriate for teenagers in high school.

Figuring out which materials to order can be a challenge, especially with so many options available; but rest assured our customer service team is here to help.  We check every order that comes in individually to make sure everything makes sense; if something seems a little strange to us, we will always give you call to verify things.   We also want your feedback.  Do you see a need for different materials that would better suit your clients?  Do you have a great idea for a Tool-Kit?  Get in touch with us, we’re always happy to hear from you.

Personality Dimensions – A Family of Colours and Dimensions

A Family of Colours and Dimensions – Still Using the Tool Box.

girl-clipart-stick-figure-girls-clip-art-girls_three-newBack in October we re-published Wendy Sewell’s article: A Family of Colours and Dimensions.  Wendy talked about raising her two daughters who not only have different personalities from each-other, but also from her own.  After seeing her original article again, Wendy was inspired to share a follow up 10 years later.  Thank you Wendy!


My two daughters are now 23 and 21 and are both in university. My Inquiring Green is off in the Netherlands studying International Business Management in the Hague. My Authentic Blue is at Carleton University in Ottawa studying Psychology and Neuro Sciences and lives in my basement. Independent, but close, “to keep an eye on me”.  They are both happy and accomplished young women. They are doing what they love and enjoying the challenges they are facing.

I still think to myself that it could have been so different if they didn’t know anything about their respective personality types. I have been a single mother since my youngest daughter was one year old. I think that not having a partner to discuss child raising problems with made understanding personality all the more important to me. It was very easy to identify my Authentic Blue and my Inquiring Green daughters. Of course they are not a solid colour, as we are all a mix, but they do exemplify their strongest colour. They have been using this tool since childhood and they understand their reactions to things better than most.

I am surprised that I have made it this far, surviving two teenage girls thru puberty and we have emerged out and into their twenties with strong bonds that make my heart warm. When you can disarm a conflict with taking the personal aspect out of the fight, then the real communication can happen.  Throughout the years they have been able to lay their problems and feelings out on the table without fear of being judged. What a gift that is! Of course they are going to be much more open if they realize their feelings are validated and accepted.  I find it easy to point out to them the areas that they are special in and often compare my own Resourceful Orange to them. They know what my strengths and weaknesses are and they know I’m not perfect.

My oldest daughter still gets her Authentic Blue feelings hurt but she can rebound with amazing resilience. She is so empathetic and everyone’s ‘go to’ friend when they have problems. She is also fearless and will tackle any rollercoaster or parachute jump she can find.

My Inquiring Green daughter is still self-correcting and is proving very resourceful being far from home and helping hands. Her analytical talents are certainly helping her in her chosen education.  She is loving all the travelling in Europe and searching out answers to her endless questions.

The most incredible result is that they are best friends and lean on each other whenever they need it.

I want to really impress upon parents how much children can understand and use these concepts from a relatively young age.


By: Wendy Sewell, Personality Dimensions® Level I Trainer.

Personality Dimensions® – Musings from the Back Office

2015As I write this a local radio station is playing seasonal music in the background, yet another reminder that this year is almost at a close. In some ways it seems like we were just welcoming this year into existence and in others I can’t believe it’s only been one year!  Looking back I’m amazed at what took place. In addition to packing up and moving – lock, stock and barrel (or, in our case, boxes and boxes and boxes) – to our new location in Aurora, Ontario, we managed to bring out revisions to both the Personality Dimensions® Manual and the Building Blocks Facilitator Guide. Our sincere thanks to Lynda McKim, Scott Campbell, Carole Cameron and everyone else who made this possible. And, thanks to the input from Personality Dimensions® Trainers, we also created the new PD for Youth materials.

So, what does 2016 hold? Dr. Angela Shik and her team are hard at work creating the Chinese version of the on-line Personality Dimensions® assessments which will launch in January. In addition to all her hard work in Hong Kong and China, Angela is also opening a California-based office and has already done work using both the English and Spanish materials in that area. Our hats are off to Angela!

Emil Boychuk, along with a great team of facilitators and educators, is putting the final touches  on a new resource for use in the classroom – a Personality Dimensions® Awareness Workshop for Students (suggestions for a more creative title are welcome!). We are planning to introduce this to you late winter/early spring of 2016. We have tentative plans for several other Personality Dimensions® happenings, including some face-to-face and/or web-based learning and networking opportunities… so stay tuned.

You may have noticed that you didn’t get a Christmas greeting card from us this year. Instead, we are making a donation to the local Salvation Army in support of community outreach programs. Cards have always been part of the traditions I was raised in so this has been a bit of a rethink for me. But the reality of how great the needs of the community are was made clear to me after I spent time working to register people who need the help of the Sally Ann to get through this Christmas.

My wish for you is that the joy and beauty of the season make this an especially warm and happy holiday for you and yours. We look forward to joining you in making our world a better place in 2016.

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.

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.

Personality Dimensions® Guide to Pumpkin Carving

That time of year is upon us — the air gets a chill to it, and the leaves start to change colour; but best of all, we get to carve pumpkins, and hand out candy to kids who go door-to-door in a variety of costumes that range from adorable, to frightening, and hilarious, to strange!  With that in mind, I present: The Personality Dimensions Guide to Pumpkin Carving!

When carving a pumpkin into a Jack-O-Lantern, the possibilities are endless, and the task can be quite overwhelming.  So what’s the solution?  Let your Personality Dimensions be your guide!  Each of the four Dimensions (Authentic Blue, Inquiring Green, Organized Gold, and Resourceful Orange) all have different approaches to the task, but have the same motivation for getting there… fun!


Inquiring Green PumpkinPumpkin Carving with an Inquiring Green

Chances are the Inquiring Green has been thinking about carving this year’s pumpkin for a while.  Last year’s design was pretty good, but they know it can be even greater this year.  For the Inquiring Green, it’s not just about going out and getting a pumpkin from the store, they need to figure out the best date to get one, making sure to not get one too early, and risk it going rotten; and not going too late, knowing that the best ones will be picked over.  Once that has been determined, the next task is choosing the pumpkin itself; the Inquiring Green will pick through all the bins, carefully making comparisons, and finally landing on the perfect one.

When it’s time to carve the pumpkin, it is best to let the Inquiring Green go at it them self.  You can still be supportive, but remember that when Inquiring Greens get focussed on a project, they often tune out the outside world.  At this point, the Inquiring Green will pull out their specially designed pumpkin-carving tools.  The process will start with determining where to cut the top off, then be followed by carefully sketching out or tracing on an amazingly creative design that has already been determined.  Then comes the real challenge, the actual carving… this process may take a while, the Inquiring Green aims for perfection; but that’s okay, they like a good challenge.  In the end, they get to stand back, and admire a job well-done!

Remember, always be supportive when an the Inquiring Green is working hard on a project, and give them space when needed, but feel free to jump in if you see them using explosives to carve out their design… no matter how much they have researched it!


Organized Gold PumpkinPumpkin Carving with an Organized Gold

When Hallowe’en rolls around for the Organized Gold, it is safe to say that they have been making plans for some time.  Like the Inquiring Green, they are likely to buy a pumpkin well before October 31st to avoid any Pumpkin-related stress.  Traditions and time with family are greatly important to the Organized Gold, so picking out a pumpkin is likely to be a family affair.  Just keep in mind that they have likely already thought about the size and shape of pumpkin they want, so don’t try to stray too far from their plan.

When the time comes to carve the pumpkin, let the Organized Gold share their plan before diving in.  They will often enjoy having others help them with the carving and cleaning out the inside, but don’t get ahead of the game and start doing things out of order.  Most importantly, remember to keep things neat!  They will likely put an extra cover on the table or counter to control the mess, and have a couple of large bowls handy to put all the pumpkin “guts” in.  The Organized Gold will often want others to join them.  Carving the design in the pumpkin is also a planned out process; you likely won’t see the Organized Gold free-handing a design with a knife.  Let them draw/trace their design on… bearing in mind that it is likely to be the same design as last year’s, and the year before, and the years before that… After all, it’s family tradition!  For the Organized Gold, “if it ‘aint broke… don’t fix it!”

Remember, carving the pumpkin is only part of the process; everything needs to be cleaned up after, and the seeds need to be roasted.  Once this is all done, the Organized Gold can stand back and admire their work.


Resourceful Orange PumpkinPumpkin Carving with a Resourceful Orange

Hallowe’en is a favourite time of year for the Resourceful Orange; it’s the one time of year that anything goes!  There’s a very good chance that the Resourceful Orange has waited until October 31st to get their pumpkin.  Given that the isn’t generally a very big selection left by this time, and they still have a number of things left to do during the day, the Resourceful Orange won’t be spending a long time searching for the “perfect” pumpkin.  They are very adept at making quick decisions, and can size up a pumpkin in a short period of time.

The Resourceful Orange works well under pressure, and in this case it’s necessary.  By the time they get the pumpkin home, there just isn’t a lot of time for planning out a design, or executing a very intricate one.  Feel free to jump in to help get things done, that pumpkin isn’t going to scoop itself out!   More likely than not, you will see the Resourceful Orange freehand a design with a knife; it’s also safe to say that it won’t resemble last year’s design either.  They are also not too worried about making a mistake, the Resourceful Orange is quick to adapt; did the knife go a little too far along for one cut?  Not to worry, they just change up the design on the fly!

Remember, while Resourceful Oranges may like an all hands on deck approach to get the task done; try to avoid telling them that they are doing something wrong; they see pumpkin carving as a fluid and creative process.  Just encourage them to get the job done, so everyone can sit back, and enjoy some bite-sized candy.


Authentic Blue PumpkinPumpkin Carving with an Authentic Blue

Pumpkin carving is a favourite activity of the Authentic Blue; it can involve friends, family, neighbours, pets, and acquaintances. Chances are the Authentic Blue hasn’t put a lot of time into planning the pumpkin carving experience, but they likely aren’t leaving it to last minute either.  The Authentic Blue will arrive at their favourite pumpkin retailer with full entourage in tow.  They will likely seek the opinions of others when it comes to choosing a good one.  The Authentic Blue is also likely to come home with more than one pumpkin to avoid conflict over choosing just one, and make everyone happy.

The Authentic Blue may have difficulty deciding on a design for their pumpkin, and will ask for input from others.  But they need not worry, since they have bought a number of pumpkins, they can choose a different theme or expression for each one.  After gathering their group to watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown for inspiration, the Authentic Blue will get down to the task at hand.  They will likely equip everyone involved with their own set of pumpkin carving tools and set to work.  The Authentic Blue will offer words of encouragement while everyone does their part, and jump in to help when needed.  After everyone is done carving a different emotion into their respective pumpkin, the Authentic Blue can admire the work that everyone has done and offer their congratulations.

Remember, when carving pumpkins with the Authentic Blue, try not to take things too seriously and just enjoy the experience.  If they see you struggling with any aspect of the task, they will likely offer their assistance; as an experienced pumpkin carver they are only trying to mentor those that need help.  Let them be part of your process and they will appreciate you for it.


Hallowe’en is a great time of year for everyone to express their creativity and have fun at the same time… not to mention the candy!  If you follow The Personality Dimensions Guide to Pumpkin Carving everyone is certain to have a great Hallowe’en pumpkin carving experience.  Remember, be safe, and most of all, have fun!


BradBrad Whitehorn, BA is the Sales & Marketing Coordinator at Career/LifeSkills Resources Inc.  He was thrown in to the career development field headfirst after completing a Communications degree in 2005, and hasn’t looked back!  Since then, Brad has worked on the development, implementation and certification for various career and personality assessments (including Personality Dimensions®), making sure that Career Development Practitioners get the right tools to best serve their clients.

Personality Dimensions® – Musings from the Back Office

Why do the Picture Cards look like they do?

Did you know that when we were in the initial research, development and design phases for Personality Dimensions® we purposely looked to provide images on each of the Picture Cards that would be reflective of our cultural mosaic?

Years prior to our work on Personality Dimensions® I met a gentleman who taught in the largest school board in Canada. He was taking an introductory workshop to another temperament tool that used cards as part of its methodology. He seemed to be truly enjoying himself and contributed greatly to the discussions and learning so I was very surprised (and I don’t think I was alone in this) when, at the end of the workshop, he said that he enjoyed the workshop but could not use the tool with his students. His students were from a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds and he felt that they would not be able to relate to the images on the cards. I carried that memory for a long time and, while I’ve lost touch with that gentleman, it is thanks to his insightful comments, and those of others along the way, that the images on the Personality Dimensions picture cards are as reflective of as many different cultures as possible.

Personality Dimensions® Picture Cards Authentic Blue, Inquiring Green, Organized Gold, Resourceful Orange
Keep in touch; you never know when you might offer a thought or observation that will affect positive change in the future.

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 that not only is this the first day of Autumn, but it also 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.

Personality Dimensions®: A Family of Colours and Dimensions

mother+daughters1Today’s post comes from the Personality Dimensions® archives, but is still as relevant as ever.  While the book the author mentions, Nurture by Nautre is no longer available, it was in part, the inspiration for Great Parenting Skills for Navigating Your Kid’s Personality.  This article was first published in the Summer 2005 edition of Dimensionally Speaking.


My two daughters, ages 11 and 13, play cards on the floor.  I hear their laughing and listen with a half an ear to their discussion.  Suddenly the youngest collapses on the floor in a fit of giggles.  “Mom” she says, “You won’t believe it but Marloes is sad when she loses and even sadder for me when she wins!  She is so blue!”

I laugh as well but think to myself that it could have been so different if they didn’t know anything about their respective personality types.  This scene and many like them, would not have been possible if I had not entered the world of personality types eight years ago.  I became interested after conversations with Denise Hughes and soon took my training with Career/LifeSkills Resources.  At that time I also bought what I consider my motherhood bible – Nurture by Nature.  I have been a single mother since my youngest daughter was one year old.  I think that not having a partner to discuss child raising problems with made this book all the more important to me.  It was very easy to identify my Authentic Blue and my Inquiring Green daughters.  As the girls grew I would often explain to them that the fights they were having with each other were not always personal.  I explained that they each had very different needs and ways of looking at life.  This always seemed to take the sting out of any argument they were having at the time.  Over the years this has borne its own fruits and I often hear such comments as ‘I forgot to be clear in what I wanted and I know your green needs clear instructions.’  And ‘It means a lot to me that you thought to buy me this card, seeing how you are green and all.’

I have now gone on to train in Personality Dimensions® and it has opened yet more possibilities for discussion.  The whole area of introversion and extroversion had helped explain yet more sides of their natures.  Of course they are going to be much more open if they realize their feelings are validated and accepted.  I know this is when it will be important as my oldest approaches her teen years with a more solid knowledge of who she is.  She still gets her Authentic Blue feelings hurt but she can rebound with amazing resilience from these episodes.  She is also more easily forgiving of the other party with ‘They didn’t know I was Blue, Mom and couldn’t know that would hurt my feelings.’

My Inquiring Green daughter is way more self-correcting than all the nagging in the world could have accomplished. She realizes quite well what her needs are but also what is unrealistic to expect from her teachers and friends.

I want to really impress upon parents that this tool that we use for workshops and in our relationships with colleagues and friends is also a very strong tool for our families.  It does give me a very warm feeling when I hear them talking out a lot of their conflicts with less emotion and more understanding of what makes each of them tick . I am surprised how much understanding children have of these concepts from a relatively young age.  They took the tool out my hand and have run with it.


By: Wendy Sewell, Personality Dimensions® Level I Trainer.