How to Understand People Part 8: BODY ACTIVITIES

How to understand people Part 8: BODY ACTIVITIES
The Rev. Dr. Geoffrey Schmitt

Welcome to Part 8 of, How to understand people. Thank you for following through seven articles. If this is your first article by now you know that you have jumped into the middle of something. That’s ok if you want to plow ahead, feel free. However, I strongly recommend that you first go back and read the 7 preceding parts.

In this lesson we will be taking a closer look at the left side of The Map of Activities; the triangular wedge we call BODY ACTIVIES. First let’s have the briefest of reviews. If this is your 8th visit to the series, feel free to jump ahead.

Understanding people can be reduced to examining the simple choices we all make every day. The Map of Activities is a visual means to understand these choices and ultimately to understand the ways we and others live our lives, interact with our environment and other people.

The Map of Activity is a square divided into 16 triangles. It is divided top and bottom by the simple choice called FOCUS. On the top are PEOPLE and on the bottom are THINGS.

The diagram is divided left and right by the simple choice of APPROACH. On the left is CONCRETE and on the right is ABSTRACT.

The letters S,F,N & T stand for the four FUNCTIONS of SENSING, FEELING, INTUITION, and THINKING. The combination of the first two choices of

FOCUS and APPROACH is what makes for the choices of FUNCTIONS.
• FEELING chooses CONCRETE PEOPLE
• INTUITION chooses ABSTRACT PEOPLE
• SENSING chooses CONCRETE THINGS
• THINKING chooses ABSTRACT THINGS.

Two FUNCTIONS combine to create the activities of WORDS, IDEAS, HANDS, and BODY.

There is a choice in each activity between INTROVERSION and EXTROVERSION.

The choice we have when dealing with the world is between gathering data (called PERCEIVING)

The 16 triangles in The Map of Activity represent what I call ACTIVITIES. Each one of us actually uses 8 of these ACTIVITIES in descending order of conscious awareness and skill. As you see in this graphic of BODY ACTIVITIES (from the left wedge of The Map of Activities) I have left out the four letter Type designations from Myers-Briggs theory in order to reinforce the idea that they are used by many different Personality Types and not just the one that uses it most consciously.

CLASSIFER

The First BODY ACTIVITY is called CLASSIFIER. According to Walter simple choice between situations of control. He gives the example of a baseball player, who must decide if a pitch is in the strike zone and how to control hi body to hit the ball. Another example is the politician who is constantly choosing what action to take. Shall I vote yes or no? Shall I accept this invitation or go to that banquet? Shall I endorse this candidate or denounce that project? This explains why many athletes go into politics (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and why professional sport includes a lot of politics.

The ACTIVITY of CLASSIFIER is the result of the following simple choices.
FOCUS = PEOPLE
APPROACH =CONCRETE
ENERGY = EXTROVERTION
DOMINATE FUNCTION = FEELING
DEALS WITH THE WORLD = JUDGING

INITIATOR

The next BODY ACTIVITY is called INITIATOR. People who use the INITIATOR ACTIVITY are entrepreneurs and opportunists. Lowen uses the sentence “Signal the Match.” to describe this ACTIVITY. The INITIATOR is always watching for a match. The prime example is the salesperson. “What is it about the customer that matches the product?” When the salesman get the answer, he signals the match and says, ”This is just the one for you!”

The simple choices that lead to the INITIATOR ACTIVITY are as follow.

FOCUS = THINGS
APPROACH = CONCRETE
ENERGY = EXTROVERTION
DOMINATE FUNCTION = SENSING
DEALS WITH THE WORLD = PERCEIVING

DOER

DOER is the name of the next BODY ACTIVITY. People with this ACTIVITY work in many professions from athlete, to dancer; from farmer to shepherd. Being INTROVERTED, DOERs are the most alert to signals from their body, which they act upon as they match them to their memories of similar signals in the past. The dancer knows what the right step feels like. The farmer recognizes with his sense when the crop is ready for harvest.

The DOER ACTIVITY is the result of the following simple choices.
FOCUS = PEOPLE
APPROACH = CONCRETE
ENERGY = INTROVERTED
DOMINATE FUNCTION = FEELING
DEALS WITH THE WORLD = PERCEIVING

FOLLOWER

The last of our BODY ACTIVITIES is called FOLLOWER. People who use the FOLLOWER ACTIVITY are very service oriented. They use what Walter Lowen (Dichotomies of the Mind) calls the mental capacities of “contrast,” and “control.” For example, nurses receive many hours of training. They memorize a long list of do’s and don’t. On the job, nurses manipulate the body to act in accordance with these, clear-cut, instruction. Musicians do the same thing. Many hours of repetitive actions called practice, help them perform at the direction of the conductor’ wand.

The follow simple choices lead to the BODY ACTIVITY of FOLLOWER.
FOCUS = THINGS
APPROACH = CONCRETE
ENERGY = INTROVERSION
DOMINANT FUNCTION = SENSING
DEAL WITH THE WORLD = JUDGING.

Continue to observe yourself and those whom you know to see the BODY ACTIVITIES in use. Then be looking for the next article in this series How to understand people Part 9: Levels of Awareness.