How to Understand People Part 6: IDEA ACTIVITIES.

How to understand people Part 6: IDEA ACTIVITIES.
The Rev. Dr. Geoffrey Schmitt

Welcome to the 6th installment of, how to understand people. If you have been following through the first five articles you are familiar with the basics of the chart I call The Map of Activity. If not, you are welcome to jump in right here as I will give a brief review. However, I strongly recommend that you first go back and read the 5 preceding parts. In this lesson we be taking a closer look at the right side of The Map of Activities; the triangular wedge we call IDEAS. However, let’s begin with a brief review.

The Map of Activities 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 PEERCIEVING) and making decisions (called JUDGING).
The Map of Activity could be labeled with the 16 type names of Myers-Briggs type theory. Walter Lowen named them Transactional Rolls. I call them ACTIVITIES. They are the most conscious ACTIVITIES of the Myers-Briggs types.

Each type actually uses 8 of these ACTIVITIES in descending order of conscious awareness and skill. As you see in this graphic of IDEAS ACTIVITIES I have left out the four letter Type designations in order to reinforce the idea that they are used by many different Personality Types and not just the ones that we might see on the Map of Activities.

ANALYST

The first IDEA ACTIVITY that we will examine is called, ANALYST. Let us check of the list of simple choices that have led to this ACTIVITY.
• FOCUS = THINGS
• APPROACH = CONCRETE
• ENERGY = EXTROVERTED
• DOMINATE FUNCTION = THINKING
• DEALS WITH THE WORLD = JUDGING

People who use the ANALYST ACTIVITY have the ability to take information that consists of structured data and logically process them into structured concepts. This ACTIVITY is acted out in the professions of applied science, math, and physics. It is also helpful in medicine for diagnosis, and is also useful to lawyers. ANALYST is the most sophisticated of all the ACTIVITIES, involving the most intricate of what Walter Lowen calls the mental capacities. (That is a topic for a much later article.)

SUSPECTOR

The next IDEA ACTIVITY for us to consider is called SUSPECTOR.

It `comes from the following simple choices.
FOCUS = PEOPLE
APPROACH = ABSTRACT
ENERGY = EXTROVERSION
DOMINATE FUNCTION = INTUITION
DEALS WITH THE WORLD = PERCIEVING

Those using the SUSPECTOR ACTIVITY are trying to find a strategy or logic behind a given pattern. The detective is the obvious example. He or she searches the data until a pattern of clues is discovered. Then the task becomes one of developing a strategy to link the pattern to the suspect. The SUSPECTOR ACTIVITY formulates a plan from an observed collection of data. Think of a football coach. He scouts the opposing team to detect their weak points and then plans a strategy to defeat them.

CONCEPTUALIZER

Now we move on to the ACTIVITIES found on the inside of our MAP. CONCEPTUALIZER is an ACTIVITY that involves visual information processing. It finds structure in logic to build buildings and assemble theories.

It is the end product of the following set of simple choices.
FOCUS = PEOPLE
APPROACH = ABSTRACT
ENERGY = INTROVERTION
DEALS WITH THE WORLD = JUDGING
You might at first think that an architect is focused on things (a concrete building). However, the architect is usually designing to suit the interests of the people who live, work, or visit these buildings.

THEORETICIAN

The last of the IDEA ACTIVITIES is called THEORETICIAN. People who use the THEORETICIAN ACTIVITY find the pattern in strategies. That is to say, they organize ideas. This might be in theoretical physics or on the battlefield. This ACTIVITY might be used by mathematicians or philosophers. People with using this ACTIVITY rely on the function of THINKING to expand principles into logical consequences.

The THEORETICIAN ACTIVITY is the direct result of the following simple choices.
FOCUS = THINGS
APPROACH = ABSTRACT
ENERGY = INTROVERTION
DEALS WITH THE WORLD = PERCEIVING

As always, take time to reflect how these ACTIVITIESD may or may not be used by you or the people you know. They may be something very conscious in your life. They may be something that you just “happen” to do now and then. Then be looking for the next installment of How to understand people Part 7: HANDS ACTIVITIES.