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SJs and Change

SJs and Change

By Donna Dunning

Change is all around us and to thrive in times of constant change can be a challenge. Not everyone experiences change in the same way, but all people can bring valuable contributions to the change process.

This post describes the change perspective of those who have SJ personality type preferences. Although S and J are letters associated with personality type theory, these two preferences also align to an older theory, which describes four basic human Temperaments.

You may be familiar with Temperament theory from one of the following authors or models. David Keirsey calls this SJ Temperament Guardian. Don Lowry uses the color Gold in the True Colors® model. Denise Hughes in Personality Dimensions ® uses the term Organized Gold, and Linda Berens names this temperament Stabilizer.

The SJ Change Perspective is Preserving: Keeping what works well

No matter what model and label you use, people who share this temperament tend to take a careful, practical approach to change. They trust what they know to be true from their experience and are sometimes given the label of “resistant to change”. This label is really a misunderstanding of the SJ approach. What they prefer to do is preserve what works well and see evidence that change is worthwhile before they buy in. They will question change that is not clearly defined and structured.

Questions Preservers (SJs) want answered:

  • Why change what is already working?
  • What is wrong with what we are doing now?
  • Has anyone else tried this change?
  • Is there evidence that this change will work?
  • Where, when, why and how will the changes be made?

Individuals of all temperaments have something to offer during times of change. People who prefer S and J often bring in the following strengths to facilitate the change process.

Strengths the Preserving perspective brings to change:

  • Preserving the wisdom gained through past experiences
  • Acting as historians; sharing past reasons for current practices
  • Ensuring that what has worked well in the past is not lost in the new ways
  • Seeking structure for change and clear guidelines and timelines
  • Defining specific roles, rules, structures, tasks, procedures and policies
  • Understanding and incorporating learning from the past
  • Avoiding repetition of mistakes
  • Moving ahead and getting things done
  • Following through and managing details of the change
  • Completing tasks and keeping the change on track

Share your experiences and insights

Do you have any other ideas, tips, or stories to share about interacting during change with people who have SJ preferences?

More information about change and Temperament can be found in the Quick Guide to the Four Temperaments and Change.


Want to learn more about personality type and how to use it to understand yourself and others?

Introduction to Type and Communication describes in detail how personality preferences influence communications.

If you live in the USA, Introduction to Type and Communication is now available on Kindle.

Introduction to Type and Learning can help you find your motivation for learning and help you learn more effectively.

If you live in the USA, Introduction to Type and Learning is also available on Kindle.

Looking for a practical resource to help you plan your ideal career? Check out my book, What’s Your Type of Career?: Find Your Perfect Career By Using Your Personality Type

Want to use your personality type to excel at your career? Check out 10 Career Essentials: Excel at Your Career by Using Your Personality Type

This entry was posted on Monday, January 24th, 2011 at 8:10 am and is filed under Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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