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Olduvai III: Catacylsm
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We Underappreciate How Different We Are

Photo by Joshua Fuller on Unsplash

After I started working for my current employer, I met a colleague with whom I simply could not work with. We disagreed on almost everything — not on a factual level, but rather on how we approach working with problems and identify solutions. I felt like that, despite many similarities, we are the diametric opposite of each other.

This was the time when I got interested in fundamental differences regarding how people think and feel about the world and themselves. I started out by trying to better understand myself: somehow I had a hunch that this conflict has to do something with personality types. I filled out countless personality tests, read tens — maybe hundreds — of articles on different methods for dividing people into personality types, on how these can (or cannot) predict future behavior and so on. Finally I settled with the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, largely thanks to a fantastic website promoting the idea (full disclosure: I have no connection whatsoever to the creators and owners of that site and their personality test is free to use).

There were other factors at play, of course, like how differentiated the given personality descriptions are, but the fact that convinced me (and your mileage might greatly vary here) is the system’s ability to predict a certain type’s behavior in new situations, and the vast amount of additional information it revealed beyond the answers given by the participant in the questionnaire.

Figuring out my type (and guessing my colleague’s type with whom I could not work with) has led to one of the biggest revelations of my lifetime. I can still remember the moment. It was a cold but sunny winter day. As I was walking around a building in the campus pondering the issue I had a sudden epiphany. It was like a lighting strike.

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Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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