How to teach The Personalities in a short time frame—Introduction

The basic Four Squares graphic to use in a Wired That Way presentation

Now that you have the audience with you, you are ready to move into the content. In this post, I will address introducing the Greek words and the fact that many in the audience may already be familiar with similar concepts that use different terms. You want to put those people at ease with the material, not make them defensive of what they already know. Most people who hear a teaching on The Personalities, but who are already familiar with a different system, find that The Personalities is easier to grasp, remember, and apply. Help them see that this material will enhance, and add to, what they already know.


After presenting the opening, you will need a transition statement. Something like: Today, we are going to look at an old concept that has been proven by the test of time—but with a fresh spin.

Greek Words

Acknowledge that the terms you are going to use are from the ancient Greek—found in the works of the great Greek thinker: Hippocrates. I say: Like each of you, Hippocrates observed that people were different. He tried to figure out what created these differences and concluded that it was due to fluids in their bodies. Hence the terms: Sanguine, Choleric, Melancholy, and Phlegmatic. If I have time, I add that he was closer than we have historically given him credit for—as we now know that it is our DNA.

At this point, you should have a graphic of the “four squares,” such as the one here, in a handout, display board, or PowerPoint. (I like a handout as it encourages people to take notes and taking notes engages another learning tool—which helps them remember the concepts better. However, producing a handout does involve cost [especially if it is in color]. If you are not getting paid for the presentation, you might ask the group organizer to reproduce the graphic for each attendee.) The four-squares graphic is especially important for the short-style presentation as the time frame does not allow audience members to ask questions. Additionally, it allows them to follow along. Encourage them to take notes as you will be coving the material quickly. Point to the graphic as appropriate.

Modern-day Adjective

Next, acknowledge these terms probably don’t mean anything to folks today. Say: You might be thinking, “It’s all Greek to me”—which usually gets a laugh. Therefore, we add a modern-day adjective to the Greek words: Popular Sanguine, Powerful Choleric, Perfect Melancholy, and Peaceful Phlegmatic.


To help folks remember, we also add a color.

·         Popular Sanguine: Bright yellow like a happy face,

·         Powerful Choleric: Strong Red like a stop sign or fire engine,

·         Perfect Melancholy: Deep blue like the ocean,

·         Peaceful Phlegmatic: Calming green like the grass.

Relationships, not Labels

Give folks the freedom to use whichever term works for them (you as the trainer, can do the same). If they are familiar with a different set of names for the basic Personality types, encourage them to translate as you go along. After all: This is about relationships, not labels.

Now, let them know that today, we are going to focus on identifying the Personality of the people with whom they live and work and that we are going to start with the visual clues.  This gives you an opportunity to introduce the availability of the Personality Profile.

Personality Profile

Say: If you are in a difficult relationship, it would be awkward to approach that person and say: “I am having a tough time with you. Would you please take this Personality Profile so I can understand you better?” This usually gets a laugh. At this point, I wave around the paper copy of the Wired That Way Personality Profile and mention that there is an online version too. Explain that when we live or work with someone, we see them at their best and their worst—we often know them better than they know themselves.

Party Conversation

To prove the above point, introduce a conversation everyone has likely had in one form or another. Say: Picture that you are with a group at a social engagement—or like this meeting today. One person comments on another. “You are so…” Fill in the adjective. That person responds with: “I am not!” to which everyone responds: …” Here, I hold out my hand to indicate that the audience should respond. When I do that, they shout back: “Oh, yes you are!” Everyone has been in a similar conversation so; they immediately get the idea.

When I have time, I’ll add this idea: Most of us, by the time we become “our age” (depending on the audience, and your age, substitute “adults”) have had a lot of input into who we are supposed to be. Our parents wanted us to be one way, teachers another. Bosses expect something different, then there’s a spouse or two. When we live or work with someone day in and day out, we see them at their best and their worst—we often know them better than they know themselves. Therefore, it is easier to focus a short presentation on Identifying others. Most figure themselves out along the way. You can quip: Most people probably figure you out too.

Personality is Hard-wired

Before you move into the Visual Clues, you want folks to understand that their basic Personality is hard-wired, they were born with a specific Personality. Use the example of a mother of more than one child. Ask, by a show of hands (hold your hand up in the air so they know what kind of response you want): How many of you have more than one child? Most general adult audiences will respond affirmatively. Next, ask: Could you tell the second or third was different from the first—even while each was still in the womb? They’ll usually groan in agreement.


The last part of this module is to bring up the idea of growth. One of the most frequently heard criticisms about The Personalities, or any other personality-typing system, is that people use it as an excuse for their behavior—“That’s just the way I am, get over it.” And, yes, there will always be people like that in the world. Our goal in teaching this material, however, is to encourage growth. I hope that no one who hears a Wired That Way (or Personality Plus) presentation ever uses that line.

While our Personality is hard-wired, we can grow and mature. When appropriate, mention that if we were to do a Personality Profile on Jesus Christ, we would see that he has the strengths of all four Personalities and the weaknesses of none.

Everything covered in this post should take about five minutes. So, with the opening and the introduction, you should be at about the ten-minute mark—ready to start the Visual Clues module.


  1. Angela on January 17, 2022 at 9:15 pm

    I like the history, examples and explanations here. Definitely important for the audience to understand what’s to come. Since I’ve read Personality Plus and saw this presentation at Lubbock Impact, I can say it’s spot on! My only thought was that it might take a little longer than 5 minutes!

  2. […] this point, you should be at about the four-minute mark. In the next post, I will address the following five minutes of content that introduces the original Greek words for […]