How to teach The Personalities in a short time frame—Valuable Clues

formula chart
A quick formula for teaching The Personalities

While the Valuable Clues are the most important, because audience members now have a good basic grasp of The Personalities, this section can be covered quickly. If time is tight, be sure to cut some stories—Various Clues, rather than this module. Understanding and applying the information in this section has the real potential to save marriages/relationships. When teaching the Valuable Clues, start with the Popular Sanguine and go clockwise around the “squares.” If you are showing the basic squares chart, it presents the Valuable Clues—which helps folks grasp the concepts quickly.

Chart to use during teaching
The four squares

Introduce this section by saying: We just have a few minutes left, but this is the most important part. We started with identifying The Personality of those other people. Next, we looked at adjusting your expectations of them by understanding their individual strengths and weaknesses. Now, we are going to address changing your approach to them by understanding their individual needs. We know that people are wired differently—with those differences come specific emotional needs. Once you know them, you can adjust your approach to the people in your life.

Popular Sanguine: Attention and Approval

The Popular Sanguine wants to be noticed. Especially in children, if they do not get attention for being good, they will often act out. This is also why the Popular Sanguine dresses as they do.

Popular Sanguines also want approval. They don’t necessarily want to have done anything to get that approval, they just want you to touch them, hug them, and tell them they are wonderful.

Powerful Choleric: Achievement and Appreciation

Here, I deviate from my previous order and go clockwise around the squares as I want to accentuate the differences between the somewhat similar emotional needs of the Popular Sanguine and the Powerful Choleric.

Powerful Cholerics are so hard-wired for achievement that they have a mental checklist in their heads where they tic off their daily accomplishments. Here, I use my hands to indicate a checklist, checking off items as I say I did this, I did this, I did this… If their list is not what they’d envisioned, Powerful Cholerics have been known to get out of bed and go do more.

Powerful Cholerics also need appreciation. They want those around them to notice what they’ve done. One of the best things you can do for the Powerful Choleric is to say: “I don’t know how you do all you do” and “This place would fall apart if it weren’t for you.”

Perfect Melancholy: Sensitivity and Space

Perfect Melancholies are more emotional and they feel deeply. They will be sensitive toward the feelings of others and expect that as well. They want you to cry when they cry and hurt when they hurt. They are usually married to a Popular Sanguine who wants to cheer them up. Note to Popular Sanguines: Don’t try to jolly them up. Instead, tone down, sit down and quiet down. They like to wallow.

They also need space. Remember they don’t really want to be touched. But space also means time to be alone.

Peaceful Phlegmatic: Respect and a Feeling of Self-Worth

Here, I like to do a quick comparison of four children in school. (Yes, this gives the Peaceful Phlegmatic a little more time on the clock than the others, but don’t they need it?)

  • The Popular Sanguine comes home and tells Mom: “Guess what? Today, I got voted the most popular kid in school.” I tell a quick story about my nephew proclaiming that “the whole world loves me.” What does Mom have to say to that? She naturally affirms the Popular Sanguine.
  • The Powerful Choleric child comes home and reports: “The teacher made me room monitor today.” To which Mom naturally says something like: “You have great leadership skills. You are going to be president one day.”
  • The Perfect Melancholy does everything right. He makes his bed before going to school. He comes home and does his homework and chores without nagging. Mom and/or teacher exclaim: “My job would be so much easier if all the children were just like you.”
  • Then we have the Peaceful Phlegmatic—who didn’t win any awards, who didn’t make the bed, and who comes straight home from school and heads for the refrigerator and then the TV. Homework doesn’t get done without Mom staying on top of it.

After that review, I say: Can you see how the Peaceful Phlegmatic in your life has a deep inner need for respect and a feeling of self-worth?


Next, as a wrap-up, I do a fast marriage review. While this applies to all relationships, it is the most obvious in marriage. It also adds depth to the brief treatment of each different Personality.

The Peaceful Phlegmatic is usually married to the Powerful Choleric. Ask: What does the Powerful Choleric respect? By now, your audience should all be able to answer: “Work!” To him or her, the Peaceful Phlegmatic spouse is in a “production deficit.” Without understanding these concepts, the Powerful Choleric Spouse will never give the Peaceful Phlegmatic the respect he/she needs.

Likewise, The Peaceful Phlegmatic isn’t going to naturally give the Powerful Choleric spouse the appreciation they need. Ask: How does all the work of the Powerful Choleric make the Peaceful Phlegmatic feel? Tired. He/she wishes the Powerful Choleric would slow down.

The Popular Sanguine needs attention and approval. Without understanding all of this, the Perfect Melancholy spouse will never give it to them. Say: For the Perfect Melancholy to give the Popular Sanguine approval, what does he or she need to be? By now, they are getting it. Your audience should shout back: “Perfect!”—which the Popular Sanguine will never be. If I have time, I’ll add that the Perfect Melancholy wishes the Popular Sanguine would tone down his/her voice and dress. So, they naturally withhold the attention the Popular Sanguine needs.

The Perfect Melancholy needs sensitivity while the Popular Sanguine spouse is tired of the moods. Eventually, without understanding The Personalities, the Popular Sanguine gives up.

Emotional Needs

Without knowledge and application of The Personalities, we not only don’t meet the emotional needs of others, but we also subconsciously withhold exactly what the other person needs—resulting in terminated friendships or divorce. Remind audience members that this is a very brief overview and that to fully understand and apply the concepts, they should read, and reread, the Wired That Way book.

In closing, review Romans 12:18 and remind people that applying this information will help them adjust their approach to others—which is where real changes in relationships take place.

Hold up your hand, as if in a salute, and end with: Be at Peace.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4