Is your child an owl? Or perhaps an eagle? Maybe they are a dove? Or a peacock? Now, what are you? An owl, a peacock, a dove or an eagle?
Most of us have encountered a personality type quiz at some stage. I’ve heard them described as analytical, driver, amiable and expressive types. Or beaver, otter, lion, retriever. However, they are described, it has been widely recognised that everyone fits into four main personality types, usually a combination of types, but certainly with one type showing out more strongly and another showing as the weakest type.
Generally speaking, owls are characterised as being realistic, precise, facts, concrete, practical. They like order, planning ahead, step by step instructions, lists, being on time. The challenging aspects of owls are that they can be distrusting, self-centred, indecisive, vindictive, short sighted. In order to thrive, they need a plan, structure, realism, to do a job well, predictable environment, security.
Peacocks are characterised as being talkative, charismatic, energetic, imaginative, social, competitive, adventurous, open minded and enthusiastic. They like spontaneity, flexibility, last minute activity, informality, exploring options. The challenging aspects of peacocks are that they can be scattered, dominating, emotional, controlling and selfish. To thrive, they need freedom, to be inspired, exploration and new experiences.
Doves are characterised as being the peace makers. They are friendly, empathetic, loyal, compassionate, values oriented, patient, giving, trustworthy, honest and reliable. They like praise, pleasing people, friendships and examining relationships. The challenging aspects of doves are dependent, gullible, predictable or a follower. Doves need praise and harmony, to be liked, having a goal to help people, to do work they deeply care about.
Eagles are characterised as being goal setters and goal getters, decisive, logical, analytical, objective and business like, takes initiative, independent, driven, aggressive, motivated and honest. They like leadership, autonomy, achievement, justice and to win. The challenging aspects of eagles are that they can be blunt, unsympathetic, pushy, impatient, controversial and stubborn. Eagles need respect, control, recognition for competence and rewards for success.
So what? We are all different, so what is the big deal about being a bird type? Understanding where our children are coming from is a huge deal. As an eagle mother or father, how do you parent a dove child? Or how does an owl mother or father parent a peacock child? Sometimes we shake our heads and wonder how on earth we ended up with this child that is standing in front of us.
As we all do in our work lives, it is important to at least try to understand what the needs are of the different people / birds we interact with. The best teams are those who have all four bird types who have a shared understanding of each other’s role in the team. This is how it needs to be in our family.
Despite your bird type, understanding that when dealing with your peacock child you need to inspire them, show approval, give lots of exciting information, laugh at their jokes, comment on their great ideas, show approval. When dealing with your dove child, be interested in them, make them feel special, notice personal details, give praise freely, wait until they have completely finished to respond. With your owl child, be polite, don’t interrupt them if they are busy, laugh and cry with them but don’t try to jolly them up when they are upset, give factual, orderly details, respect their space and silence. When dealing with your eagle child give them appreciation for all their achievements, support with detail only if asked, accept abruptness – they are not intentionally rude but can come across that way and speak in condensed form.
I haven’t talked about the latest personality type – the highly sensitive person (HSP). That’s a whole new column!
Paid Union Meeting
All teachers who belong to the teachers’ union NZEI are entitled to go to two union meetings a year as part of their collective agreement.
Teachers will not be available to take classes on the afternoon of Tuesday 20 March. We strongly advise parents to collect their children at 12.30 that day as we will not have very many staff left at school.