Personalities, Prickly People, and Making Peace

Several months back a Facebook friend of mine, Deb Potts, mentioned that she was finishing up her book “Making Peace with Prickly People”. (Affiliate links)

The title grabbed my attention.

I know a few prickly people. Truth be told, I probably am a prickly person to a couple of people in my life…

I jumped at the chance to be on Deb’s launch team.

It was not at all what I expected but in a very good way.

Deb covers a lot of ground in her book including personalities, loving others, and toxic thoughts.

What really got my attention was the scriptural examination of the 4 personality styles of Jesus.

I’ve never studied Jesus in this way.

At first I was a bit skeptical. I’d never heard of anything like this before. Were we adding to the Bible or uncovering an idea that’s already there?

Not only does Deb explore how Jesus exhibits the strengths of the four-fold personality model (heart, mind, soul, and strength), but she shares a case study of each personality type in four other people in the Bible.

Deb goes on to reveal how the four-fold personality model is reflected in each of the four Gospels. There are many more Biblical examples in both the book and the Appendix.

It wasn’t long before my skepticism was exchanged for wonder.

Before reading the book, I had gone online to take the free personality test Deb has on her website. I looked back at my own results gaining a fresh understanding of how God has wired me.

Deb explains the gifts (strengths), garbage (weaknesses), and greeds (intense emotional needs) of each of the four personality types: choleric, melancholy, sanguine, and phlegmatic.

I could easily see which personality type is dominate in each member of our family.

We can learn enough to improve relationships

It occurred to me as I was reading how valuable this line of thinking would be to a team or group leader.

Take into consideration these traits of the phlegmatics in your group – “they may not offer their opinion; but if asked they may surprise everyone at the depth of their answer.” And “the phlegmatic style usually processes information more slowly and carefully, considering every angle. Giving them more time to understand and come to a conclusion will help.”

Light bulb moment! We need to give our phelgmatics time to process and space to respond! Just because they are quiet doesn’t mean they don’t have an opinion or thought to share, they just need time to process.

In our rush to answer questions during a Bible study or get through our women’s ministry team agenda, we could be missing out on some incredible insight from some of our ladies around the table.

And when you look at the sanguines, “one of the biggest mistakes we make with sanguines is requiring those with creative ideas to follow through and carry out the ideas to a successful ending. There are very few people how are gifted in both of these areas.”

Perhaps your decorations gal struggles with deadlines. It’s her personality! Help her out by pairing her with another woman who is good at details and deadlines.

Deb notes “the result of knowing personalities is not to put anyone in a box, but to let them out of our own box. Personality theory opens our eyes to two things: The beauty of each unique personality and the folly of trying to force other people into our “box”.”

I’m all for finding creative ways to bring out the best in each team member.

If you want to better understand the dynamics within your team or small group, Making Peace with Prickly People will give you valuable insight.

This is a book I’d recommend for every team or group leader in your ministry. It’s also a book that can be used as a Bible study. Deb provides a free study guide on her website.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of “Making Peace with Prickly People” in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are 100% mine. I did not receive any monetary compensation in exchange for my review. 

You may also want to read:
How to Frustrate Your Women’s Ministry Team
What to Do With a Dominating Team or Group Member
One Thing Every Group Leader Needs to Learn

One year ago: War Room Experience and Prayer Resources
Two years ago: Watch out for these mentoring pitfalls!
Three years ago: How to Alienate Visitors

Encouragement Idea: Blessings Bags