Exploring the Intersection: Personality Dimensions and the Medicine Wheel

December 13, 2023 The Sharing Circle

Everyone’s personality is made up of unique traits and characteristics formed by their environment, friends, family, experiences, and culture. While it may seem like we are all so different, it’s been proven that certain personality types will present certain strengths and features over others. Understanding the different personality dimensions can assist you in building better relationships in your personal life and in the workplace. Through the process of learning about different types, you will come to better understand why individuals might respond to certain situations differently to you or why they perform better with different types of tasks.

What is Personality Dimensions?

There have been many studies run on the elements of personality. What majority of studies share is that there are four major personality types. Personality Dimensions is built based on the personality types: Organized Gold, Inquiring Green, Resourceful Orange, and Authentic Blue. At a high level, here are some of the main traits each colour type presents:

Personality Dimensions workshop set up.

Gold: Gold personality types like organization and process. Things like punctuality, timeliness, and doing things right are important to them.

Green: Inquiring Greens like to look at all the details. They prefer to make fact-based decisions and like to know the explanation for how things work.

Orange: Resourceful Oranges value freedom and are seen as creative thinkers. They like to keep their life exciting and fun.

Blue: Authentic Blues are relationship driven. They like to develop true connections and place importance on making meaningful contributions.

When individuals take the Personality Dimensions assessment, they will receive a score for each category. Participants typically rank highly in one colour but will always have other elements of their personality made up of the remaining three. Some people find themselves surprised with the results they receive but once they learn more about the traits of their top colour, it all starts to piece together!

We are all plaid

The concept of being “plaid” in the context of personality and character development is insightful as this notion recognizes that individuals are not limited to a single colour or trait; instead, they embody a complex and dynamic blend of various characteristics.

The Concept of Plaid in Personality Development

Youth participants in the green group showcasing their completed dog house.

Green group working on their dog house!

Combination of Colors and Experiences

Dynamic Personality Tapestry: Just as a plaid pattern is made up of intersecting colors and lines, an individual’s personality is a composite of diverse traits, experiences, and influences. Each person’s “plaid” is unique, reflecting a multifaceted and dynamic character.

Interplay of Traits: Different situations and life stages can bring out varying aspects of a person’s personality. For example, someone might predominantly exhibit ‘green’ traits like analytical thinking in their professional life but show more ‘blue’ traits like empathy and nurturing in their personal relationships.

Influence of Experiences

Personal experiences, culture, upbringing, and life events play a significant role in shaping the intricate patterns of one’s personality. These experiences can enhance certain traits while diminishing others, constantly evolving one’s “plaid” over time.

Recognizing the plaid nature of personality underscores the capacity for growth and change. It suggests that individuals can develop new aspects of their personality, adapt to different environments, and find balance among their various traits.

Understanding of Personality from an Indigenous Perspective

It is said that Indigenous people understood personalities thousands of years before European academics recorded their findings. This is reflected in the Medicine Wheel. The Medicine Wheel represents the Four Directions which are tied to different teachings about the cycles of life as well as other elements like colour, seasons, animals and more.

Connection Between Personality Dimensions and the Medicine Wheel

In line with our other workshops, we incorporate the Medicine Wheel into Personality Dimensions. Incorporating a cultural element to this assessment is important in providing comprehensive results.

“Incorporating a cultural element to this assessment is important in providing comprehensive results.”

The Indigenous medicine wheel and the Personality Dimensions model share common principles that support the discovery of self and personal growth. Both systems use what I refer to as the power of fours directions/colours to represent different aspects of personality or life, emphasizing balance and holistic understanding. Here’s a brief comparison and integration of the two systems:

North/Gold East/Green South/Blue West/Orange

Indigenous Medicine Wheel/Villages

Symbolizes new beginnings, inspiration, and the mental aspect of self. It’s associated with learning and knowledge. Denotes wisdom, spirituality, and the need for balance. It’s about the connection to the spiritual and greater understanding. Connected to introspection, the emotional aspect of self, and maturity. It’s a time for reflection and understanding emotions. Represents youth, emotion, passion, and the physical aspect of life. It’s about relationships and feeling.
Personality Dimensions Values tradition, organization, and responsibility. People with a gold personality are reliable and detail-oriented. Emphasizes emotions, relationships, and empathy. Blue personalities are compassionate, nurturing, and seek harmony. Represents analytical thinking, curiosity, and logic. Green personalities are problem solvers and value intelligence.

Symbolizes action, spontaneity, and adventure. Orange personalities are energetic, fun-loving, and adaptable.

Integration and Self-Discovery

The North-Gold direction in the medicine wheel and the Gold personality type both emphasize learning, organization, and a methodical approach to life. This dimension is key for those seeking structured knowledge and traditional wisdom.

The East-Green direction aligns with the Green personality’s quest for wisdom and understanding. It embodies a spiritual and analytical approach, valuing insight and balance.

In the South-Blue quadrant, introspection and emotional depth mirror the Blue personality’s focus on empathy and relationships. This is crucial for understanding one’s own emotions and connecting with others.

The West-Orange aspect relates to the Orange personality’s energetic and spontaneous nature. It represents a physical and passionate approach to life, focusing on experiences and actions.

What we find is by integrating the Indigenous medicine wheel with Personality Dimensions we create a holistic approach to self-discovery. It allows individuals to understand and balance different aspects of their personality and life, leading to personal growth and a deeper understanding of self and others.

How does your plaid apply?

By applying the concept of being plaid to the combined framework of the medicine wheel and Personality Dimensions, individuals gain a more holistic and nuanced understanding of themselves. This approach acknowledges the complexity of the human psyche and the ever-changing nature of personality.

It encourages individuals to embrace the diversity within themselves, recognizing that they can embody qualities of all colors and directions at different times. This perspective promotes self-acceptance and a deeper appreciation of one’s multifaceted nature.

Incorporating the concept of being plaid into personality and character development allows for a more comprehensive and dynamic understanding of the self. It acknowledges that human beings are complex and ever-evolving, shaped by a myriad of experiences and influences. This approach celebrates the richness and diversity of individual personalities, encouraging personal growth and a balanced, holistic view of oneself.

“…human beings are complex and ever-evolving, shaped by a myriad of experiences and influences. This approach celebrates the richness and diversity of individual personalities, encouraging personal growth and a balanced, holistic view of oneself.”

Connection Between Personality Dimensions and Career

Aside from the cultural connection, your personality type also plays a large role in your career. Using your natural strengths and abilities as a guide for potential career paths is a great way to ensure you are setting yourself up for success. For example, if you find yourself to be more creative, choosing a career that allows you to try new ideas and continually work on new projects will be much more fulfilling than a job with a rigid structure and firm processes.

It can also help you decide what kind of work environment will be best for you. Consider things like:

  • Do you prefer working independently or in a team?
  • Does the company’s values and mission align with you?
  • Do you prefer hands-on work?
  • Do you need a job with a flexible working environment?

Even with the same job title, you’ll find that companies can manage the position a little differently. When job searching, create a list of what is important to you in your next job and pick your non-negotiables. Job searching can be tedious and time consuming but when you know your skills and your value along with what you are looking for, it can help to focus your search. Plus, having confidence in your skillset will shine through in your interviews!

Understanding my plaid

I always knew I enjoyed being creative. I liked having the opportunity to think outside the box and try out new ideas. When I first completed the PD assessment, I scored high as an Orange and it completely made sense. Oranges are often drawn to careers as entrepreneurs because of the freedom it provides.

They say that our primary colour will remain the same, but I can see how over time, my scores slightly change in each category as I gain new skills and focus on building different strengths. For me, finding out my score affirmed what I felt and knew about my personality. It’s interesting to see how my “plaid” continues to shift!

The Personality Dimensions workshop supports individuals in building the foundation for positive steps forward in their career and personal life. If you’re interested in bringing this workshop into your community, contact our team today to learn more.

Let’s work. Together.