TYPE ONE: THE IDEALISTS

Ones are idealists who believe that everyone has a moral obligation to live up to their very best potential, because if everyone did that, the world would be a better place. This translates to the belief that:

  • a job worth doing is worth doing well
  • quality is more important that quantity
  • honesty and integrity should not be compromised

These beliefs reflect an underlying set of values that center around accuracy, integrity, high standards and fairness to all. These values are reflected in how Ones think, feel and act throughout their personal and professional lives. At high functioning levels, they have a very strong sense of personal integrity, are rational, conscientious, and become extraordinarily wise and discerning. They behave responsibly and can be counted on to follow through on whatever commitments they make. Self-disciplined, dependable, and highly principled are typical ways in which Ones are described.

Sometimes, however, Ones self-imposed ideals and high standards can cause them – and those who work or live with them – considerable stress. When Ones feel that their standards are not being met, they can become quite critical of the “offenders”, especially if those offenders are themselves. They have a strong inner critic that tells them when someone has not done his or her best, and feel compelled to point out and/or fix the flaws. They may also feel obligated to finish or redo other peoples’ work to make it acceptable or to improve it. This can be resented by others who may see them as picayune, rigid or self-righteous. The Ones’ sense of moral obligation also makes them feel guilty if their work isn’t done – and done well – before playtime is allowed. As such, they tend to be orderly, organized people who take their obligations very seriously.

Ones are “gut” people who have an immediate, strong sense of right and wrong. As such, they tend to have clear, strong opinions about what should or shouldn’t be done, about what is right, or about what could be better. These strong opinions and apparent moral certitude can sound preachy and dogmatic to others, who may also find Ones to be judgmental and intolerant. Under stress, Ones may tend to revert to black and white thinking as a means of control in what they see as a chaotic or sloppy world.

Ones grow when they shift their focus from judgment to understanding of others. This is not difficult for them, as Ones are often generous people, willing to help others without being asked. They also grow when they allow themselves to relax and not take themselves, their work, and the world so seriously.

At their best, Ones are understanding and accepting of human flaws and frailties while striving to be fair, ethical and objective in all matters. They have a strong sense of social justice and will put themselves at risk to defend the principles they believe in. They can be wise, discerning and inspiring leaders, living and teaching the principles for which they stand.

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