People Types and Tiger Stripes — Gordon Lawrence

This is not a new book. I read it, among others, some years ago when I was studying psychology, pastoral care and counselling.
The book builds on the Myers Briggs theory of ‘personality preference’ types as related to understanding others and especially when applied to teaching. I found it especially helpful in the context of church ministry.

The book is excellent and one which every would-be teacher would be wise to read. But not only teachers, anyone who wants to understand group dynamics in any situation. It is also a strong guide to understanding ourselves and what makes ‘me’ tick.
So to avoid unhappy situations, I have to remind myself of ‘what I am’ occasionally. Of the sixteen groups mine is INFJ Introverted, Intuition, with Feeling — only one in a hundred belong to this group. Put briefly:
“People-orientated, Innovator of ideas, serious, quietly forceful and persevering; concerned with the common good, with helping others develop. Enjoy working alone.”
Understanding this, helped me to understand why I find it hard to get on with some people who expect me to conform to their expectations, and also why I am not a natural ‘party-goer’.

If there are any INFJ readers of this blog who are also writers, I would be interested to hear from you.


6 Responses to “People Types and Tiger Stripes — Gordon Lawrence”

  1. Rachel Says:

    there’s a great free resource at

  2. Andy O'Hara Says:

    I would have to take the test and assume it must be administered by a professional (?) I took the MMPI, which asked questions like “I believe I have hair on the palms of my hands” and they said I passed, but I heard one of them referring to me as the likeness of Poe’s Hop-Frog. I assumed it was a compliment.

  3. Gladys Hobson Says:

    Just a simple test – ticking boxes that show up your preferences.
    But just reading the different preferences gives a person an immediate clue. I can tell my husband’s personality profile without him taking a test! Likewise other people but that would be jumping to conclusions as they may not be functioning true to their type — due to pressure to conform etc.
    And people can change a little over the years as they explore the shadow side of their personality.
    What I found good about the whole concept of personality profiling was that it was okay to be ‘me’ — I don’t have to strive to be what I am not. I understood myself even if others didn’t AND that there were others just like me ‘out there’ only one in a hundred but I do meet them occasionally!

  4. Prairie Mary Says:

    Way back in 1978 when preparing for seminary, I took the MMPI and the Myers-Briggs. The MMPI was dubious about my state and the Myers-Briggs made me out to be a definite IN but right on the line about the last two choices. I lasted in the ministry about ten years — the tests did not detect what I already knew: that I’m allergic to bossy women! That I would continue to miss my ex-husband and want to run to his rescue! That I stepped through the curtain, discovered what ministers are really like, and had a hard time coming to terms with it.

    The point is not what “type” you are or what Minnesota can count in your inventory. The point is what you do with it as time goes along. Sometimes it says, “come in.” Other times it says, “go along now.” What it says to me now is, “Okay. Now write another!”

    Prairie Mary

  5. June Austin Says:

    Another writing INFJ checking in !

  6. Gladys Hobson Says:

    Judging by the book you have written, I think we have a lot in common, June.

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