Interview with Dr. John G. Geier: 3 Questions for the “Father” of the persolog® Personality Factor Model

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Dr. John G. Geier im Interview

The American psychologist and behavioral scientist Dr. John G. Geier (1934-2009) spent over 40 years researching the persolog® Personality Profile. He is the spiritual “father” of D, I, S and C, as we know the behavioral tendencies today. His work lives on even after his death and is now being developed by persolog GmbH. The interview below, which Friedbert Gay conducted with him in 2004, was one of his last interviews. Look forward to the wise words of a man who spent his life studying behavior.

Friedbert Gay: Let’s look back. To what do you attribute the success of the persolog® Personality Profile, which has now been used by 40 million people worldwide?

John G. Geier: Your question brings four factors to mind: curiosity, conflict, change and credibility:

First of all, curiosity. Asking questions is part of our human nature: Who am I? How can I make my life more meaningful? We work to ensure that every single user of our products takes themselves seriously and recognizes their own possibilities and limitations. Those who pursue certain goals in their lives take themselves seriously and are able to achieve something that has meaning in their social environment. With the terms provided by the personality factor model, the users of our products can explore where they stand and to what extent their work or life is productive.

Conflict occurs when we are unable to express ourselves clearly. Disagreements can be bridged through communication, and the terms used by the personality factor model provide a suitable approach for this.

Resistance often arises during change. We only accept changes that we want. The personality factor model helps us to articulate our needs in a more differentiated way.

Credibility is another reason for the success of the persolog® Personality Profile (D, I, S and C). Systematic scientific research is an essential prerequisite if a user of our products is to accept the products is to accept the results obtained. However, plausibility is also important, because the client wants to say: “Yes, that’s me.”

Friedbert Gay: What do you think the personality factor model (D, I, S and C) brings to the trainer’s clients?

John G. Geier: Companies are inundated with testing and assessment tools, most of which give the impression that they are the ultimate. This is fatal, because the only constant in life is change. Our products are ideally designed to enable clients to adapt to their frequently changing living and working conditions. A good trainer avoids long lectures, talks to their clients and helps them to discover for themselves what is right for them

Friedbert Gay: What are the benefits of the personality model (D, I, S and C) from your point of view for trainers?

John G. Geier: The trainers use the model to support employees and managers in their communication. Every day two questions arise: What is to be done and how is it to be achieved? The two words – what and how – are the starting point, because the trainers’ clients are to be guided to discover improvements, for themselves as well as with regard to the organization of work.

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