It is important to recognize that CSPT ideas are likely to stretch most people. Without this awareness, we might pull back from them not knowing why. I’ve described how CSPT ideas are very helpful when it comes to the kind of thinking and collaboration the future will require. It is just as much the case that applying CSPT ideas at all deeply requires that new kind of thinking.

The stretch has at least two parts. First, working with personality style ideas such as these necessarily pushes us out of the comfort of viewing our personal truth as the truth. It asks us to embody a larger reality, one with elements we can barely begin to grasp.

Second, Creative Systems ideas by their underlying structure take us into new paradigmatic territory. They inherently challenge us to hold both ourselves and others in larger, more dynamic and systemic ways. This additional stretch is a major part of the CSPT’s significance. Learning experiences that invite us to think in ways that more deeply acknowledge our “living” (and consciously alive) natures will have ever-growing importance.

A common sequence of experiences in beginning to use Creative Systems personality concepts goes something like this:

  1. “Hmm. I don’t know. Just looks like more boxes to put people in and they aren’t easy boxes to understand.”
  2. “This is interesting. As I get into this, the ideas seem less like boxes and more like landscapes or patterns of notes. The more I discover, the more I see yet to discover.”
  3. “I’m not sure I like this after all. I’m feeling anxious, pushed off my moorings. I guess I knew before that different people were pretty different, but somehow I still placed my own reality at the center.
  4. “Hey, I know, I’ll just expand and be it all. Then I won’t have to deal with this uncertainty.”
  5. “Whoops, it is possible to get a sense of the larger whole—that’s the task—but in the end there are still going to be parts I know well and others where I’m bumbling at best. And even if I could be it all, that wouldn’t get rid of the uncertainty.”
  6. “When I began, I experienced other personality styles as threats or, at best, as vaguely interesting in their different-ness. Now I see how fundamentally important those differences are. The new questions are systemic questions. They require us to work in and with the whole ball of wax.”
  7. “While rewarding, this is not easy stuff. At one level we are just dealing with the fact that we make different choices. But more deeply we are dealing with understanding who we are and how we change. This kind of learning takes time. You have to live with it, rub it for a while to make it shine.”