CVB: Let’s talk about your new book, which is about relationships – and it’s part of a series of books on the personalities.
Linda Gilden: The latest book is Linked for Couples. There are four books in the series. The first one is a general book, Linked: Maximizing Life Connections One Link at a Time. The second one is Linked for Educators. The third one is Linked for Parents. Hopefully through these books we can help make a difference in people’s relationships.
CVB: I want to talk about both the Linked for Couples book and the series. Let’s start with the series. What is it that you and your co-author, Linda Goldfarb, are trying to accomplish through these books?
Linda: When we first started this, we were both advanced certified personality trainers, but we felt that the material was hard for some people to assimilate and really understand. So our goal with this whole series was to make it simpler and more user-friendly for those who want to look at the personalities as a means of helping them grow their relationships.
CVB: How did you first come into an understanding of the personalities? What did that journey look like for you?
Linda: When I first took the personality assessment, it was part of another seminar that I was attending. When they said, “We’re going to talk about personalities,” I thought, “But I didn’t come here to learn about personalities. I came here to learn about speaking and writing and that kind of thing.” Honestly, the most valuable part of that conference ended up being those 15 minutes about the personalities. It caused me to begin to see myself, the traits, the strengths, and the weaknesses that I had that were affecting my relationships.
I’m an organizer, which is the name we use in our personality materials. I am also a perfectionist. Organizers have the tendency to be perfectionists. And that was the one thing that was dragging my relationships down. I was expecting everybody to be perfectionists. It affected my family, my friends, and myself. When I’d write an article, I’d get halfway to the mailbox and think, “Oh, maybe I’ll read it one more time just to make sure.” The perfectionism thing was huge for me and it caused me to take a look at myself.
CVB: What was the next step for you once you started to learn about the personalities?
Linda: Well, I began to read more about the personalities and it wasn’t too long after that first seminar that I became a part of their staff. So I had to teach the personalities to other people and that meant I had to study more about it. Not only did I need to know about all four personalities, but I needed to know my own personality.
I began to learn all kinds of things. My perfectionism caused me to be somewhat judgmental to other people because they weren’t perfect. It just was a negative thing in my life that I didn’t even know was there until I started studying this. It was fascinating. If I had studied myself a little closer, I would have figured out that the perfectionist thing was there. You can find a lot out about yourself just by thinking about the things you do and the way you do them.
We wanted to create a tool with this series that gave people some help in that discovery process, so they didn’t have to struggle to do that. They could read about it in our books, take our assessment, and learn how to get along better with other people to grow their relationships.
One of the relationships that people don’t really put into the personality study is their relationship with God. Our different personalities cause us to approach Him differently and to study the word differently. All of that is part of who we are and yet it’s different for each of the personalities.
CVB: So how do you approach that in your books?
Linda: We share what the personality tendencies are. I don’t mind using myself for an example. I’m an organizer and I love to do research. I love to study things deeply. I love to know all about everything. So when I’m studying my Bible and it says, “God is faithful,” I want to know why. I want to see how He was faithful. Your other personalities, like your socializers, they are very much in tune with stories. When they find a good story in the Bible they say, “Oh man, that is a great story.” And that is the connecting factor for them. Each one of us has a different connecting point in the way we approach our scriptural study. We talk about that in the book.
CVB: In addition to the general book, you have a book for educators, a book for parents, and now the most recent one is for couples. Why did you choose to release them in this sequence?
Linda: We had a different sequence in the beginning and what we learned after the first one was we needed to base this on who we thought needed the information the most. We decided that the biggest help would be for the educators. Both of us were using the personalities in doing some in-service training in our school districts. People who go into teaching probably don’t realize that they’ve got four different personalities in their classrooms and it affects how they listen to you and how they learn. It affects how they do their homework. All of those things are important. A teacher can approach a child in the manner in which he or she learns best and listens best and give them assignments that are matched to their personalities.
If a teacher gives a group assignment, it will become obvious which personality is which within that group. You’re going to have your mobilizers who are ready to get it done. They’ll say, “Let’s make a list and everybody go do their thing.” You’ve got your socializers who really just enjoy being in the group. Then you have your stabilizers who also like to do research. They like study and learn about things, but they’re a little slower paced than some of the other personalities. And of course, then you’ve got your organizers who really like to do the research. They like to find out what makes people tick, why things work the way they do. All the personalities have some similarities, but when you’ve got a group situation, you’ve got the best of all worlds.
We wrote the parenting book, because both of us also were very involved in that. Linda taught a parenting class at her church. So to us, parenting was the next logical book in the series.
CVB: Now we come to couples. So tell me about this new book, Linked for Couples, and how it is different than parenting? Because they’re the same people, but it is a different focus.
Linda: They are the same people, but we’re concentrating on them as the couple in this new book. Two people make a couple — that doesn’t mean all the little cute children that are running around at their feet. This is concentrating on the couple’s relationship because we are living in times that are really hard. Right now families are being attacked and they are finding it hard to get through this for whatever reason. So we address a lot of those reasons in our book. We want to strengthen couples, which in turn will strengthen families as we go through this time. Hopefully that will have a big impact on families everywhere.
CVB: Give me some practical tips for the couples. How are you applying the understanding of the personalities in a way that can practically help them?
Linda: Well, for instance, we’ve been quarantined here for a while. You have couples at home together who haven’t been used to being home together. So the mobilizer is the “get her done” person. They still want to get the things done around the house. Just because they’re home doesn’t mean they can slack off. They’re going to get done the things that are on their list. But that mobilizer may be married to a socializer or a stabilizer who is a little more laid back. These personalities are more relaxed, more calm, they doesn’t like chaos. They don’t like the flitting around of the mobilizer trying to “get it done.”
So you’ve got those two differing personalities trying to exist in the middle of a quarantine, where there are so many things that are hard already. But it helps if you can realize what your personality is. The mobilizer needs to just relax and say, “Okay, this is the way I am, but let me take a little time out here and do something fun with my spouse or my family.” The stabilizer might say the same thing in reverse – “You know, it really would help my wife or my husband if I could get up from here and help them check things off their list.”
This is a time of great introspection when couples have an opportunity to grow. They’re at home together and they can learn about each other. This book is a short read, so there are lessons here for couples that they can apply almost immediately.
Read my interview with Linda’s co-author, Linda Goldfarb – Linked: Maximizing Life Connections One Link at a Time
Order your copy of Linked for Couples
Order your copy of Linked: Maximizing Life Connections One Link at a Time
Learn more about this book series at linkedpersonalities.com
Linda Gilden is an award-winning writer, speaker, editor, writing coach, and personality consultant. Author of Articles, Articles, Articles!, the LINKED Quick Guides to Personalities series, and over a thousand magazine articles, Linda loves to share a great story almost as much as she loves playing with her grandchildren! Learn more at LindaGilden.com
Dr. Craig von Buseck is Managing Editor of Inspiration.org.
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