As I mentioned a post or two ago, I’m reading Cassandra Speaks: When Women Are the Storytellers, the Human Story Changes by Elizabeth Lesser. It got me thinking about the Hero’s Journey which I wrote a post about – how to use the journey to help you and your team (including an editable worksheet).
“Storytellers are the meaning makers in a society,therefore they have a weighty influence and the ability to move humanity forward,”says Elizabeth Lesser.
Let’s continue our Hero’s Journey with the characters you are likely to meet along the journey.
Whether your team’s journey is adapting to new members joining, old ones leaving, a new IT system, an enormous new project, or the ongoing adjustments needed during a global pandemic you’ve got character and characters.
One lens to view the characters through is archetypes – those age old, instantly recognizable classic personality types.
By the way, I love this archetype work so much I based my website design on them and a couple of books about archetypes have been a top read of mine.
The great thing about viewing your team through the lens of archetypes are threefold:
- It makes change, communication and conflict less personal. By looking at personalities and behaviours through archetypes, it allows us to take a step back and gain a wider view.
- With that wider view we can identify potential barriers, biases and sticking points. As Sally Roesch says, “History isn’t what happened. It’s who tells the story.” Use a different archetype to tell the story and the story changes.
- And again, with a wider view we gain more options for how to move forward and resolve issues together.
Here are some examples of archetypes and how you can use them for your team
An important caveat → while archetypes are great as a jumping-off point, to widen your view and expand options for moving through, around and over difficult issues, they should never be used to stereotype or pigeonhole. That will most definitely move your team backward.
So on with moving forward. Use the Hero’s Journey and the archetypes to help you and your team. Onwards – enjoy the journey.
Now go on and learn, laugh and lead
- Check out this video for examples of archetypes using a Harry Potter movie and this link for more information on archetypes period.
- Have a Laugh at these wonderful archetypes.
P.S. Let’s stay connected. Free weekly coaching by email on how to use humanity and humour to problem solve, right here.