LSI 1 Series: Conventional

Lorraine McCarthy, Counsellor/Coach, Human Synergistics Australia

If we describe ourselves as being moderate to high in Conventional Style, we are telling ourselves that it is important to do the ‘right thing’ in terms of ‘what others think’ and according to the ‘rules’. We metaphorically stand with our back to ourselves and our innate creativity and look externally for guidance. The item ‘restrained’ evokes images of someone hand cuffed.

The analogy of seeing ourselves as a child in order to fully appreciate the effect our self description might have on our behaviour is helpful here. If we tell a child that ‘rules are more important than ideas’ and that they need to be ‘concerned with what others think’ we limit them and stunt their potential. It is easy to see that over time such a child moving into adulthood might come to describe themselves as ‘often uncertain’ and ‘indecisive’.

Conventional Style is often nurtured in us from our early years. Most of us can probably remember a parent, grandparent or other adult in authority entreating us to be a good boy or a good girl. There was a reward for achieving this goal in smiles and harmony and a risk of conflict, even punishment if we didn’t. The way to maximise pleasure and avoid pain was by ‘conforming’ and accepting the ‘status quo’.

The personal cost of thinking we derive our worth from behaving in a certain way as judged by others is immense. We are likely to stop trusting in our own unique intrinsic value, lose our belief that what we think matters and that our ideas can make a difference. The Universe is the poorer from not having our contribution.

The two items at the top of the list with the strongest negative correlation to effectiveness are ‘inconsistent’ and ‘seems to understand others but doesn’t’. Not surprising. If we constantly seek external validation we are not likely to have confidence in ourselves. If we don’t have trust in ourselves what chance do we have of being effective and fulfilled? We would feel so much more empowered if we were one with ourselves, content in self knowledge and acceptance. We would have a much greater chance of experiencing peace and joy.


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