Welcome to the Wakefield Doctrine (the theory of clarks, scotts and rogers)
Over the course of the weekend, I had the pleasure of conversations with Lizzi and Denise and zoe. A recurrent theme/sub-topic was, of course, the Wakefield Doctrine. While the Doctrine is always a reference point for me, it helps to talk to people who, while having an excellent grasp of our little personality theory, help me get a perspective on the efforts being made here at the blog.
I came away from the weekend with the sense that I need to get back to the basics in these Posts. Not an earth-shaking realization, I’m aware that there is a cycle that manifests in the Posts over time, writing as if every Reader was here for the first time and, (eventually) moving to where nothing, (in a post), would make sense to anyone other than a die-hard fan. So, the pendulum will swing
what it is….
as a personality theory, the Wakefield Doctrine proposes that we all are born with the potential to experience the world in the context of one of three characteristic worldviews (personal realities); the reality of the Outsider (clarks), the world of the Predator (scotts) and the life of the Herd Member (rogers). The Doctrine maintains that, at a very early age, we find ourselves in one (of these three), and we grow up and develop our social and interpersonal skills and coping strategies that are best-suited to allow us to survive and thrive in this reality.
- clarks being Outsiders become withdrawn and creative, imaginative and fearful, relating themselves to the world as if the world was ‘out there’.
- scotts growing up in the world of the Predator (and Prey), acting and reacting, ever alert to threat or opportunity, mercurial in temperament, relating themselves to the world through their direct expression of instinct, experiencing life through action instead of reflection.
- rogers are those who grow up in the world of principle and objective Value, the world is quantifiable, not so much predictable as reliable…relating themselves to the world around them as a part of the greater whole, a higher expression of (a) fundamental truth.
how it works…
the Doctrine is simple, or nearly impossible…depending on whether you have the desire and capacity to apply your imagination to the day-to-day reality around you. The Wakefield Doctrine is a perspective. A way of looking at the world, and the people (in it) and the behavior (of these people). The goal, of this applying of a particular perspective, is to ‘understand the world as the other person is experiencing it’. All that is required is a willingness to imagine and the discipline to learn the character of the three worldviews. (Note: the examples of behavior provided for each the three personality types in this blog, are not the measure of a person’s worldview! They (these characteristic behaviors) are are just examples of typical (to each of the three) responses to everyday situations. What you are actually trying to do, (or should be trying to do) when you observe another through the perspective of the Wakefield Doctrine is: inferring how that person relates themselves to the world around them.
(hey! that bears repeating! The first step in using the Wakefield Doctrine is to: (correctly) infer how the other person is relating themselves to the world around them. Please note that I did not say, ‘how the other person is relating to the world around them‘, I said, ‘how they are relating themselves to the world around them‘.
With one you are considering only how a person chooses to act, in the other, you are, of necessity, attempting to infer the reality, the context, the situation that is required to make (their) choice of action most appropriate.)
what it can do…
with the proper use of the Wakefield Doctrine, as a perspective, you can:
- know more about the other person than they know about themselves
- predict their future choices in most any situation
- change and improve your own life (by virtue of knowing yourself better through understanding the people around you)
you know, stuff like that.
Unlike most personality type systems and theories, the Wakefield Doctrine will not give you ‘the Answer’ and it totally will not let you change the other person.
the Wakefield Doctrine ‘is for you, not them’.
but it is fun. you can watch people, (we’re betting that you enjoy that anyway) and you will know more about the people in your life without having to ask awkward questions ( “er… honey, you know I love those Louboutins and what you’ve done with your hair, but it’s only going to be the kids teachers and some other parents.“).
of course, the self-inderstanding and self-improvement is a little more…. effort. But! if you’ve made it this far reading today’s Post I know that you have what it takes to enjoy our little Doctrine.