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The Conscientious Personality

(The Objective Thinker Personality)

Introduction

People with a Conscientious personality prefer to set the standard for the
group, and they expect everyone else to comply, with the same level of
quality, accuracy, and order. Conscientious personalities are concerned with
doing something the most precise, accurate way that leads to a quality
product or process.
There are times in life when we need quality results, when the job needs to be
done with precision which is what Conscientiousness personalities do best.
God created the world with accuracy, order, and quality. Fortunately, some
people still strive for achievements that manifest those characteristics.
God selected Moses, a High C, to accurately proclaim His law to the Hebrew
people. Just getting the job done would not have been sufficient.
The High D will get us over the mountain, to be sure, but the High C will get
us over the mountain with everyone and everything in its place, at the proper
time and destination, and within budget.
Like High Ss they prefer the status quo and when presented with new ideas
they ask numerous clarification questions.
High Cs are able to detect errors in a planning process before it breaks
down.
However, too much cautiousness can become a weakness. Their drive for
perfection can become a handicap.

Biblical Characters Representing the High C Personality

Luke, Ester
Moses, Thomas,
Naomi (?)
Elijah, Deborah, Ruth
John, Mary (?)

Objective Thinker
Perfectionist

(Primary High C)
(C/S/D)

Cooperator
Unknown

(C/I/S)
(C=S)

Tendencies of the Conscientiousness Personality


Focuses on the Product Rather Than Process:

Both High Ds and Cs are task oriented; however, the High D


personality is driven by the process of achieving a goal, whereas the
High C personality tends to concentrate on producing a quality
product. They emphasize the correct or right way to carry out a
task.
Example: Publishing a book. The High D would concern themselves
with the step-by-step process of getting the manuscript written, edited,
to press, and ultimately delivered. The typical High C would
concentrate his efforts on insuring that the manuscript was accurate,
grammatically correct, printed on quality paper in a timely manner, and
within budget.

Prefers Structure Rather Than Spontaneity

Part of the High Cs drive for quality, accuracy, and order comes from
their desire for a structured environment.
High Cs believe that life itself should proceed along a predictable
path. Their motto might be I cant act on a tasks until I get it right!
In contrast, the High I and D personalities seek spontaneity and
freedom of expression.

Desires Accuracy and Precision

Both Moses and Luke are examples of High Cs who God used when
accuracy and precision were important to report and record his laws.
A High Cs preoccupation with detail leads him to prefer an
environment where everything has a name, label, and place. A good
example is when you borrow a tool from a man who is a High C. Their
instructions are use it properly, clean it when youre done, oil if if
necessary, and put it back exactly where he has labeled it to go.

Tends To Be Cautious About Change and Is Likely to Ask


Questions For Clarification

Before a High C personality is comfortable with change, they must


process information---all the information---that might pertain to the
change. Their needs are met through asking questions.

Processing information is critical to a High C personality if they are to


feel comfortable with change. They usually remain cautious a long
time before completely accepting the change.
High Cs will generally comply with those in authority when challenged
with obstacles and pressure.

Blind Spots of the High C


Fears Criticism
Because of their high standards of performance, High C
personalities can be extremely critical of their own work and
have a tendency to internalize criticism from others.
They have difficulty with criticism because they see criticism as
dissatisfaction with their standard of performance.
Their tendency to internalize criticism usually leads them to
experience feelings of insecurity and depression.
Being patient and encouraging to a High C can be valuable to
their recovery from fearful events.

Tends To Be Critical and Demanding Under Pressure


High Cs can be quiet demanding of others. If we make a
commitment with a High C personality they will expect us to
follow through, and if the agreed upon plan is changed, they will
constantly remind us of the changes. Their commitment to
excellence can produce negative results.
Example: Jonah was disappointed the Lord sparing the people
of Nineveh.

Primary High C Personality


(The Objective Thinker Personality)

I.

II.

Tendencies of the High C Personality:


Primary drive

Being cautious, desires to follow


instructions

Personal giftedness

Attention to details, validation of


data, diplomatic, loyalty

Group giftedness

Dependable, the conscience for


any group

Potential spiritual gifts

Pastor-Teaching, Helps, Service

Internal fears

The unknown and undefined

Strength out of control

Overanalyzes the importance of


issues and data

Under stress becomes

Cautious and indecisive

Blind spots

Loses sight of the big picture by


continued focus on details

Needs to work on

Letting unimportant details and


issues take care of themselves

Best team members

I, I/C, I/D, I/S, S/C

Biblical Characters Who Represent High C


Personality Traits:

III.

Luke
Esther

Further Bible Study:

Strengths
Weaknesses

Luke 1:1-4; Esther 4:1-17, 5:1-6


Esther 5:7-8, Esther 7:1-10

The High C Personality Traits


(The Objective Thinker Personality)

Positive Traits

High Cs (Objective thinkers) tend to be low-key, factual, and painfully


accurate.
They are reliable, precise, conscientious, and tactful.
They prefer a predictable environment free of surprises.
If change and/or conflict occurs, they tend to become cautious and avoid
the conflict.
They will often solicit the advice of several counselors to clarify issues,
mentally cross-check and process the information, then make a decision.
They prefer being part of a team and are uneasy about public recognition.
Example: Luke best represents this style. He was the most scholarly men
of the N.T. writers. His gospel is one of the most poetic and personal of
the four gospels. His writings are accurate and systematic. True to this
profile, Luke never mentions his name as the author either of the Gospel
of Luke or the Acts of the Apostles.

Value To A Team

Once committed, High Cs are thorough and loyal to completing the task
at hand.
Example: Luke recorded Pauls activities during his three missionary
journeys. His detailed accounts give us an accurate record of the
historical workings of the first-century church. His recordings of Jesus
life are characterized as the gospel to the gentiles.

Response To Pressure:

When threatened, High Cs will become cautious and indecisive. On


the other hand, if supported and given time, they will often develop a
diplomatic and tactful response.
Example: Esther, a classic High C, devised a plan to save her people.

The High C/S/D Personality


(The Perfectionist Personality)

I.

II.

Tendencies of the C/S/D Personality:


Primary drive

Validating the accuracy of data,


doing things right

Personal giftedness

Steadiness in completing the


assigned task

Group giftedness

Unwavering dependability,
commitment to quality

Potential spiritual gifts

Pastor-Teacher, Helps, Service

Internal fears

Criticism directed toward them

Strength out of control

Legalistic interpreting rules and


regulations

Under stress becomes

Diplomatic with others and/or


introspective, self-critical

Blind spots

Focusing on the optimistic side of


new ideas, plans, thoughts

Needs to work on

Being critical of self and others,


lowering expectations

Best team members

I/D, D/I, S/I, I/S

Biblical Characters Who Represent C/S/D


Personality Traits:

III.

Moses
Thomas, Namoi (possibly)

Further Bible Study:

Strengths

Ex. 19, 24, 32; Deut. 4


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Weaknesses

Ex. 3:1-22, 4:1-17

The C/S/D Personality Traits


(The Perfectionist Personality)

Positive Traits

High C/SD personalities are models of quality control.


They respond well to those in authority and follow written and verbal
instructions in a methodical, orderly manner.
When giving instructions, C/S/Ds (Perfectionist) give the exact message
with the same intent and spirit of the author.
Example: In Exodus 19-23, it is Moses, the Perfectionist, through whom
God chooses to communicate His laws to His people.

Value To A Team

C/S/Ds are critical to a team when high standards and specific


procedures are required.
They tend to be reliable, factual, steady, and a stickler for system and
order.
Once committed to a plan, C/S/D personalities (Perfectionist) will complete
the assigned task without regard to time.

Strength Out Of Control

C/S/Ds put a great deal of emphasis on seeing the hard facts with their
own eyes.
They have a tendency to over emphasize observing, validating, studying,
and touching the evidence before drawing an conclusions.
Example: Thomas did not believe the stories of Christ resurrection until
he could see the nail wounds in His hands and put his fingers into them
and place his hand into Jesus side.

The C/I/S Personality


(The Practitioner Personality)

I.

II.

Tendencies of the C/I/S Personality:


Primary drive

Intense desire to maintain quality;


cooperation

Personal giftedness

Conscientious in communicating
standards and traditions

Group giftedness

Being able to assume a variety


of functions

Potential spiritual gifts

Exhortation, Helps, Knowledge

Internal fears

Criticism of personal effort or


work

Strength out of control

Being confused by the mix of


internal messages

Under stress becomes

Self-critical and paralyzed by


emotions

Blind spots

Incongruent feelings making


logical bottom-line thinking
difficult

Needs to work on

Letting others help, being more


open to sharing negative feelings

Best team members

D, D/I, D = I, S/D

Biblical Characters Who Represent C/I/S


Personality Traits:

III.

Elijah
Deborah (?)
Ruth (?)

Further Bible Study:


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Strengths
Weaknesses

1 Kings 18:1-46
1 Kings 19:1-18

The C/I/S Personality Traits


(The Practitioner Personality)
To understand the C/I/S actions we have to realize that they are driven by the
interaction of the separate needs to control, to influence, and to cooperate.

Positive Traits

The C/I/S personality is skilled at breaking down complex ideas into


practical steps and systematic procedures. Their thoughts when working
on a project often progress from Im sure we can find a way to do it to
This is the right way to do it!
Example: 1 Kings 18:22-39 Elijah outlines a method for proving who was
the true God of Israel: Jehovah or Baal.

Value To The Team

The C/I/S personality often has knowledge about many subjects and can
network well among different groups.
They have high ambitions for themselves and others.
The C/I/S personality (Practitioner) works hard at becoming a key person
in a specialized field.
It is not uncommon for them to strike out on then own, even though they
may have to give up some security that also drives them.
Getting the C/I/S personality to discuss their feelings of disappointment
about the performance of others helps resolve potential conflicts.

Response Under Pressure

Unlike the other High Cs, the C/I/S personalities have good verbal skills
and can handle most of their conflicts adequately.
Example: In 1 Kings 18:27 was able to face the priests of Baal in the test
to burn up the sacrifice placed on the wet wood.

The High C = S Personality


(The Unidentified Personality)

I.

II.

Tendencies of the C/S Personality:


Primary drive

Critical thinking, being cooperative,


validating data

Personal giftedness

Team player, good at following


through, commitment to quality
and order

Group giftedness

Maintains, traditions, adapting


to those in authority

Potential spiritual gifts

Knowledge, Teaching, Service

Internal fears

Surprises and illogical thinking

Strength out of control

Questions all data for accuracy


and flaws

Under stress becomes

Introspective and overly


concerned with what ifs

Blind spots

Being preoccupied with having


to resolve every experience
logically

Needs to work on

Talking about negative


thoughts and feelings

Best team members

I, I/C, I/S, I/S/C, S

Biblical Characters Who Represent C=S Personality


Traits:

John
Mary (?)

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III.

Further Bible Study:

Strengths
Weaknesses

John 19:26-27; Luke 1:26-56


Luke 2:15-19; 2:41-51

The High C = S Personality Traits


(The Unidentified Personality)

Positive Traits

The C=S personalities tend to be critical thinkers


When asked to perform a new task they often ask clarification questions.
They adapt once given logical, affirming reasons for a particular course of
action.
They reject interpersonal aggression and like to fit in with the team.
In conflictual situations they often withdraw and avoid the conflict.
They cooperate with those in authority.
Example: Ruths story is a good example of a High C=S.

Value To The Team

The C=S personality are loyal team players and are good at following
through.
They are stable, accommodating, and faithful.
The C=S personality is the model of being available and supportive.
Example: At the cross, John was the only one present. Jesus asked him
to take care of Mary who eventually became a part of his household.

Internal Fear

The C=S personality does not like surprises or illogical thinking. They will
ask questions in order to validate information and reestablish order and
stability.
They prefer to follow traditional rules, regulations, and procedures which
provide them with a level of security.
Example: When confronted with her pregnancy (illogical surprise) Mary
asked questions about how this was possible. Gabriel answered all of her
questions and told her about her aunt Elizabeth. Mary continued to
ponder all that had happened.

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Needs Of The Conscientiousness Personality


Introduction:

High Cs have a special talent for organizing and following instructions


correctly. They believe that an important part of life is obeying laws,
following the rules, and fulfilling commitments.
They believe that if they are compliant good things will happen and,
conversely, that if they resist, bad things will happen.
Like High Ss they fear antagonism and confrontation and will avoid
situations and people that produce conflict.
This fear based thinking develops into a life-style where pleasing others
and conforming to authority become the criteria for measuring success.
Their behavior takes on an acceptance by performance theme. The
see the path to Gods acceptance as compliance with the dos and donts.
They have a difficult time accepting the idea that Gods love is not
conditional. Their lives become a process of conforming to the do lists,
which often leads to basing their acceptance upon their ability to live up
to prescribed standards of holiness.
Of particular concern are children with a High C or High S personality
who also have extremely low D and I traits. These children have a
tendency to have very sensitive personalities. These children need
parents who are warm, accepting, and encouraging.

A contemporary case study of a High C under stress:

The High C has a tendency to perceive all of the flaws in society, people,
a product, anything.
The High C is often labeled the pessimist (being negative); the High I the
optimist (life in general is wonderful and upbeat). The High D wants to
change the world to meet their desires and wishes, while the High S
typically prefers to maintain the status quo.
All four views are normal, God given, and create a necessary balance.
To create this balance, initial perceptions must be respected and at the
same time be controlled by the Holy Spirit. When such a balance exist,
healthy disagreement can take place, so that issues can be clearly
defined. The High C makes sure no element is left unnoticed even
though others see them as being negative and against any new idea.
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High Is are particularly disturbed by a High Cs mistrust of their input.


High Cs typically disagree or recheck their story before even thinking
about making a decision.
High Cs need reassurances of support. Their nature is to gather
information and then check and recheck the data until they are sure it is
accurate.
High Cs typically choose independent resources to assimilate
information into a quality-control check.
High Cs need order and defined responsibility.

Common Responses Of The High C Under Stress


Change in plans or criticism of work.
A change in plans causes the High C to ask many what about and
what if questions.
High Cs feel secure when they have identified and categorized their
territory.
Internally, they work toward making sure everything is done correctly
and is in its place.
When faced with change, their tendency is to resist.
They are sensitive to criticism that exposes errors in their work. Even
if the comments are not directly related to them, they have a tendency
to take the remarks personally.
If both change and criticism are present, the High C will feel extremely
uncomfortable and experience internal stress.
Example: In Numbers 11 read about Moses dilemma with the people
of Israel.

Stress causes questions to be asked.


The major clue that a High C is under stress is to listen to the kinds of
questions they ask.
Example: Observe Moses comments in Numbers 11:11-13.

Criticism causes feelings of hopelessness, inadequacy, and


of being totally alone.
When stressed, it is common for the High C to feel that they are the
only people in the history of the world to face the problems they are
experiencing. They cannot claim the reality of the versus in 1 Peter
5:8-9.
Example: Read Moses words in Numbers 11:14. In 1 Kings 19:10,14,
Elijah expresses similar feelings.

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Partner(s) become impatient with the High Cs questions.


At this point, no answers will satisfy the High C. It would be best to
reject any poor me statements, offer support, and end the
conversation. They need time to reflect and process.

A Self-Image Breakdown, Can Lead To APoor Me Attitude


If the High C is allowed to remain locked in their thoughts, they have a
tendency to continue to think negative thoughts in their mind until they
have a self-image breakdown. Statements that attack their personal
worth or value are indicators that a self-image breakdown is about to
occur. Severe responses may include thoughts of killing themselves.
High Cs comment that helping them refocus their thinking and
creating and action plan for them are the keys to relieving their stress.
Example: Moses Numbers 11:15, 1 Kings 19:4 and Jonah 4:3.

The Three Rs in Loving the High C


How To Respond To A High C
Be specific and accurate
Make allowance for initial responses to be cautious and/or negative
Allow freedom to ask questions

How To Relate To A High C


Answer questions in a patient and persistent manner
Mix accurate information with assurances
Allow time to validate information

How To Reinforce The High C


Provide a step-by-step approach to a goal
Provide reassurances of support
Give permission to validate data with third parties

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Additional Information:
They have a preference for intellectual pursuits.
They enjoy exercising their reasoning abilities.
Intellectual pursuits bring them pleasure and satisfaction.
The High C perceives the life of the mind of prime importance and
takes precedence over emotions.
Spending hours alone developing new thoughts can be fun and
pleasurable for them.
The High C reads instruction books (maps, etc.) and enjoys it.

When requesting their participation in a project, be prepared


to give specific and accurate details.
The High Cs instinct is to go for the instruction book. So they need
specific details, up front, concerning how you want them to act or
participate in a project.
Example: Notice how thoroughly God explained to Moses the details
of His plans for the Exodus (Ex.3).
He identified who was making the request. (v. 3)
He stated the purpose of His visit. (v.7)
He gave Moses a description of His plan. (v. 8a)
He told Moses the part he would play in the plan. (v. 10)

Make allowances for initial response to be cautious.


High Cs exercise caution and restraint before committing to a project.
Moses did not accept Gods call immediately. Read his response in
Ex. v. 11. In classic High C fashion, he states that I am not the person
for the job

Offer assurances of support.


Failure to give them assurance and support makes them feel awkward
for asking questions and makes them vulnerable to internal conflict.

Be prepared to answer questions in a patient and persistent


manner.
The High Cs need for clarification can be annoying to High Ds and
High Is who are more action-oriented.
Example: Moses asked many questions about the task before him in
Ex. 11:13-24.

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Provide reassurance that no surprises will occur.


Assurances of no surprise changes will help the High C adapt to any
change.
Example: Ex. 4:1-2

Support your plans with accurate data and specific


information
The best way to confirm the accuracy of your communications to a
High C is to involve as many of the five senses (sight, touch, taste,
hearing, smell) as possible and clarify the who, what, when, where,
why, how and degree.
Example: God clarified His plan for Moses in Ex. 4:3-10.

Strongly reject ny Poor Me statements.


High Cs have a tendency to make statements that identify and
magnify their inadequacies.
Always answer High C clarification questions, but do not accept their
statements that discredit or devalue themselves (low self-esteem
statements)

Disagree with the facts and not the person.


Remember, High Cs are sensitive people.
When necessary, disagree with the facts of their communications, but
avoid personal attacks.
Example: God did not agree with Moses inability to speak fluently as a
valid excuse (Ex. 4:11-12, 13)

Be willing to offer assistance and support if their fears


persist.
If the High Cs fears of change become persistent and incapacitating ,
you may have to provide assistance to help them cope.
Confrontation is unproductive with High Cs.
Example: God offered assistance to Moses in Ex. 4:14-17.

They are conscientious, maintain high standards, and


complete assignments given to them.
They can maintain their focus on a project even during extreme
difficulties.
Assigned responsibilities are taken seriously, and they meticulously
work on the job until it is done.
They follow instructions carefully and keep high standards with a
commitment to quality.

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The High Cs greatest struggles


Unrealistic expectations of themselves and others. Even their
minimum standards are close to perfection, which is impossible to
achieve.
When they do not meet their own standards they feel like a failure and
end up putting themselves down.
They often keep good ideas to themselves for fear of
criticism/rejection.
They need to learn how to lower their expectations to a reasonable
level by getting feedback from supportive friends.
Clarify role expectations so they know what to expect and can avoid
setting unachievable standards.

Difficulties Relating to High Cs

High D: It is difficult providing the kind of detail they need in order to satisfy
their questions.

High I:

To patiently deal with all their questions without getting defensive.


Sometimes we just respond without intending to be taken seriously,
but High Cs take everything to be a concrete commitment.

High S:

Consistency in understanding their sensitivity levels.

High C: Being able to forgive ourselves and lower our expectations.

How to Build Better Relationships With High Cs

High D: If our plan to include them involves change, we shouldnt expect


them to make a decision right away. The loving response is to
allow them time to think about the change.

High I:

Submit to the fact that a little structure in our life wont hurt us.

High S:

Understand their sensitivity levels and being more patient with their
questions.

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High C: Being able to state my position, whether its popular or not.

What High C Skills Do You Most Appreciate?

High D: High Cs provide us with a commitment to quality control that we


need but dont want to take the time to do ourselves.

High I:

High Cs are our heavenly sandpaper who remind us when weve


missed the mark.

High S:

High Cs have the skill and commitment to check and recheck data
until it is right.

High C: Critical thinking and commitment to accuracy; having a sensitivity


level on a par with each other.

What High Cs Say About Themselves

High Cs naturally see the flaws within a system and are committed to
maintaining quality control.
Knowing their commitment to high standards, the Lord continually raised up
High C prophets to speak out when Israel strayed from God.

High C:

I need to know people are willing to listen to me, but I am not


asking that people always understand my logic.

High C/S:

Be patient with my questions and understand I need time to


process your responses. Also, if I cross-check your answers, it
doesnt mean I dont trust you---I just have to be sure.

High C/S:

I need an environment that includes patience, understanding,


encouragement, and gentle firmness.

High C/S/D: Allow me time to adjust to change and give me reasons why it
is necessary.

High C/I/S: I need an environment that exhibits acceptance, forgiveness,


honesty, and logical thinking.

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I often have several messages going on in my head. I


frequently am confused by my mixed emotions. Be patient with
me and be willing to give me nonjudgmental feedback.

How To Respond To A High C Under Stress

High C:

High C/S/D: Give me the freedom to express my true feelings and


understand that they are real to me. You can offer a different
point of view, but dont expect or demand me to agree with you
right away.

High C/S:

High C/I/S: Let me verbalize my feelings, but dont judge me for them. Be
patient with me.

Allow me to be alone with my thoughts until I am ready to talk.


I need time to process all the information.

After I hear your input, let me get off by myself and give me the
freedom to talk with someone else.

Help me to refocus my thoughts; give me something to do, but


reassure me as to how you will support me if I need help.

Summary:

Conscientiousness persons have the potential to be extremely valuable


members of the Body of Christ. However, when loaded down with stress their
behavior is misunderstood.
Because they are private individuals with extremely high standards, they often
have thoughts of unworthiness and feel uncomfortable sharing their innermost
thoughts and struggles.
When often perceive High Cs as people who are trying to be perfect and
committed to a performance process that is impossible to achieve.
It is important that we help them process information, respect their need for
time, listen to their problems, and are supportive when they seek help.

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Revised: 11/2006 by Dr. Richard Carr

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