Originally published May 12, 2011.
Updated and republished September 13, 2015.
You can find basic information about Spranger guiding values (including ranking all of your values), DISC behavior styles, and relationships at smilessparksuccess.com. You will get the most out of this blog post if you look through that website and read through the free PDF downloads. See also the blog post “Behavior Clues for Romance: Whom To Run From, Whom To Run To”. See page 14 in S&R_Keys for a little background on Spranger guiding values.
Any individual set of guiding values is affected by life circumstances, physical health, mental health, and emotional health.
Years ago I filled out an index that gave me a detailed explanation of my value ranking. It was only partly accurate. I have not found a free online assessment for ranking values. You will have to use what I created for the S&R_Keys download. See pages 16 through 18. I created a ranking that explains all of my values accurately. I hope it explains all of yours.
When you understand your own and other people’s guiding values, you can identify whom to run from (romantic duds) and whom to run to (romantic dynamos) for romance. Keep in mind that most of the people in the world will be romantic duds for you. Also keep in mind that you will be a romantic dud for most of the people in the world. Since you would like the rest of the people in the world to treat you with respect, remember to treat your romantic duds with respect.
Using your relationships with family, friends, and former romantic partners as guides, you can identify your:
Run to value passions for romance
Run from value passions for romance
Possible run from value passions
Value passions to work on
Eduard Spranger identified six values in his 1928 book, Types of Men: The Psychology and Ethics of Personality. I use different words to describe each value and have added the negative and positive expressions of each value. I explain some of them in the S&R_Keys download. I will explain each in detail in a book that is still in progress, Success & Relationship Keys: Opening, Closing, Or Slamming Doors To Personal & Professional Success.
Usefulness, Universal or Unbiased
Knowledge, Know-it-all or Nurturing
Harmony, Heedless or Hand-in-Hand
Belief, Bully or Balanced
Helping, Heedless or Holistic
Position, Priority or Purposeful
I will use my own experiences as examples for this blog post. My value ranking is:
First Value Helping Guiding Value
Second Value Knowledge Guiding Value
Third Value Belief Situational Value
Fourth Value Harmony Situational Value
Fifth Value Usefulness Split Value
Sixth Value Position Negative Value
When you rank your values, start with your guiding values and think about the other values for a while. I learned about Spranger values from a company that told me I would have two guiding values, two situational values, one negative value, and one neutral value. Trying to rank my values according to their definitions, I ranked two of my values incorrectly. It took me years to stop thinking their way and start understanding how all of my values worked in my life. You probably will have two guiding values. After that, you could have any combination of situational, split, negative and/or neutral values. The split value designation comes from my understanding of the Usefulness value in my own life. Take your time to get it right.
See pages 16 through 18 for value ranking worksheets in the S&R_Keys download.
Run To Value Passions
My first guiding value is Helping. I learned to be passionate about helping people from my father. We lived in a middle class northern suburb of Chicago from the 1950s into the 1990s. My father somehow adopted a black family from the south side of Chicago during the 1960s. The black family owned a second hand store. At least once a year, my father invited the black family to come up from their black neighborhood to our white suburb to pick up everything he had saved for them to sell in their store. They gratefully drove away with a full pickup truck after every visit. I can remember the smile on my father’s face as he waved goodbye. I can remember the smiles on the faces of the black family the entire time they were at our house.
Helping value passions are positive when they are holistic. The Holistic Helping value helps people by taking several factors into consideration, including:
What the person in need sees as their need
The situation the person is in
The other people in the situation who affect what the person in need can do
The helper’s own needs and situation
My father practiced Holistic Helping. The black family saw themselves as continually needing items to sell in their secondhand store. Their situation meant they were continually looking for items to sell. In the 1960s, most white people from any part of the Chicago area would have nothing to do with blacks living on the South Side of Chicago. My father had grown up in poverty. He wanted to help other people get out of poverty because he needed to feel he was making a positive difference in someone else’s life. His situation allowed him to make that positive difference.
My second guiding value is Knowledge. I also developed the passion for knowledge from my father. Knowledge was a situational value for him. He encouraged us to do well in school. He hung a small blackboard in the dining room so we could learn new words. He kept telling me I should get two college degrees and teach. As an adult, I have two college degrees. I teach through workshops and writing. I enjoy gathering knowledge in a variety of ways. I enjoy making connections between different types of knowledge. I make those connections available to other people so they can have a better understanding of themselves and their relationships.
You can see my Helping and Knowledge passions working together on my speakingfromtriumph.com and smilessparksuccess.com websites. All of the free PDF downloads are my way of helping people through knowledge. I also write blog posts that are full of information people can use to make more effective choices for their lives, such as this blog post.
People with Nurturing Knowledge as a guiding value are effective parents, teachers, leaders, and mentors. They provide children, schools, communities, and businesses with knowledge that leads to the education, experience, skills, resources, and connections necessary for success. I try to nurture people with the connections I make between different types of knowledge.
The passion of situational values comes up only in certain situations. The Belief value is situational for me. I have beliefs that are important to me, but they do not guide every decision I make. After growing up in one religion and being part of two other religions, I have decided that my religion is the Golden_Rule. This is what I call the Participation Golden Rule:
Do unto others as you would have others do unto you
by satisfying their needs as they see them.
I believe that if I satisfy others’ needs as they see them, they will be more likely to satisfy my needs as I see them. In part this comes from my discovery that spectacular success comes from working with others and satisfying others.
I also have strong beliefs about equality. I used to believe that feminism was the way to create equality for women. Now I believe the opposite. The words and action of feminist leaders led me to the understanding that I would never enjoy equality through their efforts. See my blog post “If Feminist Leaders Want Equality, Why Do They Create Inequality?” Now I believe that equality between men and women will follow equality between women. I call myself an equality advocate. I act on my beliefs about equality by advocating equality between women, between men, and between men and women. I advocate for equality between women by writing blog posts about how feminist leaders create inequality. See the “Feminist Leaders” category at blog.speakingfromtriumph.com.
I expect other people to have beliefs that are important to them. Those beliefs are neutral for me as long as they are not bullying beliefs. I can respect the beliefs of people with a Balanced Belief guiding value, meaning they recognize that different life experiences lead to different beliefs.
My Harmony value is also situational. For instance, I have a special relationship with trees. Gardening satisfies my secondary High S behavior style need for quiet activities, but my garden plants do not mean what trees mean to me. Trees take my breath away. I love looking at trees and looking through the spaces between branches and between trees. When the wind blows through trees, I hear them laughing. I need to be surrounded by trees so I can hear their laughter.
Hand-in-Hand Harmony was my father’s second guiding value, influencing me again. He sought his own harmony with nature by taking us children to forest preserves and by beautifully and creatively landscaping our yard. I try to be hand-in-hand with my Harmony passion. I took my daughter to beaches and parks when she was little, and I take my grandchildren to beaches and parks while they are little.
I also listen to particular types of music to express particular feelings. After a lifetime of PTSD because of my childhood, I found a way to feel safe by listening to the music from one particular movie.
Values can be split between a task orientation and a people orientation. I don’t know how many people have split values, but the Usefulness value is split for me. It is important for me to make objects useful in more than one way. I like multifunctional furniture and tools, for example. My passion for making things useful in more than one way also came from my father. He survived the 1930s depression and what he didn’t give the black family he saved for us in case of another depression. He used items he saved as he thought of uses for them.
The Usefulness value can be either unbiased or universal. People with the Unbiased Usefulness value look at people as individuals and at objects as useful or useless. People with the Universal Usefulness value look at both people and objects as profitable resources (useful) or costly obstacles (useless). I am appalled when someone treats other people as profitable resources or costly obstacles rather than as individuals.
My romantic dynamos would share at least some of my passions — helping people, nurturing people with knowledge, spending time in nature, making and enjoying music, and making objects useful in more than one way.
Run From Value Passions
My mother’s first guiding value is Position. The Position value can be either Priority Position or Purposeful Position. Priority Position people want to lead and direct others in ways that benefit only themselves. Their priority is their own status and power. Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi are examples of Priority Position people. They did not lead for the purpose of benefiting their citizens. They led for the priority of maintaining their own status and power. My mother is also a Priority Position person. She did not lead for the purpose of benefiting our family. She led for the priority of maintaining her own status and power.
Purposeful Position people want to lead and direct other people in ways that are beneficial. Pope Francis is a Purposeful Position person. He leads in ways he thinks will benefit all human beings. He is not leading for his own sake. His Belief guiding value means his purpose is shaped by his Catholic faith, so it is possible to see him as beneficial while disagreeing with some of his leadership.
Evidence suggests that Pope Francis’ Purposeful Position value is a situational value. He did not want to be Pope. Belief and Helping are probably his guiding values.
My mother’s second guiding value is Universal Usefulness. She looks at every person — including her husband, children, and grandchildren — as profitable resources or costly obstacles to maintaining her status and power.
I write extensively about my mother for the sake of other people who have parents with a Universal Usefulness guiding value. It took me decades to understand that nothing I said or did mattered. The day I was born my mother decided I was useless to her because I was her second daughter instead of her first son. I am the female who was supposed to be male. Since I can never be the male she wanted, she will never see me as useful. When I finally understood that, I stopped wasting my time trying to please her. I ended my relationship with my mother and got on with my life. My father had already been dead for years by then. I am much happier now. I want to help people with childhoods like mine stop wasting their time trying to please parents who see them as useless and costly. Helping other people understand toxic family relationships is one way I express my Helping and Knowledge guiding value passions.
People with Priority Position and Universal Usefulness (or Universal Usefulness and Priority Position) as their guiding values are capable of taking things they want away from other people because they feel they deserve anything they want. When I was a child, we used to drive past a fancy house on our way to church. My mother considered it her dream house. When it went up for sale she talked or bullied my father into buying it for her. By doing so, she took her husband away from their children and us children away from our father. The house was so expensive to live in that my father had to work extra hours to pay all the bills. The more time he spent working to pay the bills, the less time he had to spend with us. My mother eventually had to find employment herself.
My mother later took my father’s retirement away from him. By then she had an executive position at an insurance company. After throwing a big retirement party for him when he was 65, she bullied my father into continuing to pay all of the household bills. This meant he had to work, of course. He was still paying all of the household bills at age 69, the year he died. My mother wanted to save her own money for the European vacations she felt entitled to. My father received his lung cancer diagnosis weeks after their last trip to Europe. He had already been sick for months, at least. He died six months later.
My mother took money away from her children. I saw my father’s will when I was a teenager. He split his estate between my mother and us children. Before he died, however, my mother bullied him into changing his will so that she could inherit everything. She later claimed that the money she had come from her own hard work. She didn’t explain that her hard work was the time and effort she put into taking whatever she wanted away from other people.
My mother even took a blouse away from my niece. I found a pink blouse at a thrift store, but it did not fit my narrow shoulders. The next time I visited my older sister, I offered it to her. She said she did not like pink, but her teenage daughter did. I gave the pink blouse to my niece, who said she liked the blouse. My mother was visiting my sister that same weekend. She came into the room and I explained to her why I was giving the blouse to my niece. I left the room and came back to find my mother wearing the pink blouse I had just given my to niece. I was too shocked to say anything. The next morning my mother left early. When I asked my niece about the blouse she said that, “Grandma just adopted it.” My mother took the blouse out of her granddaughter’s hands and kept it because she wanted it and felt she deserved to have it.
Under stress, people with Priority Position and Universal Usefulness as their guiding values are capable of killing people they see as threatening to their status and power. Saddam Hussein killed other Iraqis to protect his status and power. Muammar Gaddafi killed other Libyans to protect his status and power. My mother tried to kill me to protect her status and power. My mother had been raised to believe that she could prove herself to be a good woman only as the mother of a son. I am her second child and her second daughter. It was all right for my older sister to be female because she was the first child. I am the child who was supposed to be the son who would protect her status as a good woman. My mother saw me as a costly and threatening obstacle to her status. Killing me would have saved her from wasting her time and energy on a useless child. Killing me would have protected her status as a good woman.
I should run from anyone with a Priority Position and Universal Usefulness guiding value combination.
The Usefulness and Position Guiding Value Combination Can Be Positive
I want to reassure anyone who has Position and Usefulness as their guiding values. The determining factor for how someone acts on the passions of this guiding value combination is moral integrity. It is moral integrity that makes the Usefulness value unbiased. It is moral corruption that makes the Usefulness value universal. It is moral integrity that makes the Position value purposeful. It is moral corruption that makes the Position value priority. Moral integrity means that people with Usefulness and Position as their guiding values have high standards for their own actions. They use resources as best they know how to work with and through other people for the benefit of many people.
Possible Run From Value Passions
Harmony is a situational value for me. I could run to someone with a Hand-in-Hand Harmony value, meaning they seek harmony while taking into consideration the other people in their lives. My father was a Hand-in-Hand Harmony person. He sought his own harmony with nature by taking us children to forest preserves and by beautifully and creatively landscaping our yard. He included his family in his harmony.
People with a Heedless Harmony value seek their own harmony while forgetting about the people in their lives. They exclude those closest to them from their harmony. Given that my mother and siblings excluded me from much of their lives, I should run from any relationship in which the other person excludes me from their harmony.
People with strong beliefs who try to force their beliefs on others have a Bully Belief guiding value. Any belief — religious or otherwise — can produce people with a Bully Belief guiding value, including environmentalists and feminists. Bully environmentalists have burned houses to the ground, going beyond bully to criminal. Feminists of the 1960s and 70s were famous for “trashing” other feminists to punish them for such crimes as speaking their own words and taking their own actions. See the article below for Joreen’s firsthand account of how viciously some feminists trashed other feminists. It was published in the April, 1976 issue of Ms. Magazine, pages 49-51 and 92-98.
After a lifetime of being bullied by my mother, I should run from anyone with a Bully Belief value.
Value Passions to Work On
Helping is my first value. The Helping value can be either holistic or heedless. The Holistic Helping value helps people by taking everything possible into consideration, including:
What the person in need sees as their need
The situation the person is in
The other people in the situation who affect what the person in need can do
The helper’s own needs and situation
I think I mostly help people in a holistic way. However, I remember at least three times when I was heedless about the help I offered. Twice I promised significant help without considering if I could deliver that help. I couldn’t deliver it because the help I offered was the opposite of what I needed to satisfy my behavior style needs. If I had understood my behavior styles needs back then, I would have been able to offer the kind of help I could deliver. In a third situation I know I did far more harm than good. In fact, I probably did all harm and no good.
I must work on offering help only when I know I can deliver the help I offer. I should offer a certain amount of help or specific helping actions for a fixed time. When the help is finished or the time is over, both of us should evaluate the effectiveness of my help. We could then decide if we should continue things as they were, change them, or end my help completely.
I also must make sure that the help I offer fits what the person I want to help needs. I must ask questions or follow whatever communication they can give me. I must be aware of the situation each of us is in.
My father helped the black family in a way that satisfied both his needs as well as their needs. He gave them items to sell in their store without promising them any specific amount or type of item. He called them when he was ready to fill their truck. His help satisfied their needs. His help fit the circumstances of both his situation and their situation.
I’m so fascinated with odd bits of information that at times I have sounded like a know-it-all, an irritating know-it-all. I’m learning to be careful about when I pull isolated facts out of thin air.
I also have to work at not telling people what they want to hear. My secondary High S behavior style wants to please people. At times when people came to me for information, I gave them information I thought would please them when I should have said, “I don’t know.”
Experts can be considered know-it-alls when they assume they know everything about an issue or subject. No one knows everything, including experts. The world entered a recession in 2008 because financial experts did not know everything.
To avoid becoming a know-it-all, I do not call myself an expert. I am an author, a businesswoman, a professional (not motivational) speaker and a documentary filmmaker. Even though I seem to be the only person who has identified the ingredients for spectacular success, people around the world have been creating spectacular success for hundreds of years at least without any help from me. I’ve just analyzed how they did it or do it so others can learn from them. To increase your knowledge of DISC behavior styles and Spranger guiding values, you should read what other people have written about them, because I do not know everything. However, I came up with the phrase “Spranger guiding values”. You’ll have to search with different words to find other people who write about them.
That’s how you should approach anyone who is known as an expert. They may know a lot, but they do not know everything. Find other ways to gather information so you have more than just one perspective to guide you.
My husband’s first guiding value was Hand-in-Hand Harmony. He enjoyed making music and being in nature and he shared both types of harmony with me.
His second guiding value was Helping. He did not have the resources to satisfy his passion as much as he would have liked to. But whenever a person or animal in need crossed his path, he did whatever he could to help.
If we had understood our guiding value passions, we could have taken actions to satisfy those passions together. Many of the successes of my life came from satisfying my guiding value passions. (See Essential Success, Achievement Success, and Open Door Success at smilessparksuccess.com.) My husband and I could have sparked positive life changes for ourselves if we had focused on satisfying our helping passions together.
Your Value Ranking
Use smilessparksuccess.com and the PDF downloads to help you figure out your own value ranking. Satisfying your positive guiding value passions will spark successes you didn’t know were possible.
Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)
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Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.
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