I understand that Archetypes can be viewed as being the centre or core of a complex.
In a way, a complex can be seen as the sum of the expressions of a particular archetype. The very first archetype that Jung and Freud identified was, at least for a while, described almost interchangeably as the Oedipus Archetype and the Oedipus Complex.
However there are certainly complexes that cannot be described as synonymous with an Archetype, one example being the ‘inferiority complex’. It still fits the description of a complex but it is not equal to any specific archetype in itself – in fact it can be present amongst any of the archetypes.
Aren’t archetypes more of a way of being, while Meyers/Briggs seeks to define personality …which is how we act out our way of being.
They exist within the unconscious from before birth and can be attributed to several ‘levels’ of what might be called Soul and Spirit (which I see as two distinct areas). As such we can really only explore them through the use of metaphor rather than through empirical science.
They are also universally recognised, having been proven to exist as structures of thinking (and feeling) across all races, cultures and periods of time. They are absolutely inseparably from our design us as human beings.
That said, I personally treat the six Team Me archetypes as genderless. So if I am coaching a woman, I’ll talk about her ability to act as the Queen, and when I mention the Warrior I make sure that what she has in mind in a female Warrior figure, etc, etc.
Thankfully some significant teachers like Carol S. Pearson have since entered this space; though much of the original framework of understanding had already been established. As a case in point, building upon the work of Joseph Campbell, Carol’s work emphasises the journey of the ‘Hero’ which itself is a masculine, adolescent archetype! I’m not sure she realised that. (I do very much believe in Heroines, I should add.)
Whatever, I’m pleased to see several significant female teachers now taking a notable position in the field. There are some whose teaching (male and female) I have to say I really don’t agree with – especially those who suggest we should be ‘contacting archetypal spirits and asking them for guidance’ (not a path I want to tread myself, nor would I encourage), but none of us have this thing totally sown up, we just go by the best map we have.
Having an awareness of archetypes can be very helpful in both management and leadership development. I would go as far as to say it is essential.
Since you’re asking about management in particular, we should first ask the question, ‘What are the key success factors for any manager?’
Whatever industry they find themselves in, every manager needs to be able to plan, organise, staff (or recruit), delegate, supervise, measure and report on their department’s activities and progress.
How the manager deals with the people she’s responsible for is absolutely key to her success. She needs to have a very good understanding of her staff; what they value, what motivates them, what annoys them, how they prefer to operate, in what sort of situations they thrive…or simply shrivel, and, crucially, which members of their team they likely to get on with well, and which they are likely to find a bit more challenging.
All these issues can be unearthed through archetypal profiling.
As the managers come to understand the typical characteristics and tendencies of each archetype, they will be much better equipped to plan ahead and assign the required tasks to the most suitable team member.
Managers we coach are trained to recognise the tell-tale signs of the various archetypes (and their shadows) as they are expressed by particular individuals in their teams and given specific methods of handling, directing, supervising and structuring activities to achieve the highest performance possible.
These matters are explored in a little more detail in the book ‘Team Me’, but for a more in-depth understanding of our methods do contact Pad directly.
Such ‘re-wiring’ can be designed so that their energies are steered away from a presently strong archetype, that they wish to ‘demote’, and towards one that is weaker, so that traits of the formerly inferior archetype begin to manifest in daily life.
So, yes, it is possible to achieve this. However, it would be prudent to need to ask why you would want to do that? Is it really ‘congruently desirable’? What I mean by that is; would it benefit you, others around you and the world at large?
At times it actually would. So there are times when I have gone some way down this path because the person I’m coaching has evidently developed some limiting decisions that they now need to demolish – usually due to some significant emotional event they faced in the past.
These unconscious, limiting decisions have limited their perceived set of available options and continue to hamper their progress in life. Related to this there is the example I gave (in the webinar) of the education manager in the HM Prison service. She felt she was naturally a more nurturing kind of person (the Lover), yet her experience told her that the Warrior was required to ‘keep those inmate in line’. Here I would want to see more of the Lover, but not lose the strength of the Warrior. For her own part, she would need to see that the Lover could be effective in gaining positive results before she relaxed her current Warrior stance.
All that said, aside from the negative impact of significant emotional events, I believe that you should generally accept what you’ve been made to be and press on to a greater place of maturity. This would firstly involve seeing the great benefits of your naturally dominant archetypes - ensuring they are operating in a balance/mature way, rather than frequently ‘overheating’ and causing damage – and then seeking to grow a little more in the mode of the other archetypes. (Specific techniques for this are detailed in the book ‘Team Me’).
I’ve met him only once, and briefly shook his hand (though our conversation was admittedly rather limited) but those who know him say that though he’s clearly the big boss, he also makes sure that people are looked after – and this applies to his staff, not just his customers. Definitely Sovereign and definitely Lover.
1. Approaching a situation: Ok, here’s the key point - The more mature archetypes that you have personally available to you, the more flexible you can be in your approach to any life situation and the more effective you’ll be at overcoming any challenges that face you. (The individual with the greatest flexibility comes out on top, as they say in NLP.) If you only have strong Sovereign and Warrior traits, how will you fair when the answer can only be seen by the Lover or a Mystic?
2. Rebalancing: first you need to decide if it’s better that you team up with others who have the archetypal strengths you lack, or if you’re ready to stretch yourself outside your usual comfort zone to learn to command what will be unfamiliar territory. Once decided, you can use a number of NLP techniques to strengthen weaker archetypes and defuse overheated behaviours. (Impossible to detail the techniques here but they would include anchoring, parts integration and swish patterns, amongst others.)
3. Help other people: Of course this depends upon the type of help that someone needs. But broadly speaking, if they need help it’s simply because they have not been able to access the required archetypal resources that they need to deal with their situation.
Your job is to show them they can (indeed *must*) take responsibility for their behaviours and that they do have the resourcefulness required to turn things around (even if that is only the resourcefulness to pray!). In the near term you, yourself, might have to be the Warrior or Sage or Mystic that they need – but longer term you’d want to ‘teach a man to fish’ for himself, as the old saying goes.
So let me throw down a challenge; sometimes someone will have tried to help their friends/son/daughter/colleague by approaching them as a Lover… when actually what they need is a Warrior to give them a good kick up the butt. The Lover is offended by such a proposition, but it might actually be the most *loving* thing to do. The key, again, is having the flexibility to try several different approaches – but if you don’t have many mature archetypes available to you, you’ll find yourself burning out and in danger of slipping into the frozen state of the archetype you’ve completely ‘spent’.