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The Exhorter Person in Detail

The Exhorter person lives in the part of the mind that provides mental energy. As a child he finds it difficult to sit still, but wants to move around. As a student, he is still moving and full of energy. Parents and teachers may confuse this energy with disobedience, but that is not usually the case. He is not trying to be good; he is just driven by raw energy.

This mental energy is very good at motivating those who are around him. He likes to be at the center of attention and finds it easy to gain the attention of others. He tends to have a loud voice and finds it difficult to be quiet. If he plays a musical instrument, it is often a loud one such as drums or trumpet. He is often the leader of a group. He provides excitement, they handle the details. He comes up with ideas, they carry them out. He can have a ‘magnetic personality’ that draws others to his ideas. He makes a great salesman and finds it easy to convince someone else that he just must have the product, even if he does not really need it.

He is far better at starting something that finishing it. When he starts something, he comes up with the general scheme, the marketing plan, and the presentation. The content comes later. He can be somewhat clumsy. Fine motor skills are not his natural forte.

If he learns to channel his energy, then he turns into the tireless achiever, working hard and long in order to see his vision accomplished. When faced with problems, he does not tend to alter his path, or adjust to the circumstances. Instead, his natural tendency is to dig in, push harder, and apply more effort.

He makes sure that his life is full of fun and excitement. In youth, he is often the ‘party animal’, having a good time. He has an unusual ability to drink alcohol without getting drunk or having a major hangover. The disciplined Exhorter may work hard, but he also likes to have fun. He will try to combine work with play, getting things done in pleasant circumstances.

He is naturally talented at speaking in public. He loves to tell stories and finds it difficult to sit down and be quiet once he starts talking. He is excellent at motivating others with his words, and knows exactly what buttons to push in order to get a reaction from others. Sometimes he may even play devil’s advocate and defend an opposing view in order to get an emotional reaction from others.

He often is involved in sports. For the Contributor what matters is winning the game. He enjoys the excitement of playing, the intensity of the struggle, the character growth that occurs when athletes are faced with personal challenges.

He is a born optimist, who can always see the positive in a situation: “Hang in there, and everything will eventually work out. You can do it. Stick with it.” He may have problems getting started in the morning, but once he meets other people, then his energy starts flowing. Occasionally he gets depressed, but he can usually give himself a pep-talk in order to re-energize himself.

He tends to exaggerate. Others may see this as not telling the truth, but he is simply describing things the way that they could be, the way that they should be. Or, he is adding excitement to the story by altering some of the details. He is often drawn to historical fiction, which takes the dry facts of history and makes them more interesting by adding the personal element. His exaggeration never contradicts the facts but only stretches them. If he lacks mental content, then this stretching can go quite far. If he knows the facts, then the exaggeration will be more limited.

He has a great imagination. He can daydream for hours. He is attracted to the open sea with its wide vistas and open possibilities.

He loves an emotional crisis. It energizes him. He is bored when nothing exciting is happening and may even create a crisis in order to make life more interesting. This is one of the reasons why he exaggerates; he is trying to add excitement to a situation. The male Exhorter tends to perspire a lot, when he performs in public, his shirt gets wet with sweat.

He hates to be frustrated. When nothing changes, and the boredom and frustration become terminal, then he will move on to something new and more exciting. Therefore, whatever he is doing is the most exciting thing around. If it isn’t, then he will exaggerate it and talk about it until it becomes the most exciting thing. If something more exciting comes along, then he will be attracted to this new vision which will then become his current infatuation.

Practically speaking, whenever the Exhorter ‘moves on’ he ends up in a situation that is exactly the same as the previous one but with a new set of people and experiences. Eventually, he may learn this lesson and come to the conclusion that the only way to avoid frustration is by staying with a situation and not moving on.

Similarly, he is naturally a messy person, too involved with the important aspects of life to get bothered by minor details such as cleaning his room. In general, he is not a detail person. However, if he regards a minor detail as important, then he will devote great energy to it. Dead air really bothers him; it disturbs him when there is a pause in the program when nothing is happening. Likewise, he may conclude that making his bed in the morning is a critical step in reaching personal maturity.

He hates red tape, for it forces him to endure boring, minor, useless details. When possible, he will ignore rules and cut through red tape. Instead of going around obstacles, he will try to bash his way through them.

He is very good at pushing others to personal growth and maturity. He finds it more difficult to apply those steps to his own person. He is very willing to talk about his personal problems and shortcomings as long as he can control the subject. However, if someone else talks about his inadequacies, then the Exhorter finds it hard to accept. He loves group discussions, in which everyone shares about their personal problems—as long as he can lead them.

He is often surrounded by an in-group, people who follow his visions and turn his ideas into reality. He is wary of the independent expert, who does not follow his vision and whose uses unwelcome facts to deflate the enthusiasm of the Exhorter. He is tempted to divide his world into ‘us’ versus ‘them’, with he and his in-group striving valiantly against the rest of the world. When a member of the group no longer supports what the Exhorter is doing, then the Exhorter may ‘disappear’ him and pretend that he no longer exists.

Unlike the Contributor person, the Exhorter generally has a poor sense of personal ownership. He is quite willing to share his things with you, and expects you to do the same with him. Similarly, he is often losing things or leaving them behind.

He is often the ‘instant expert’. He learns the essence of some new material, plan, or skill, and then starts teaching others and acting as if he knows everything about the subject. If he does fail, then he either moves on, applies more effort, or else gets his ‘in-group’ to pick up the pieces. However, if he is forced to practice and learn, then he can become a genuine expert. Even then, he is better at ad-libbing then working out a detailed plan and carrying it out to the letter.

In general, he is driven by hope, he believes that he has an internal vision that can be made real. When he does implement his vision, he tends to pursue one alternative—the best one, regardless of how much it costs or how much effort is involved. He shares hope with others and motivates them to reach their potential.

Exhorter Modes

Exhorter thought ties together Mercy and Teacher. Exhorter strategy can operate in one of two main modes of thought. In one mode, Exhorter strategy holds on to some Teacher words, theory or structure, and then moves around in Mercy thought in the light of this Teacher anchor.

For the undisciplined Exhorter person, this is the primary mode of thought. He grabs on to some slogan or concept and then finds excitement in the experiences of life. He is having fun; he is having a party; he is moving on. This circuit can also operate at a higher level. Suppose that the Exhorter person learns about some Teacher theory. He wants to know what can be done with this theory; how can it be used as an anchor to come up with meaningful Mercy experiences. If a theory has no application, then he will avoid learning it.

In the other mode, Exhorter strategy anchors thought in some Mercy experience or situation while moving through the world of Teacher words, theories and organization. The Exhorter person uses this mode of thought when ‘learning from life’. Whenever he finds himself in an emotional situation, he will try to derive some Teacher understanding from this Mercy experience. This circuit can also operate at many levels. For instance, the Exhorter person is great at dealing with organizational or personal disaster. He comes into the situation that is full of Mercy pain. Then, using that as an anchor, he puts together Teacher understanding and rebuilds Teacher structure.

These modes of thought can chain together over several years. For instance, going through the teenage years can be a major Mercy trauma. The typical Exhorter person will learn many Teacher lessons from this Mercy situation. He may then become the ‘youth worker’ who applies his Teacher theories to the Mercy experiences of youth. When he observes a specific Mercy situation in someone else, he will share his Teacher theories. When he talks about Teacher understanding, he will apply it to the Mercy experiences of youth.

While one of these modes is usually dominant, it appears that the Exhorter person usually spends several minutes to hours within one mode before slipping to the other. At a party, for instance, he may suddenly sit in a corner and start thinking about the experiences.