Eric Berne initiated the principle within Transactional Analysis that we are all born ‘OK’ — in other words good and worthy. Frank Ernst developed these into the OK matrix, (also known as the ‘OK Corral’ after the famous 1881 Tombstone shootout between the Earps and the Clantons). These are also known as ‘life positions’.

Before going any further let us first discuss about different characters of a human nature. The term “Personality Profile” is frequently used, but TEMPERAMENT is even more basic. Many things go into forming a person’s “personality” such as environment, upbringing, integrity, education, faith, job skills, etc. Understanding of Temperament helps break down many of the racial, gender, social and communication barriers that often have stood in the way of people working together.

Temperament Traits
Basically there are four main types of personality traits

  3. PACE

Let’s discuss about EXTROVERSION – They are mostly people oriented and believe in teamwork

Extroverted people are talkative, friendly and outgoing. They LOVE to talk. They have an influential style of communication. They’re most creative when working with others, they love being the part of the team

Other characteristics of Extroversion are

  • Out-going, friendly, cheerful.
  • Talkative, fluent communicators.
  • They like people a lot and want to be liked in return.
  • Usually are enthusiastic and pleasant.
  • Like to develop people, build organization.
  • Get things accomplished through people.
  • Know lots of people.
  • Like teamwork, will involve people.
  • Like group discussions, encourage participation in decision-making.
  • Tend to have the last comment, they add a P.S.
  • Persuasive.
  • Tend to think they’ve told you something they haven’t.
  • Constantly selling, often themselves.
  • Concerned with how others respond to them.
  • Naturally optimistic.
  • Like to be noticed … often in the latest fashion.
  • Good in all kinds of selling.


The best way to work with Extroversion peoples are

  • Talk with them. Don’t just listen to what they say. Make the discussion as an interactive session.
  • Allow them to work as part of a team.
  • An extrovert people becomes more creative when they have people around them those bounces ideas off.
  • Provide feedback.
  • Always show that you are interested in what they are doing.

If you find people with Extrovert nature then you must get people opposite to Extrovert nature and those will have characters like –

  • They will be private.
  • Use lesser words.
  • Can be abrupt under pressure.
  • Sometimes shy.
  • They like people but then not a big group.
  • They basically prefer a one on one.
  • Also think that extrovert people should use fewer words.
  • Like to have time alone to think and make decisions / plan / organize.

Second type of personality is people having dominant temperament trait which is called as DIRECTNESS.

They’re the ones who take charge and want others to follow them. They have a direct style of communication however sometimes there direct style can be misunderstood as criticism, because they have the habit of saying all that is going on their mind directly.

Other characteristics of Directness are as follow

  • They act on their environment rather than reacting to it.
  • They are adventurous.
  • Naturally self confident.
  • High ego people.
  • Hard-driving and influential.
  • They are truthful which others may take as criticism.
  • They are highly confident then others.
  • Will do things only when they will see any result in it.
  • They are more interested in results then people.
  • Commanding and reliable.
  • They must be challenged and they will in turn challenge others.
  • Deals with things aggressively.
  • Often do not realize how strongly they come across to others.
  • They will delegate responsibility to others but will never give authority.
  • Hate having anyone looking over their shoulder.
  • Outspoken and direct. Good trouble shooters succeed on solving problems and when they run out they will look for more.

There the best way to work with these types of directness people is

  • Be direct and to the point.
  • Allow them to choose if possible … allowing them to make a decision gives them a certain degree of control.
  • Discuss how the results will be accomplished.

Exactly opposite of Directness peoples are

  • Low-key.
  • Non-aggressive and unapproachable.
  • Appreciate support in decision making.
  • He/She often is modest.
  • Mostly humble and sort of reserved.

Let’s check out the third type of temperament the PACE

The focus of the Paced person is on timing, harmony and cooperation.
Paced people appear laid back, relaxed and easy going. They don’t rush … they just move along in a smooth, under control manner. They hate to put under pressure therefore they naturally tends to avoid pressuring others. They are generally very helpful.

Other characteristics of Pace are listed below

  • Appear cool, calm and controlled under pressure.
  • Appear stable, emotionally adjusted, in harmony with the world.
  • Determined people.
  • Noted for persistence and cooperation.
  • Dependable and reliable.
  • Do not like to be rushed at the last minute … plan ahead.
  • Inclined to make every move count.
  • Noted for good memory and being a good listener.
  • Organize their time to get work done on schedule.
  • A good understanding of time management.
  • Time, schedules, deadlines are important.
  • Like to know the time frame.
  • Warm and friendly sometimes may be perceived as extrovert.
  • Naturally good planners.
  • Make great friends … have time to take time to listen, etc.
  • Approach things in a systematic and disciplined way.
  • Tend to hold things within … not make waves.

The best way to work with a person who has the Pace trait is

  • Relaxed.
  • Paced people appreciate a “calm, cool and collected” style.
  • Ask them for their help/cooperation. Preferably not at the last moment.
  • Consider their schedule. Get with them early so that they can work what you need into their schedule.

If a person has the PACE trait then you will find people with opposite trait also. People having PACE below the line

  • Usually feel that they don’t have enough time … hate to wait in line.
  • Cannot stand routine.
  • Have a great sense of urgency to get things accomplished.
  • Often rushing at the last minute.
  • Often not a very good listener.
  • Difficult to relate to the High PACE people when under time pressure.

The next type of temperament is STRUCTURE

The focus of the structured person is on being right and doing the right thing.

The people that you know who are careful, precise & perfectionists … they’re Structured.

They can oppose to change, not because the change isn’t good but because they need some time to be SURE that it’s good. They need to gather facts and do the research before making a decision. They ask A LOT of questions … they like to check and re-check … they like to be right!

Distinguishing Characteristics are

  • They HATE to make mistakes.
  • Will double check themselves and others.
  • Naturally good organizers.
  • Keep things together in the company.
  • Usually careful, accurate, precise.
  • Are very loyal and mostly to the circle of structure.
  • Naturally good with details.
  • For all there is always a right way and a wrong way however for them there is ONLY one way and that is the RIGHT way.
  • Don’t make many mistakes, might make nervous mistakes.
  • Need a thorough knowledge of product to sell it.
  • Good at developing systems.
  • Very Careful approach, particular about things, can be fussy, choosy and selective.
  • Perfectionist.
  • Like to gather many details before making decisions.
  • Do NOT like criticism they proves them wrong.
  • Often self-critical.
  • Quality oriented.
  • Appreciate knowing the rules, expectations and instructions. Go by set rules.

The best way to work with a person who has the Structure trait is

  • Provide them all the details.
  • Focus on doing the right thing. If things go wrong, first look at the procedures rather than blaming the structured person.
  • Give them the opportunity to ask questions.

Characteristics of people having Structure below the line

  • Dislikes details and will try to delegate them to others when possible.
  • Independent and Flexible.
  • Big picture people … they don’t take a step by step view.
  • Can adjust the rules / system to accomplish the goal.
  • Hates having anyone look over his/her shoulder.

no we come on other side of the coin where we use to face OK – it is like who is OK or who is not OK or Both OK or Both are not OK.  


I’m not OK – You’re OK

When I think I’m not OK but you are OK, then I am putting myself in an inferior position with respect to you.

This position may come from being belittled as a child, perhaps from dominant parents or maybe careless teachers or bullying peers.

People in this position have a particularly low self-esteem and will put others before them. They may thus has a strong ‘Please Others’ driver.

I’m OK – You’re not OK

People in this position feel themselves superior in some way to others, who are seen as inferior and not OK. As a result, they may be contemptuous and quick to anger. Their talk about others will be smug and supercilious, contrasting their own relative perfection with the limitation of others.

This position is a trap into which many managers, parents and others in authority fall, assuming that their given position makes them better and, by implication, others are not OK.

These people may also have a strong ‘Be Perfect’ driver, and their personal strivings makes others seem less perfect.

I’m OK – You’re OK

When I consider myself OK and also frame others as OK, then there is no position for me or you to be inferior or superior.

This is, in many ways, the ideal position. Here, the person is comfortable with other people and with themself. They are confident, happy and get on with other people even when there are points of disagreement.

I’m not OK – You’re not OK

This is a relatively rare position, but perhaps occurs where people unsuccessfully try to project their bad objects onto others. As a result, they remain feeling bad whilst also perceive others as bad.

This position could also be a result of relationships with dominant others where the other people are viewed with a sense of betrayal and retribution. This may later get generalized from the bullies to all others people.

So what?

Understand how you frame yourself and others as being OK and note how you respond to this. Then think about the other person and how they are framing it.

Note how some combinations work together, for example where one person has the position of ‘I’m OK/You’re not OK’ and the other person has ‘I’m not OK/You’re OK’. In such matching positions the relationship may well be stable and both will gain some comfort of confirmation from this.

When positions do not fit, particularly when both people are ‘I’m OK/You’re not OK’, then this is a recipe for conflict or confusion.


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