The 12 Archetypes

A proven framework for understanding individual personality and organizational behavior

Archetype | noun ar·che·type \ˈär-ki-tīp\
A symbol, theme, setting, or character type that recurs in different times and places in myth, literature, and rituals so frequently as to suggest that it embodies essential elements of ‘universal’ human experience.

Meet the Archetypes

The Archetypes unite the human unconscious across cultures and continents, industries and markets. They come to life in the CultureTalk Survey System as 12 characters adding depth and dimension to conversations about personal growth and organizational development.

Like a story where we all know the plot, Archetypes help us meet on the same page with a resounding, “Oh, I understand.”

Timeless History

Swiss psychotherapist Carl G. Jung used the word “Archetype” to refer to the recurring patterns found in our universal stories. It was his belief that all human beings are guided by the same inner roadmap – and we make sense of our own lives through a common set of beliefs and behaviors.

He taught that these same patterns have been with us since the dawn of time. We know this is true because we see them reflected across history and cultures. We find them in showing up in art, literature, myths and religions. In aboriginal tribes and in modern-day communities.

More recently, Dr. Carol Pearson built out Jung’s work with a body of research that examined Archetypal attributes within individuals and organizations. She created a framework of 12 patterns that recur the most often.

CultureTalk, based on the work of Jung and Pearson, takes centuries of understanding and translates it for today’s business leaders. Answering the questions Who am I? and Who are we? – our Archetypal profile create a shortcut for us – a quick way to understand unwritten rules and unconscious behaviors.

Human Beings Being Human

Handed down from generation to generation, clients get excited working with Archetypes because they are:

  • Without Judgement
    There aren’t good or bad Archetypes, but each has a strength and shadow side.
  • Relatable
    We recognize ourselves and others in these characters.
  • Fluid
    Our top Archetypes may fluctuate depending on situations we find ourselves in.
  • Adaptable
    Once we are aware of our ‘natural’ reactions, we can choose differently.
  • Memorable
    Individuals, leaders and team now have an easy reference point for acknowledging behavior and discussing change.
  • Meaningful
    Understanding the different motives of the Archetypes often answers the ‘why’ behind our purpose in life or our organization’s mission in the world.
Curious about your Archetypes? Get some quick insight with our 10-question  teaser quiz!

Find meaning in your life and career.

Is your life at a crossroads? Are you working in alignment with your purpose? Do your relationships support your growth? CultureTalk for Individuals helps you identify strengths, shortcomings and strategies for moving your personal and professional life forward.

Solve organizational culture challenges.

Are you facing a merger? Transitioning leadership or redesigning your team? Struggling to recruit, retain and engage top talent? Flexibly designed for large or small groups, CultureTalk for Organizations helps different generations and personalities find their place in the culture conversation.

  • If you seek a proven framework for deeper and more meaningful brands, you will find no better investment of time and money than in the CultureTalk system.

    JP Laqueur Principal and Chief Connector, Brand Foundations
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