Five Sure-fire Ways of Learning About Someone Through Their Writing in Any Language
Here are the instructions. Ask Joe or Sally to write for about 10 to 20 minutes a letter, a story or a spontaneous idea. Then examine the following areas:
1. Some people may want to know what to write about. They might ask, "What should I write?" Or," how much should I write. " This tells you that the writer needs direction and might have difficulty beginning a new task without careful instruction. He or she may have problems with change in the environment and instead will look for the predictable. Such an individual will likely need guidance at the outset of a task and before taking initiative on anything new.
2. Examine how much the person writes during the time period allowed. A mature writer should be able to fill a page in 20 minutes. Someone who doesn't may be shy, have language problems or just has problems organizing and structuring ideas in an organized way to put into writing. Writing is a high level cognitive task, so it isn't easy for lots of people. The amount of writing generated in 20 minutes will indicate that an individual has a certain degree of reticence for whatever reason that needs your second look.
3. Look at how the individual behaves during writing. Are there special mannerisms that include needing to move around a lot, asking a lot of questions during the task, having problems attending to the task. 20 minutes may be a long time for some people to concentrate on anything; and if an individual can't do that, how will that same person behave in an environment where concentration is necessary.
4. Check out the organization of the writing. I ask my clients to write on an unlined paper because how they approach it tells me something about their visual organizational skills. See if they start too high, too low, go over margins or write haphazardly with frequent self-corrections, wavy lines, ill-formed letters and irregular spacing and pressure. This is likely someone who may be moody or unstable and whose inner environment may be disrupted for either physical or emotional reasons. It also might mean a language disability if the level of language and expression is otherwise good.
5. Consider the topic. Those with creative or higher level cognitive skills will select an idea as opposed to an object with concrete definitions. The writer who describes something philosophical is likely an individual who will seek out new ideas and explore them. The person who writes about an object is likely interested in concrete feedback and tasks that are objective and detailed.
Writing is a behavior like any other one, that tells how someone organizes and completes a task. This type of analysis goes beyond the handwriting analysis that has questionable application unless the whole of the writing is assessed and other measures used. This total language application to finding out about a person is based upon multiple areas that combined can give a reasonable estimate of how a person may behave.