The InnerView™ Method

InnerViewing is based upon a few central assumptions about human personality. Both common sense observation and scientific research tell us that people behave in relatively consistent and predictable ways. This is important to the InnerViewing method because it allows us to understand each other and to accurately predict behavior based upon the constancy of a few core elements of personality. If we did not possess distinguishing characteristics we would be formless, totally unpredictable creatures. The evidence is that life patterns repeat and therefore performance can be predicted. Once we understand someone's Intellectual Capacity, Alignment, Velocity and Style, we can make reliable predictions as to how anyone, including ourselves, will respond to any given situation or personality.

InnerView aims to close the gap between the psychological expertise available in formal academic and corporate settings and the everyday life situations we all face. Until InnerViewing, there wasn't a comprehensive, portable tool which could produce reliable results from the normal intercourse of our lives.

Now there is. The reason InnerViewing is so easy to use is that it is simply an extension of the evaluative skills we have naturally developed and are already using. It works because it offers a structure which usefully arranges random data and thereby clarifies its meaning. InnerViewing is based on careful observation, listening and questioning. Since we are already making judgments and asking questions of people we meet, why not learn to do it in a more reliable, objective and systematic way?

The Four Gauges: The Basics

Alignment: The Seven Values

Ordering our values is the key to determining our natural Alignment. Our values reflect our deepest aspirations and interests. They are our underlying motivations. They underlie our beliefs. They dictate what we respect and enjoy.

Value priorities must be accommodated in both social and business situations if an individual's efforts are to lead to fulfillment.

The values that comprise Alignment are as follows:

  • Sensuality: The importance of all the senses. This includes the drive for comfort, stimulation and gratification.
  • Empathy: the importance of love for your fellow man, or sense of community; selflessness.
  • Wealth: The desire for money or wealth as an end rather than a means.
  • Power: The importance of recognition, power, control, influence and fame.
  • Aesthetic: The importance of beauty. People moved by this value hunger for balance, color, harmony and form in their life, whether from music, literature, nature or art.
  • Commitment: The intensity with which you hold your beliefs relative to integrity. Devotion to an ideology.
  • Knowledge: The drive to acquire truth for its own sake; the importance of knowing.

Capacity: Three Intellectual Types

In InnerViewing terms we define Capacity as the "relative quality of a person's problem-solving abilities, verbal skills and social adaptiveness." This definition covers a broad range of human abilities that are essential to intelligence, as determined by generations of researchers. Social adaptiveness, for instance, covers such intangibles as getting along well with others, flexibly responding to new challenges and possession of a precise understanding of human emotions.

Our aim is to measure an individual's native can-do, his Capacity, rather than making a judgment based on education or past achievements.

Using this definition of Capacity as a guide, we can articulate three different thinking levels which are marked by various levels of creativity, flexibility and complexity:

  • Conceptual: A person in this range is marked by a creative, original approach to problem-solving, featuring strong Conceptual and synthesizing skills. Well known Conceptuals: Albert Einstein, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Alexander Graham Bell.
  • Transactional: This intellectual type is the integrator, able to implement the concepts of Conceptuals. The prototypical Transactional is the late Ray Kroc, the founder of the McDonald's franchise, who recognized and exploited the potential of the fast-food hamburger stand the McDonald brothers invented. His contributions, while critical, were additive rather than Conceptual.
  • Operational: Operational Capacity is average Capacity. Eighty percent of any large population of people share Operational intellect. Most of the work of the world is carried out by Operationals who drive the trucks, prepare the food, make the steel, fight the fires and police our streets.

InnerViewing offers nine cues that may be used to evaluate Capacity. When taken together, they offer a reliable matrix to measure an individual's relative thinking capability. Here's what to look for:

  • Ability to make distinctions
  • A wide vocabulary in a person's native idiom
  • Use of metaphors and analogies
  • Humor
  • Flexibility and adaptiveness
  • Problem-solving ability
  • Time-orientation
  • Sensitivity
  • Memory


Velocity is a measure of relative motivation towards meeting one's own life goals. Used properly, it is the single best guide to predicting performance. To fully evaluate performance and the motivation it took to achieve it, we need to look at the context of a person's life, including his values, his Capacity, his class and educational background, his family's support and his relation to life traumas.

Here are a few key steps necessary to accurately evaluate Velocity:

  • Check Alignment: The value priorities you have already determined establish an individual's principal line of interest.
  • Evaluate achievements: Your task here is to learn about a person's level of accomplishment when he has worked on things he has cared about.
  • Determine standards: People who aim high and hold themselves to elevated standards are, by definition, high achievers.
  • Probe background: You can't evaluate a person's achievements unless you understand the context of their life.
  • Estimate pace: Researchers with the National Institute of Aging have shown that we all have different energy levels that are generally consistent over time.
  • Avoid getting conned: Because there is a bias toward high achievement in our society, getting fooled by people representing themselves as high achievers is a risk faced both by employers and those shopping for prospective mates.


This gauge measures four basic traits that make up our temperament, or Style - our instinctual behavior. The four traits are derived from the work of a pioneer in trait psychology, William Marston. He observed that every environment or situation is either favorable or unfavorable and solicits either active or passive response. He charted two active traits; Dominance and Influence (or Interactiveness); and two passive traits: Steadiness and Compliance.

By studying the illustration you will discover how each Style trait is defined by whether a situation is perceived to be positive or negative as well by whether an active or passive response would be anticipated. For example, Dominance, in the lower right quadrant calls for an active response in a negative situation. Whether a situation is considered positive or negative is established by the perception of the individual.

If you have to accompany a friend to a museum, but hate paintings, then that situation is one that tests your Compliance. If you love paintings, the same situation tests your Steadiness. A relatively passive response is expected in both situations, whether they are seen as positive or negative is up to you.

Style traits are, by definition, situational. One can be both a high Dominance or low Interactive type, for example. However, it is always the pattern described by the relative placement of all four style elements that fully characterizes our instinctive behavior.

This synopsis describes the InnerViewing method. Just as a good book on tennis, skiing or golf can give only a sense of activity, the foregoing will impart only a description, not a skill. As with other complex activities, to acquire proficiency in InnerViewing, training and practice are required.

The Carefree Institute provides training, written profiles and consulting services. If you wish to advance your ability to use InnerViewing in your personal or business life, please contact us.

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