tiger2Firstly, the tigers. Like their namesake, tigers are fast, sudden, powerful. They appear with a great deal of force, style and energy: within hours, they’ve integrated themselves into the necessary circles. Tigers like to move fast, and they expect people around them to move fast as well. They’re usually the first people to champion projects and are easily irritated if things don’t go as quickly as planned. They are spontaneous and often tend to get discouraged if things get bottlenecked. They are capable of great amounts of energy and hard work at surprising speed – but in short bursts.  You may have known a few in school – the guys and girls who do an amazing amount of work to get a school event off the ground, stay right with it to the end and then disappear for a week.


WOLFThe wolves. Wolves are patient. Wolves endure. Wolves generally think twice or thrice about getting into something, making them hesitant (and sometimes miss opportunities) but extremely reliable. They do what needs to be done and are often steadfast. At the same time, they tend to be relatively unnoticed or low profile compared to the others: even if they covet the throne, they often tend to get the crowd instead. Also, they tend to build up networks of like-minded people over time.

A wolf is generally straightforward and prefers to tackle problems head-on, which is admirable, but sometimes leads to wasted time and energy. Wolves are strategists, as opposed to a tiger’s wildcard-like nature. A wolf will often set long-term goals, put his/her head down and work until they reach that target.


hawkThe hawks. The hawks, at first glance, are idlers. On the second pass, they turn out to be professional opportunists. Like hawks, are loners and rarely get involved in committees and groups. They gently drift towards their goals, but when there is an opportune moment, they are the first to strike. Like crocodiles, really. They also tend to take a large view of the situation, like their avian namesakes – not necessarily the Big Picture, but a fairly large chunk of it. They also bet big and win huge, meaning incredible successes or catastrophic failures.




The sheep. What’s common about the above three types of people? They’re pro-active. And then you have the sheep. The sheep don’t do any of these things. They don’t have long-term goals. Their life is lived a step at a time,  while they set their feet upon paths already trodden by others. These are often the people who, when you ask “Why are you doing your degree?” reply “I don’t know: I’m just doing it.” The sheep react to changes in their environment/s rather than changing it. Whereas a tiger will create opportunities, a wolf will decide and commit to a course and a hawk will keenly look for winning chances, a sheep will simply wait. Everybody exploits the sheep.

Sounds familiar ?I’m pretty sure I’ve managed to describe a lot of people you’ve met in your life – even yourself.

I’m not a professional psychologist, and it may be that this list could use a bit of expanding. The ducks and marsipuals probably want in. But there you go – some of the most common types of people in animal format. I’m not stereotyping: many people switch from one type to the other. I’ve seen tigers become wolves and later hawks. I know sheep who have become wolves. And so on.  Genetics aside – anything else to add?