If there is a Rabbit in the group, things will get done! Rabbit is a do-er. He will jump in where angels fear to tread, accomplish the task and pick up the pieces later (or, more likely, move on to something else and forget about picking up). They are passionate, driven, goal orientated and energetic about projects, unlike Tigger, who is passionate and energetic about people. A visit to the Hundred Acre woods generally finds Rabbit hard at work, usually alone, on his next chore. The word Choleric means angry and a Rabbit living in his weaknesses can be very demanding, grumpy, and insensitive.
Rabbit shares the high energy top half of the temperament chart with Tigger, but is over in the right hand corner, above Eeyore and on the task oriented side. Rabbit is a leader and likes to motivate others to get things done. He doesn’t get offended easily, especially as he gets more mature. Rabbit tends to be more self confident than the other temperaments and doesn’t worry too much about what others think of him. He is an active learner, curious and bright, grasping abstract concepts easily. Rabbit can take a complex topic and boil it down to its essentials to make the subject understandable to others.
Rabbit is a born leader. It is instinctive to his make up. Find a group of kids on the playground and they are most likely following Rabbit’s lead. He makes a good leader thanks to a quick and decisive mind. Rabbit can look at a situation, size up the end goal, the variables, and the available resources, and quickly put a plan together to achieve the objective. He will use this skill in any situation, large or small. The majority of CEO’s are strong Rabbit temperaments. They are good starters, good idea persons, quick to make a firm decision and move forward. Because follow through is not a strong skill, they may move on too quickly, before all the details of the last project are completed.
Truly, the world would not spin if it wasn’t for Rabbit. Tigger is too busy stirring up some fun, Eeyore is organizing and contemplating and Pooh is helping everyone else. Rabbit is the instigator who dreams of things that never were and asks “why not?” He has the intellect and energy to make those dreams into reality. In addition Rabbit is gifted with the ability to encourage the other temperaments on to their own individual greatness. While Pooh can buffer and counter-act the weaknesses of any temperament, Rabbit can inspire them to make the most of their strengths.
Because he is endowed with a healthy dose of self esteem, Rabbit knows he can do above and beyond what he’s done before. He is not afraid to take a chance, to step out into a new venture or unknown territory. He has done it before and is confident in his ability to survive even if the venture fails. Taken to the extreme, this is called arrogance. If it is not tempered a bit, Rabbits have been known to lose the family home in an ill-considered business deal. They also excel at picking themselves back up, learning from their mistakes, and recovering from disaster. All the great rags-to-riches stories involve numerous set backs and much starting over. Those folks are Rabbits.
Les Brown is one of my favorites in the Rabbit temperament. He and his twin brother were born in an abandoned building, to a poor, single, African American women, in a low income section of Miami, Florida. The boys were adopted 6 weeks later by a wise and compassionate women named Mamie Brown. It was Les who taught me: “other people’s opinions of you do not have to become your reality” In early elementary school he was labeled “educably mentally retarded.” Today he is one of the top motivational speakers in the world. He suffered numerous set-backs in his struggles to reach his dreams, even sleeping for a time on the cold cement floor of his shared office space because he couldn’t afford both an office and an apartment.
Two primary factors have contributed to the success of Les Brown in his chosen field: 1- his natural Rabbit temperament and 2- the support and encouragement of his adoptive mother. He found the calling that fit his giftings and had the God-given temperament to make his dreams a reality.
When a Rabbit temperament child is born into a family, look out! Life, and the balance of power in the house, is about to change. Right from the start, Rabbit wants to be in charge. He does not take orders from anyone and he is wired for domination. Remember the movie Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory? The little rich girl, Veruca, wanted to take home an Ooopa Loompa, and she wanted it NOW. That is an over-indulged Rabbit in action.
Even as children Rabbits have an above average intellect and ability to quickly grasp what is going on around them. They tend to look at rules more as guidelines, set in place to help less intelligent people get safely through life (there’s that arrogance confidence showing up again). If they break a rule in school, like throwing snowballs on the playground, it is not necessarily rebellion against authority so much as they know they’re not going to get hurt. And if they do, they aren’t going to cry to the teacher about it. A Rabbit would look at a rule like “no throwing snowballs” and figure it’s to protect little kids who can’t handle getting hurt, so it doesn’t apply to them.
Since they are independent, they can look out for themselves from an early age. Rabbits stand up to the bully on the playground so they aren’t as likely to be a target for bullies. They’re not afraid to stand up to adults, either. Left without firm parental guidance, Rabbit will try to run the show in every situation they find themselves. It takes consistent discipline to tame a Rabbit! They do not respond to rules, they need to be given choices instead.
Rabbits see anything that is out of place and are practically compulsive about fixing it. The stranger in the ladies room at the theater who reaches out and tucks the label back into the collar of your shirt? A Rabbit temperament in action. The dinner guest who helps clear the dishes and points out you are loading your dishwasher incorrectly? Another Rabbit doing their duty. The teenager who hears about displaced children in Africa, sleeping outside without shelter or covering, who single-handedly starts a blanket collection drive – Rabbit putting her strengths to good use. Rabbits are activists, they don’t hesitate to step up and help wherever there is an injustice. While Pooh will quietly, without fuss or attracting attention, see to the needs of another individual, Rabbit will start up a foundation to feed a whole village.
One such Rabbit is Chris Dowsett of MarkItUp.org. He has made it his goal to support small, unfunded schools in third world countries. Using his creative gifts and ability to inspire people, he has come up with a unique way to bring entrepreneurs together to partner with deserving schools. A Rabbit temperament who has been taught compassion and recognizes they have the natural gifts to make their vision a reality, can go on to change hundreds of lives.
As a parent, Rabbit is fair and just. He encourages his children to be their best and doesn’t tolerate a lot of whining. He loves to see his children exploring new areas of interest and will do what is necessary to make better educational opportunities available. Being high on the energy chart, Rabbit will participate in athletic endeavors right along with the kids. The rare chance to play games with mom or dad can be an incentive for the more sedentary Pooh and Eeyore children to get off the couch and join in.
At work, Rabbit is probably the boss. If he isn’t, he’s telling the boss how things can be done better, faster, or more efficiently. Rabbit is a hard worker and committed to any task he’s had a hand in creating. Taking orders and boring routine are very difficult for him, so Rabbit is wise to look for jobs that are full of new challenges and take advantage of his ability to be self-motivated.
I had a Rabbit as a boss one time. This man was a high-powered, big city attorney who bought the little country insurance office where I worked. When he came to visit, everyone in the building knew he was there. This man was always moving, always thinking, always barking orders. He didn’t walk into a room, he stomped. He didn’t ask questions, he demanded answers. As a full Rabbit, his level of compassion and diplomacy left a little (actually a lot) to be desired. He would stand in the middle of the main office right by the customer waiting area and yell about the “ignorant pig farmers” (meaning our customers) who didn’t understand their insurance policies. Most corporate CEO’s are Rabbit temperaments. Fortunately most are not like my old boss because they have learned to moderate their yelling and frustration. A wise Rabbit boss will surround him or herself with trustworthy Tiggers, Pooh Bears and Eeyore and learn to take advantage of their strengths.
High energy and the ability to accomplish more in a day than most people, can be useful strengths, but when taken to the extreme these strengths become detrimental weaknesses. Energy and passion turned negative become forceful anger. The ability to lead and inspire can turn into intimidation. The drive to achieve, taken to extremes, becomes a workaholic who steps on and over anyone who gets in their way with a complete lack of compassion or decency.
More than any of the other temperaments, Rabbit is the least likely to be naturally empathetic. He sees the potential in people and can’t understand why they aren’t striving to achieve more, like he is. Rabbit is a natural teacher and this skill, when combined with his ability to see the best in people and tempered with some patience, makes him an excellent coach, mentor, or tutor.