CORE - Grace

I am honored to be the featured community member for Mental and Health Awareness Magazine Winter 2023 issue. You can view all issues and other articles I wrote at  

For continuity I am posting the full article here. If you already read the article, you may wish to scroll down to “Understanding the CORE Types and Where They May Need Grace” to continue reading.

I am excited to share the mantra I coined and a philosophy that is threaded throughout much of the work I do: Power through Grace.

It began as a personal mantra as I worked through some of my own struggles with being a woman with a personality type that is often misunderstood and doesn’t fit stereotypical “norms.”  The principles behind the mantra gave me a healthier sense of self, a stronger marriage, tools to be a better mother, and increased my overall happiness exponentially.  

Like many women with strong personality traits experience, early conditioning put me in a “good girl” box and taught me to keep quiet and not make waves.  Fear of being perceived as bossy, a “smarty pants”, intimidating, pushy, or a host of other unpleasant adjectives, kept me in that box for a very long time. 

As I worked through my conditioning and my true Commander personality emerged, I embraced the fire in my belly to drive forward and get things done; but with that came a sense of urgency and frustration when my process was interrupted.  As a woman, wife, and mother, I often felt guilty because that sense of urgency was perceived as abrupt or angry. I found myself apologizing a lot and feeling very misunderstood. It seemed easier to just stuff my feelings and move forward.

This is something I coach around all the time!  Stuffing one’s feelings will almost always, over time, result in a “pressure cooker” situation.  Imagine a shiny pot sitting on the stove. Unbeknownst to you, it is a pressure cooker, and the steam release has been blocked.  All you see is the shiny pot. You have no idea that pressure has been building and building and very soon it’s going to explode.  

Stuffing feelings is much like that pot.  You know you’ve been working very hard to fix the situation and get along and that you’ve been holding back the pressure for a very long time...but no one else knows this...all they see is the “shiny pot.”  When you can’t take it anymore and finally explode, others are taken by surprise and wonder why you just exploded over something so small (they only see the tip of the stress iceberg). Their defenses go up and they will either duck for cover or come out fighting.  In either case, they are not prepared to hear what you need them to hear because they’re in defensive mode. Unfortunately, their negative response only validates the belief system that stuffing feelings is best, and the cycle continues. Embracing the philosophy of Power through Grace has helped me and thousands of others break those unhealthy patterns.

In order to live authentically and step into our own personal POWER we must first be courageous enough to share our truth, even under stress...and that’s where GRACE comes in.

Power through Grace means:

  • Never apologize for who you are!  Instead, apologize for bad behavior and be willing to share what put you there.
  • Deliver what you think, feel, and need in a way that others can receive...and be gracious enough to allow others to share their truth even when it differs from our own.
  • Know that there is power in every personality...own yours and appreciate others!
  • Develop the skills to handle any situation or person...but spend most of your time in a space that gives you energy, passion, and joy...because it is only from that place that you can give the best of yourself to the world!

I first began sharing the mantra in my coaching with the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and it really struck a chord there as well.  These young women deal with a high degree of scrutiny and stress while maintaining poise and professionalism. Learning to step into their own personal power in a way that is well received by others is key to their success and gives them an edge for making great things happen in their life beyond the DCC.

As I shared my mantra more often, I realized it applied to all personality styles and it isn't mutually exclusive to women.  Every personality brings a powerful set of gifts, and everyone needs to develop the skills to connect in a way that allows them to understand and feel understood by others.

The CORE Multidimensional Awareness Profile (CORE MAP) is the assessment I co-developed and use as the foundation for all the work I do. You can learn more about CORE MAP at

Understanding the CORE Types and Where They May Need Grace

Commanders, when well developed, are dynamic, outgoing, take-charge kinds of people. They tend to be powerful, direct, responsible, and comfortable in positions of leadership and power. Men typically embrace Commander as it embodies the characteristics celebrated in men. Commander men are seen as bold, driven, and confident so little boys strive to be like them. Women, on the other hand, often struggle with feeling judged for those same behaviors. Little girls see strong women being labeled as aggressive, pushy, and that ever persistent “B” word, so they avoid that behavior. Unfortunately, to develop ANY trait we must first grow it up. Little Commanders CAN be pushy, argumentative, bossy, aggressive, and certainly headstrong. But with maturity those behaviors transform to stellar leadership skills, assertiveness, and influence. While boys usually have an easier road of it, there are situations that shut them down too and the tendency is to tone it way down, so it looks very much like the next style, Organizer.

Commanders can get so focused on a task that loved ones feel secondary to the task at times. I refer to it as “my tunnel” and it helps me get a lot done but was also the source of a lot of feelings of guilt as I found myself feeling frustrated when my process was interrupted by my husband or kids. I beat myself up a lot asking what kind of a wife/mother I was to feel that way when my loved ones just wanted a moment of my time. I now give myself grace because I understand that it is a natural internal reaction that fuels my ability to get things done and I get to choose what I do with it. My loved ones also give me grace by not taking it personally when I take a beat to get out of my tunnel and into the space of engaging with them. They know that they are my priority and with that moment of grace I can reframe and love every minute of our interactions.

When Commanders present as frustrated or impatient, give them grace rather than reacting. Know that it stems from their need to get things done. Ask if they need help, if they want to talk about solutions, or if they just need some time to process.

Organizers are reserved, focused, detailed individuals who seek excellence, if not perfection, in all they do. They are careful, conservative, and thrifty. They are quiet, obedient children who typically don’t cause problems at home and fit the stereotype of the perfect “cookie-cutter” student in school systems. As a result, Organizer children rarely feel the need to change their behavior. This can lead to an adult who is rigid in their expectations of what’s right and wrong. They can be hard on themselves and may be critical of those who aren’t as meticulous as they are. While they are more task, than people-focused, they are fiercely loyal to their small circle of friends and loved ones. They don’t tend to openly show affection and communication is limited, so their loved ones may feel disconnected at times. But if your love language is “Acts of Service” you will feel very loved by the Organizers in your life as they go about fixing things, keeping things tidy, and maintaining order.

Organizers, like Commanders, are tunnel focused. Because they are also introverts, they can get so deep in concentration that they disengage from the external world and may appear aloof, disinterested, and can even appear rude when they ignore conversation completely. When they do engage in conversation, they may share way more details than other types typically want, and their black and white approach sometimes leads to a perception of being a “know it all.”

Give Organizers grace by understanding that they show they care by taking care of details. Be patient with their process, even when it feels methodical to you. Encourage them to focus on excellence rather than perfection to help ease anxiety. Help them lighten up and relax, even though they may resist at first. Listen to them a little longer than may feel comfortable to encourage them to interact more frequently. It’s also ok to let them know if you are feeling a bit overloaded with information. It’s part of giving grace to each other.

Relaters are loving, loyal, considerate, and helpful. They are people-focused and seek to build relationships above all else. They genuinely care and are always looking for ways to be helpful. They are great listeners who are genuinely empathetic. Bringing joy to others makes a Relater feel complete. They anticipate the needs of others and expect that others will do the same, so rarely ask for what they want/need. They tend to be people pleasers and may take on more than they can handle to avoid conflict or letting anyone down. Unfortunately, this can result in not following through on promises because their plate is too full, so they are left feeling they let others down despite their best efforts. Relaters tend to be hard on themselves and will flex and bend in the interest of harmony. To avoid conflict, they often hold their feelings inside until they become overwhelmed and withdraw. Under high stress they may explode, leaving those around them wondering what happened. They usually regain their composure quickly, feel remorseful, and apologize.

Female Relaters rarely get pushback for being soft spoken, gentle, and compassionate. Male Relaters, on the other hand, often feel their gentle, easygoing demeanor and concern for others is viewed as a weakness. They work to be bolder than is comfortable to meet societal expectations. I am a Commander women married to a Relater man. We struggled early in our relationship as we tried to understand the dynamics. I had been conditioned to Relater as a child and was trying to assert my independence. He had been conditioned toward Commander by a father who viewed his Relater nature as a weakness and who gave him grief for letting me “wear the pants” in the family. I found myself wanting him to step up, take more initiative, and depend less on me to make decisions. Grace saved our sanity and our marriage.

We learned to play to our strengths and give grace where needed. For example, I don’t mind making decisions most of the time, but if I’ve had a long day, he will take the lead. Granted if the decision is something like where to go for dinner, he will make his decision based on what he thinks I would want. That’s just the Relater way. Give grace to Relater when they seem wishy washy or indecisive. Know that they are likely trying to figure out how to please others and don’t want to make a mistake or disappoint. Give them the grace they don’t tend to give themselves by asking how you can help when their plate appears too full. Let them know that being able to reciprocate kindness is a true gift of grace.

Entertainers are interesting, colorful, talkative, enthusiastic and, yes...entertaining. The more energetic of this type can turn even the dullest tale into an exciting adventure story. They have a flair for the dramatic, love adventure, and anything else that makes life present itself in full, vivid color. Entertainers can walk into a room full of complete strangers and have them all laughing, talking and in high spirits in no time. They tend to keep their spirits high and their heads in the clouds. They are open, affectionate, and often unpredictable. Their moods can shift dramatically and without apparent cause at times, leaving others wondering what happened. Their energy can be contagious but may overwhelm some.

Of all the types, Entertainers experience the greatest degree of early conditioning. Though delightful children that light up a room, their undeveloped traits can present as selfish, demanding, loud, spoiled, undisciplined, and constantly seeking attention. Little Entertainers tell colorful stories that may be perceived as lies. They have trouble sitting still and paying attention in school and tend to get in trouble for talking too much. Because their greatest need is to be seen, loved, and appreciated, they adopt conditioned behaviors to get the kudos they seek.

Give grace to Entertainers when they grow louder. Know that they are seeking to be heard. Give them grace when they are forgetful and distracted. They are interested in so many things that it can be difficult to focus on any one thing. Give them grace by listening and being engaged. Being connected is the spice of life to an Entertainer.

Remember, having grace doesn’t mean one should diminish their own experience, but rather that we take the time to look outside of ourselves and be mindful of the impact we have on others. We also need to be mindful of the impact others have on us. Notice which personality types tend to push your buttons. Recognize that bad behavior always stems from pain. Finding the intent behind the behavior makes giving grace for such behavior much easier.

In this season of giving, the gift of grace is among the kindest and most generous of offerings. My holiday wish for you is that you step fully into the power of who you are, that you give yourself grace where growth is desired, and that you ask for and allow the grace of others when life throws a curveball. There is Power through Grace.

Learn more about Coach Gina Morgan at

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