Who are you on the Magic Roundabout?
One of my least favourite childhood memories is the Magic Roundabout’s Zebedee announcing: “time for bed”, which was immediately echoed by my mother and followed by futile and often tearful negotiations over bedtime.
Consequently the programme that’s reached almost cult status these days isn’t one I’ve given much thought to until last week when I travelled back from Switzerland just as Storm Emma, (aka Beast from the East), struck the UK.
One of my travelling companions was completely oblivious to the circumstances – as weather reports were sought, airport schedules scrutinised and train timetables consulted he just sat back, turned on his bluetooth headphones and chilled out.
“Just like Dylan” noted one of my mates which got me thinking about how people react differently in testing circumstances. “Dylan” took me to memories of the Magic Roundabout and then came a realisation that the programme highlights several of the major personality profiles and their suitability for problem solving. And so, which character from the Magic Roundabout are you, or which could you adopt in a crisis?
Although the main character and perhaps the most loved, Dougal is actually quite gossipy, selfish, sarcastic and complains a lot. He’s the type who will seek to find fault with others, “why don’t ‘they’ do something about this snow?”
Florence is very sensible and kind to others. However, she’s not that decisive and tends to go with the flow to avoid upsetting people. She might contribute her thoughts but could easily be shouted down or overruled – a shame as she probably has an opinion worth listening to.
Dylan is useless a lot of the time. Lost in his own little world he just drifts, contributing little and the laziest of the team.
Zebedee is manic although he does have something magical about him. If a creative option is needed then he’s worth consulting otherwise he’ll likely be a bit of a flapper and strongly opinionated too.
Ermintrude is also not that bright, or at least she allows others to think that. Another follower rather than a leader, a “journeyman” and not much use in tough times.
“Cometh the hour, cometh the man” – cue Brian. Perhaps not an obvious first choice because he tends to be self-deprecating and happy to give credit to others but he’s the most likely to be the one who’ll get things done. On my trip it was a Brian studying flight arrivals/departures, looking at trains to Paris and connections to the Eurostar, calling the hotel to see if we can have our rooms for an extra night or two and creating plans C&D as well as B.
When we work with clients we often use fictional characters to illustrate different profiles and to help people see their strengths and areas needing work on. Try it out, and whether you choose the Magic Roundabout, the Wombles, Superheroes or something else it will provoke a conversation that allows for more openness and honesty.
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