The Twelve Shadow Types In Organisations

Below you will find some brief descriptions of each of the twelve Shadow Types, as they show up in an organisational setting. Should you require a more detailed explanation of these Types, and guidance on how they may apply to you, your team, or your organisation, please contact on our our certified consultants.


Awareness is our capacity to step back, gain perspective and, from a distance, see the bigger picture. It allows us to see the risks and challenges that might lay ahead, and to develop possible strategies for dealing with them effectively. It is routed in the archetypal energy of the Magician.

DETACHERS are objective, observant and will bring good perspective to any team. Their dispassionate, level headedness can make them useful leaders in uncertain or unstable times. However, their fear of being entangled in connections can have them be absent-minded, distant, and cut off. They can sometimes occurs as being stuck in their head and a bit of an aloof ‘know-it-all’.

OPTIONIZERS are open minded, flexible and diplomatic team players, with good alternative view points. They tend to avoid being the leader, however, they will step into leadership when negotiation or mediation is key. Their fear of confrontation can have them occur as being rather vague & indecisive, which may occur as being irresponsible. They may tend to procrastinate, and occur as reluctant to give any firm commitments, or provide any clearly defined direction.

ALERTERS are good workers and dedicated team players, with a high level of integrity and the capacity to follow things though to the end. They are excellent at critical thinking and will uncover hidden pitfalls in any plan or strategy. Often reluctant to lead, they will step up if risk analysis and safety are paramount. However, their fear of being caught out and unprepared in a disaster of some kind can have them be over-cautious and very controlling. Their tendency to ‘whistle blow’ on others’ integrity, and to give unsolicited negative feedback, may slowly undermine their team’s trust.

Positivity is our capacity to look for and believe in a new, inspiring future. Along with the willingness to provide the leadership, or to engage with and follow the leadership of another, in order to pursue the fulfilment of that vision. It is routed in the archetypal energy of the Sovereign.

IDEALIZERS are upbeat, positive, confident and enthusiastic team players and often make very inspiring and visionary leaders. However, their dislike for addressing the finer details and their limited capacity at following through on actions, can lead them to be seen as unreliable dreamers, that cannot be counted on to produce tangible results.

AFFECTERS are confident, impressive and highly motivated workers and often make inspiring and motivational leaders. They are very driven and have a strong sense of purpose and direction. However they are often workaholics and are ‘Married to their job’. Their need for appreciation may have them seem like a bit of a ‘Know-it-all’ and their inability to show any vulnerability may have them occur as deceptive, phony or a bit ‘shifty’.
FOSTERERS are very helpful and supportive team members and their willingness to take responsibility for others means they often become dedicated and admirable leaders. However their need to be the big giver can become overbearing and controlling. They may also struggle to ask for help and find it difficult to delegate to others, leading to ‘burn out’ and resentment.
Results is our capacity to take action, sets our boundaries, and assert our power in the world. It is the drive to be persistently in action, fulfilling on our goals and accountabilities, and earning the respect of our peers. It is routed in the archetypal energies of the Warrior.
ESTABLISHERS are hard working and highly productive team players and their drive and uniqueness makes them trail blazer type leaders. However, they can fear losing their sense of self by conforming to the mediocrity of the group, and this can have them be dominating, drama queens/kings.
UPHOLDERS are straight-talking, results- focused, strong and dutiful workers. They work well in competitive situations and their drive for change and justice can make them efficient and effective leaders. However, their fear of making mistakes can have them become dogmatic, literal thinkers and drive them to fight for what they see as right, fair or good, even to the detriment of their relationships and the team’s morale.
CONTESTERS are real, pragmatic, dynamic and competitive team players. Their self-confidence and willingness to shoulder lots of responsibility has them make strong leaders. However, their fear of being or looking weak can have them be pushy, dominating and bullying. They will take action for the sake of progress, often without really thinking through the consequences.

OPENNESS is our capacity to share our vulnerability, and to feel and expresses our emotions. To be playful, creative and spontaneous, and to be fully in the flow of life. The desire to generate connections and receive the reward of a deeper experience of relatedness, and team work. It is routed in the archetypal energies of the Lover.

RELEASERS are open, passionate and creative team players and can make charismatic, engaging leaders. Their fresh, lively and unconventional approach will often produce unique and innovative solutions. However their fear of loosing touch with their intuition, if they get too much into their head, has them act out against the status quo, with spontaneous emotional outbursts. When combined with they’re tendency to have a messy, even chaotic, style of working, they may get be judged as being un-professional.
RELYERS are able to connect easily and they make naturally open, fun and creative team players. Their total dedication to their co-workers may have them decline any offers of leadership or career advancement. However, their fear of being left alone to face a challenge without any support can have them avoid any confrontation and thus occur as small and weak. Their resulting lack of individual initiative, can lead others to question their level of commitment.
YIELDERS are very open and engaging team players. Although not naturally drawn to leadership, they are able to galvanize a team into determined action, especially against a common difficulty or threat. However their fear of leaving others behind, by being too successful, limits their motivation, and can have them seem overly passive, or occur like a victim. Their focus on hardship and struggle may have them seem like a negative, under-achiever.

The Shadow Types model and training is unique.  It has helped to simplify what may seem complicated in terms of understanding myself and others.  The ST model is a game changer.  On a personal level, the ST model has given me great clarity in understanding all the parts of myself (why I do what I do and why I do what I don’t want to do).   The training process is exemplary.  It helped me see different ways for helping people to process the “stuff” in their lives that keeps them stuck (including myself), then offer steps toward healing and becoming who they truly were wired to be.  I strongly recommend this training and model to anyone who wants to grow and transform personally at a deeper level or who may be in a position to guide others in growing their soul!


Managing Director

The Shadow Types training has given me the ability to understand at a deep level why people (including myself!) are the way they are. I now have, as a result, more compassion for myself and others, both in my personal and professional life. I highly recommend this training for anyone who ponders the question, ‘what makes us tick?’

Medical Doctor

I highly recommend taking the Shadow Types survey and attending a Shadow Types training.  Learning about the Shadow Types gave me a whole new way to understand the hidden dynamics of human behaviour.  I have not only used this insightful knowledge to improve the quality of my life and my relationships, it has also helped me to empower hundreds of my clients, from private individuals and couples, to organisational leaders and their teams. 

Organisational Consultant