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  • Writer's pictureDavid Nagai


Updated: Feb 15, 2023

Tracy was a senior manager at a tech company. Her people skills were immaculate (perfect) and her organizational skills were also at a very high level. Everyone under Tracy would agree that she was great to work under.

But the strange thing was that Tracy actually did not feel fulfilled in her work. Yes, she liked people and parts of her job, but her true skills and passions were not being tapped into (utilized). In fact, the reason Tracy joined the company in the first place was to do the nitty gritty (fundamental details) software engineering work. She thrived on building great software by herself.

You see, people are not always matched with the work that suits them the best. People like Tracy are often put in positions that are not optimal (best) for them. Tracy wasn’t a leader or a manager. No, no… Tracy was a software creator.

The Sparketype Assessment

The Sparketype assessment was developed by Jonathan Fields and his associates to help people understand what makes them come alive in their work – what sparks people to come alive at their job.

Oftentimes, people are required to do certain types of work that don’t fit their natural interests or skill sets. This is often unavoidable.

That being said, if you become more aware of your natural tendencies and skills at work, it gives you a better chance to figure out how to utilize them. Not only will this allow you to potentially be more productive, but it can also help make your work into something that gives you more life and joy.

Understanding ourselves is important. But understanding our team is also vital. Managers in particular can benefit from using this assessment to help their team share the workload in a way that is productive and life-giving for all parties.

Unfortunately, many people fail to understand themselves or their teams. Moreover, they fail to communicate with their team in a way that allows them to do the work they’re good at and enjoy doing. This is a shame, but it doesn’t have to be this way!

Using the Sparketype assessment gives us the awareness that allows us to take action toward doing the work we enjoy being good at. I hope this assessment can help push you at least one step in that positive direction in your professional life.

Now let me share the ten sparketypes very briefly. Most people have one main type and a sub-type, or secondary type. Please use this list as a summary for reference. However, before you go any further, take 20 minutes to fill out the free online survey at and refer to the comprehensive results.

Here are the ten sparketype overviews:

ONEThe Maven likes to collect knowledge for the sake of learning. They don’t necessarily need or want to apply the knowledge – they just love learning. If they’re not careful, they might lack the motivation to use what they learn and never put their knowledge to use.

TWOThe Maker loves to create things in any form – physical, experiential, digital. They enjoy the actual process of creating, not just the end result. However, sometimes they get lost in their work and fail to maximize the outcome.

THREEThe Scientist is attracted to difficult problems that need to be solved. Scientists are willing to work hard to find answers. But, when their problem is solved and there are no more difficult questions, they might feel a sense of loss or emptiness.

FOUR ­– The Essentialist focuses their attention on turning chaos into order, a mess into tidiness. They create processes and systems that organize. If something is too complex to fit into a system, it is frustrating for the essentialist because they can’t systemize or organize it.

FIVEThe Performer brings energy and life to every situation. No matter what the situation, they create interaction that enlivens the experience for everyone in the room. The workplace can often feel suffocating for performers because of the need to fit in and repress emotions.

SIXThe Warrior is a leader. They help a group of people come together and accomplish a goal or get to a destination.

SEVENThe Sage thrives on bringing wisdom to other people. They learn in order to share their knowledge and wisdom. Their focus is to use what they learn in order to awaken and inspire other people in a deep way.

EIGHTThe Advisor is a mentor who invests in other people’s development. Being trustworthy and capable, they are often outsiders who help a group from the outside.

NINEThe Advocate has high standards and stands up for the ideal. They are deeply aware of people who are oppressed or ignored and help bring attention to those voices on the margins. Advocates fight for the outsider.

TENThe Nurturer cares for other people. Being very empathetic, they value flourishing relationships as the most important thing in life.

So those are the ten sparketypes in brief. Once again, go to to take the free Sparketype assessment to get comprehensive results for your type. This will help you understand your working style and change the way you see your work.


Want to connect with the changing world in English?

(online or in Yokohama-Motomachi)

to expand your:

creative thinking

global awareness

cross-cultural communication

(Advanced and intermediate only)

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