How Your Childhood Shapes Your Personality

Alicia Dunams
2 min readJan 13, 2022

There’s new biography about the leader of Germany, Angela Merkel, called The Chancellor. It covers her tenure, her historic mark on Germany and the world, and also her childhood.

Specifically, the author shares Merkel’s childhood of growing up in East Germany. She was the daughter of a pastor in an atheist state, so she “learned to keep her own counsel, to trust very few people and to call no attention to herself very early.” (From the authors interview on NPR.)

The interview continued, “These were all very useful skills as she made her way in German political life. She’s a woman who really, to this day, has an air of mystery and an almost impenetrable wall around her private life, which you can trace to her East German roots.”

This begs the question:

How does our childhood form our leadership style? And personality (the way we think, emote, behave)?”

Personally, my childhood, although filled with love and meaning, gave me the opportunity to navigate conflict — daily. One of the reasons I choose to be a peacemaker and volunteer mediator.

With that, here are some questions to ponder:

  • What were the circumstances of your childhood?
  • How do you choose to interpret them?
  • How have they shaped your leadership style and personality?

And finally…

How will you use these skills to create positive impact in the world today?



Alicia Dunams

International corporate speaker and trainer. Bestselling author. Creator of Bestseller in a Weekend®.