Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Personality Tests

After an awesomely grueling workout yesterday at Train Like a Pro, I was chatting with my workout partner about personality tests, specifically our 4-letter character type in the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). What I found interesting was that just by exchanging the results of this test that we had taken at some point in our lives, we learned a lot more about each other - what we like, how we see the world, how we react to challenges, and even how neat we keep our workspaces.

What are you??? Find out with the free version of the MBTI (the official version costs money and requires a facilitator, but the free one produces about the same results).

Many companies encourage managers to use the the MBTI or other personality tests in their teams to help the group recognize differences in perspective, characteristics, and work styles and builds the awareness that we must take these into consideration when we're working together. My workout partner also mentioned that sports coaches can use it to learn how to more effectively interact with their athletes.

It’s also important to remember that the value is NOT in the test itself, but in the awareness it creates and the discussion it can generate (especially within a work-group, sports team, or even relationship). Most importantly, it’s WHAT WE DO with the information. If we know that our manager is an ISTJ or our teammate is an ENFJ, we can use this knowledge to tailor our interactions with him/her and work with them more effectively (hopefully they're doing the same with you!).

There’s also a lot of value in using these results to helps us identify areas of strength and potential challenges we may face. I've used the MBTI types with some of my clients to also help them think about what careers might match their personality, how to better avoid or overcome daily challenges, and also to pinpoint areas for ongoing personal development.

I’m an ENTP and much of the description makes sense for what I’ve learned about myself so far. I’m good at seeing the big picture and easily get excited by new ideas, but also have some trouble with follow-through on those ideas. Knowing this helps me structure my work tasks to emphasize implementation and also helps me know what to look for in building a team of employees.

Of course, with any of these tests it’s important to remember that the general statements describe a large category of people and aren’t always dead-on in all areas. But for the most part, and judging from others who have also taken the MBTI test, it’s a fairly good assessment.

  • What are you? Does it match your perception of who you are?
  • Take the test and comment!

2 comments:

Lee Knight said...

There are lots of other personality tests, with different approaches and testing for different things. Two more that I took when I was in the corporate world included:

The Hermann Brain Dominance Indicator that determines right/left brain thinking patterns (http://www.hbdi.com/WholeBrainProductsAndServices/assessment.cfm &
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herrmann_Brain_Dominance_Instrument)

"The Platinum Rule" for communication styles (http://www.platinumrule.com/aboutpr.asp)

I couldn't find these for free because it's part of their primary business model of offering it to corporations along with coaching/development services. I'm sure when I took them it cost the company a decent amount to fly in these specialists. If you're part of a company or a team, I would recommend looking into these as well!

Fabiola said...

I think it would be great to get our friends and workmates to provide feedback on our personality, character, working habits, etc. a survey/questionnaire could be provided and keep the results anonymous.