Over the years I’ve taken at least 15 different personality style assessments… those psychometric ‘tests’ that aren’t graded. Instead, they provide a view of our typical approach to how we see the world, how we behave and what we expect from others.
While I have no idea how the algorithms that make up these things work, each one nailed me, so there must be something to them beyond the power of suggestion. Still, I have debriefed several hundred clients on the one I’m certified in, and they often say, “Why did it ask the same questions over and over and what do those have to do with how I come across to people?”
“Would you rather work indoors or outdoors?”
“Do you daydream occasionally?”
“Do you sometime feel anger?”
“Do you sometime let your mind wander?”
“Are you mad on occasion?”
“Would you rather be outside or inside?”
At the end of each report-out session, I ask: “Did it capture you?” Over the past 13 years only one person, a graphic designer, pushed back. I told her that was a first… and a few months later – during our final meeting with her boss – she laughingly brought it up. Her boss looked at my client and said, “That’s your biggest problem. You are completely unaware of who you are and how you impact everyone in the office.”
At that moment, I remember wanting to climb under the table or disappear; however, the boss was on to something. The employee left the company a short time later, and said during her exit interview, “I’ve come to realize I’d be better off working by myself.”
While personality style assessments aren’t a tool to determine who to hire and fire – and, in fact, using them that way is likely illegal – they are instruments that bring to light our uniqueness. Understanding your natural style provides insight into ways you should continue to do things… and opportunities to adapt those traits that are getting in the way of your success.