Should You Take a Personality Assessment?

Posted by in Career Success, Knowing Your Strengths, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Personality | 5 comments

You’ve probably heard of or have taken the Myers-Briggs or DISC or some other personality instrument out there.

However, sometimes it can feel like personality assessments raise more questions than provide answers.

How do students measure up?

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Which is the best one to take? Is it going to say I have the worst personality you can have? How in the world will this help me get a better job? Don’t circumstances dictate how I behave sometimes?

In 2005 I was really struggling with not enjoying my job (actually I was struggling prior to that but I didn’t take any action until 2005) so I quit. I went to see a career coach and one of the things she had me do was take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

The results showed my type as INFJ and after a lot of thought and self-observation I determined the INFJ type fit me exactly.

Taking the MBTI was the cornerstone I needed to begin to figure out who I was, my strengths, my weaknesses and how I could apply those in a work setting.

Now I provide all my clients with a personality assessment depending on their needs. It may be the MBTI, DISC, or Strengthsfinder 2.0. Sometimes all three.

If you’re struggling to figure out the kind of work you’ll love I really recommend starting with a personality assessment.

Even if you’re not struggling with your work I highly recommend taking a personality assessment.

Here are five reasons you should take a personality assessment:

1. It will increase your self-awareness. Self-awareness is the key to unlocking the type of work that fits you best. In addition, self-awareness allows you to be able to more effectively communicate with and influence others. Those who lead truly successful lives, and not just at work, are highly self-aware. They’ve taken the time to figure out exactly who they are and how to leverage their design in all aspects of their lives.

2. It will help you know your strengths. We live in a culture that promotes improving things you’re not very good at. Don’t believe me? Ask any elementary school student what gets pointed out on their papers? Their mistakes or their correct answers? Yet, we are all good at something or many things. If we know what those things are we can put our energy and time into being exceptional in those areas instead of being mediocre in an area we struggle with.

3. It will help you know your weaknesses. We all have blind spots. No matter how you slice it, we just aren’t good at everything and we aren’t always objective in judging our own actions. When you know your weaknesses you can avoid situations, jobs, and relationships that prevent you from using the very best parts of you. Then you can find others who excel in the area of your weaknesses to help you out.

4. It will help you create a filter to find the right type of work for you. Knowing your personality helps you edit and filter the infinite number of opportunities and paths you can choose in your work. Although we may not be able to be anything we want to be we can be more of who we already are. Having the results of a personality assessment is like having a compass. It doesn’t tell you where to go but you can use it to make sure you’re heading in the right direction.

5. You will be better able to read other people. The first step is to understand yourself. The next step is to understand others. When you begin to understand how other personality types operate you can communicate more effectively with them, predict their typical behavior, and understand why they do that thing that drives you crazy (hint: it’s not personal).

Although a personality assessment can’t explain everything you’d want to know about yourself it can explain a lot. The path to enjoying your work begins with understanding who you are. A personality assessment is a great tool to help you do just that.

Question: What other benefits do you think a personality assessment might provide?

 

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  • Adam, this is such a great breakdown of the reasons to take a personality test. I do not have additional thoughts on why to take one at the moment, but I’d like to expound on your reason #5.

    Last year, I had a situation where I had experienced almost 3 straight years of conflict with a coworker. I couldn’t understand what was going on and why we never got along. After talking with a counselor who is familiar with personality styles, he showed me the areas that our two personalities may grind each other. I decided to approach the coworker to resolve the conflict. My initial plan was to go in and be apologetic for how I may have shown up in our working relationship. My counselor showed me that being apologetic (and meek) in front of this other personality type may turn them off and make matters worse. SO, I went into the conversation boldly. I directly asked if she had an issue with me… and guess what? It worked! She responded to my strength and described later in the conversation that she is irritated by “weak” people. Had my counselor not known about personality types and how to communicate with each, I may have made things worse in my attempt to resolve the situation. This is one reason I feel it is so important to understand personality styles – both your own AND others.

    Great post!

    • Wow Alana, what a great story. Sounds like you had a very good counselor. It is so true that when you learn to speak another personality type’s language, so to speak, you can increase the effectiveness of your communication and better influence them. Of course, you now have to use your powers for good and not evil. 🙂

    • Wow Alana, what a great story. Sounds like you had a very good counselor. It is so true that when you learn to speak another personality type’s language, so to speak, you can increase the effectiveness of your communication and better influence them. Of course, you now have to use your powers for good and not evil. 🙂

  • Jason Pockrandt

    Adam, I must ask how are you able to take the MB online is there any way to do so without going through a specialized coach? I’m talking the full version I have something from it in college says I’m INFJ or ENFJ OR INTJ or ENTJ. How do you know which is most dominant when you feel parts of both? Also what’s the pricing of your coaching if the tests are already taken before working with you? What do you offer then?

    • Hi Jason,

      The organizations who certify MBTI practitioners make us abide by their ethical guidelines which state that we must provide a feedback session in addition to offering the MBTI itself. So, there may be some places online where you can purchase just the assessment, but I would say they are not abiding by the ethical guidelines. You’ll definitely want to make sure you take the MBTI through a certified practitioner and not a website that claims to sell the MBTI. There are some false versions out there (i.e. via Facebook or something). I am a certified MBTI practitioner so if you are interested in taking the assessment and having a feedback session please feel free to let me know.

      Most people say they experience both parts of the personality dimensions. For example, some will say that sometimes they don’t like to talk and sometimes they do. So how can they know if they prefer introversion or extraversion? This is where the feedback session becomes valuable because a practitioner can take their client through a series of questions to help them determine which one they find is their natural preference even though a particular circumstance may influence how they behave sometimes. We all adjust our behavior to navigate events and circumstances, but we all have a natural preference. Similar to using your left hand when you need to but you prefer your right hand, or vice versa.

      In regard to your last question, I would have to say it depends. There may be another tool in addition to the MBTI that could help a client or we may decide no assessments would be helpful – but it would be something I would discuss with a client to see what would benefit them the most. Pricing could be part of that conversation.

      Thanks for your comment Jason.