I was asked the other day : "Kate, is personality testing novelty, frivolity, or common sense?" The answer is: It depends on whether or not you utilize them properly.
I highly recommend them for anyone who is in a relationship of any kind: business, friendships, family, etc. (so all of us)
Personality tests enhance our perspective. The best way to utilize a personality test result is by looking for strengths (to enhance) and identifying weaknesses (to downplay or eliminate). When we have the results, we can see our natural tendencies at that particular moment in time to lean in certain directions with our personality. When we are under stress or major life changes (both good and bad) our way of responding to the world may not be the typical way we interact with others.
Taking a test when life is pretty calm and regulated will give you a chance to see your natural tendencies. Some personality traits are inborn. Yet parts of personality can be consciously cultivated over time. Personality can also be altered in a traumatic moment. The test results give us a chance to see where we are at now, how we interact, and what benefits can be gleaned from that information.
What to do with test results:
1) Look for opportunities to use your natural strengths. * If you are great with data and shy with people -- think about switching to a division within your company in which research is more prominent than direct customer contact. * If you are a knowledge seeker -- help others research and gain information on vacation ideas, background information, parenting techniques, etc. Find opportunities daily to bless those around you.
2) Look for chances to correct weaknesses rather to keep inflicting them on others unconsciously. * If you have a tendency toward jealousy-- lighten up and hold your tongue when your mate wants an innocent night out with friends. * If you lean towards being argumentative-- again, back up and hold off any rebuttal until you have seriously considered your bosses viewpoint. See what you might learn in this instant rather than trying to prove it doesn't apply to you. Check for ways you can grow as a more rounded individual by working on your current rough spots.
What kinds are there?
There are many online and offline personality tests. One can just do a local search on Google to explore your options. Three I like, have experience with, and recommend include:
Myers-Briggs Personality Tests: based on Carl Jung's theories yet made understandable to us regular people-- this test comes from a view that there are 4 main ways people differ in thinking and interacting. These 4 areas can than be combined for a total of 16 personality types.
The Enneagram Psychospiritual Typology: this tests breaks down personalities into 9 general categories with the understanding that there are many sub-types and differing distinctions possible.
The Max Luscher Color Test: (Warning: although tempting-- This is NOT a novelty test-- NEVER use it as such!!!) Dr. Luscher believed that colors carry deep psyco-emotional responses when viewed. Based on order preference for 8 colors a tremendous amount of information can be given about a person's current state.
Where Can we get them?
Many coaches, therapists, pastors, counselors have access to and certifications (when needed) to administer these tests. There are also online versions of these tests for quick general typing that can be helpful.
I recommend taking the test in conjunction with someone else who will go over it with you.
If you do choose to go it alone and take a simplified version online, be aware as you read the results that it was only deciphering who you are and how you are most likely to respond at that given point in time. Utilize results always with an outlook on how you can better inter-relate to other people.
If you would like to talk more about some of these tests -- Feel free to contact me. Until next time--- all the best, Kate
Kate Hufstetler has been coaching people for 18 years. Her clients have come from a variety of walks of life: government employees, computer software developers, teachers, parents, singles, teens. Common issues are transitions, goal setting, emotional health, relationships, alternative lifestyles.
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