The Benefit of Personality Tests

Over the years I have taken many different personality assessments including Meyers Briggs (INFP), DISC (influencing is off the chart) and others. My personality has been tied to colors (red – go figure) and animals (a lion – hear me roar Katy Perry!). I always find these tests to be helpful if not somewhat repetitive. Recently, I took yet another personality test. This one is called the Hogan. For the most part I didn’t learn anything new, with one exception. The following statement really hit me between the eyes: “You tend to become disappointed with people.” Ouch! Even more painful was the realization that this statement was accurate.

I have always placed a great deal of confidence in people, wanting those that have exhibited talent to succeed and expecting them to do so – every time. I often assumed these individuals would always know what to do and that they would continue to move forward with little assistance. My view applied to individuals at every level of the organization but I was even harder on those with higher level positions. I fully expected that, at a certain level in the organization, an individual would have all the talents needed to do their job well – and when he or she failed, I showed my disappointment. I do not have a poker face.

I don’t know why I didn’t see this facet of myself more clearly before. Often I’ve been asked if I’m afraid to fail and I have always responded consistently. I am never afraid to fail – my only concern is that I might disappoint my manager.

I must have to admit to being a bit hard on myself. I have worked through the years to be less “tough” on my people and have come to realize that even those with deep experience in their roles can’t be perfect all the time. The world is changing too quickly and the variables and unforeseen influences are too great for any individual to always know what actions to take.

My approach these days is to think, and act, like a coach. Coaches support their players, building on and optimizing their strengths and helping them face and improve upon their weaknesses. Like sports, the game of business is always changing. You’re never quite sure what your competition will do and you have to be ready to alter your strategy on the fly. Talent is your organization’s greatest asset and as with any asset it requires continued investment. And remember, even the greatest player needs a good coach!

What’s the best or worst piece of knowledge you have learned from taking a personality assessment?

Speak loudly, step boldly!