Remember when you were a teenager … or maybe more recent! … when you loved filling out personality tests to find out what kind of person you are? Ha … yeah, we already know, right? But now with the Internet it’s so much easier.
Seriously, I never took much stock in personality tests. Sure, based on your answers they can tell you if you’re an introvert or extrovert (I don’t think most of us need a test for that); they might give you some insight into why you like a messy desk or a clean desk, or what sort of work environment suits your personality, but to dig down deep into what makes you tick and where you will thrive (or not thrive) — hmmm, not really.
Except for one.
Twenty years ago I was working on a political campaign and the candidate also was part of a family business. Working with family is a completely different animal because, you know, you can’t really fire someone. They hired a business consultant who had them take the Myers-Briggs test on Temperament, Character and Intelligence. The benefit to their business — and their family — was phenomenal. They all read about their family/staff members in order to find out how they best work. When you understand how someone thinks and works, you can better work with them. I could go into great detail, but short version? Their business and family relationships started to thrive and so Greg, who I worked for, bought all his campaign staff the book PLEASE UNDERSTAND ME by David Keirsey because he wanted to know where we landed and how we work best.
I was an ENTP: “The Inventor.” And wow. It was me. Especially how I get bored with repetitive work and am always seeking ways to outwit the system. I ended up reading the entire book and learning how to better work with my colleagues because I finally understood how they work best and how to better communicate.