Why You Should Try a Personality Assessment

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A personality assessment can reveal a great deal about yourself and your teams. The results of personality assessments like DiSC and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator can be surprising and enlightening to anyone who takes them.

As a keynote speaker, it is paramount for me to be as in touch with my strengths and weaknesses as possible, so I can deliver powerful presentations and training workshops like my Communication Reboot.

I recently read Scott Schwertly and Sunday Mancini’s book, What’s Your Presentation Persona? The book guides readers through the Badge speaker assessment tool to discover their “unique communication style.” Readers learn which of 16 types of communicators they are. I’m a Liberator, which means I’m an optimistic visionary who loves to inspire. I am comfortable using techniques such as storytelling and humor to enhance my overall message. I smiled and nodded as I read my description; they nailed my type! 

"Self-awareness is generally a trait which is lacking with most business professionals today."

I reached out to Schwertly to learn more about his thoughts about the power of personality assessments. “Personality assessments are a huge value-add for any organization since they help team members become more self-aware," he said. "I love this because self-awareness is generally a trait which is lacking with most business professionals today. The good news is that when one becomes more self-aware, the more they can orient their professional lives to allow them to work in their areas of strength. In addition, assessments make people better managers because they'll be able to discover how to work around the strengths and weaknesses of their colleagues.” 

Executive coach Kris Kelso agrees. “Though none are perfect instruments, any quality assessment can help a person to see their self from a different perspective — through a different lens, so to speak. A good assessment tool can also help a person realize that many of the traits and characteristics that they may have previously viewed as weaknesses or flaws are actually gifts and talents that may be underdeveloped or undisciplined. It can help them to be more confident in who they are, often by simply validating that a particular manner of thinking or behavior is a natural part of their personality and uniqueness.”

Kelso added that one risk of using such tools is a person can be put “in a box” or the results can give them a label that doesn't truly and completely define who they are. He told me that a personality assessment is like a window, which may help you see through a wall, but doesn’t completely put you in the room. It’s one angle — probably a very valuable and useful one, but not the entire picture. 

I have learned a great deal about myself by taking these assessments. In fact, my father ran an assessment on me when I was 20 years old, and many of the results still ring true today. Knowing my strengths has helped me in my own entrepreneurial journey and my personal and professional relationships. 

Schwertly mentioned how you can organize your life around your true strengths. He used the example that if a person feels drained or energized around other people, it’s not good to stack your day with too many calls and meetings. If you love interaction, it’s wise to make sure that you have regular calls and lunch meetings on your calendar. 

“Trust is the grease that eliminates friction and improves performance in an organization..."

Business leaders read books like What’s Your Presentation Persona? to better understand their communication style. They hire executive coaches like Kelso to run comprehensive assessments and work together exploring the findings to develop plans that meet their client’s needs. They can even work with their entire company to have each person do their own personality assessments. Such initiatives are a huge value-add for any organization since they help team members become more self-aware. 

For companies or organizations, the real value of these tools is in developing trust. Kelso explained, “Trust is the grease that eliminates friction and improves performance in an organization, and one of the ways to develop and enhance trust is to help people understand each other and appreciate their differences as strengths, not weaknesses or flaws.” 

If you are seeking ways to improve your company’s communication, consider personality assessments. If you would like to learn more about yourself, start by taking your own assessment to learn more about your own strengths. 

Have you tried a personality assessment? What did you think of the results?

This article originally appeared in The Tennessean Newspaper.

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