Have You Taken A Personality Test To Help You Better Understand Yourself?
This post is part 5 of My Leaders Lyceum Experience blog series. I'm writing in exchange for the opportunity to go through the multi-corporate program.
Have you ever taken a personality test to help you better understand who you are? Over the years I've had numerous opportunities to take tests like these to help me discover behavior patterns and to also give me perspective about the people around me. While the results of this type of test only provide one piece of the full picture, they do give worthwhile insights.
My Personality Results
In my last post about my Leaders Lyceum experience, I mentioned I was in the NF personality family which was the top right quadrant of the personality house. The NF was the Competent Visionary or the Idealist, as specified by the Leaders Lyceum.
My full personality results were E-N-F-Z.
Extraverting, iNtuiting, Feeling, & organiZing.
The headline for this personality type is Mentoring.
Below are some descriptive highlights for my designated personality type.
- My chief concern is fostering harmony and cooperation.
- I tend to give generously and work tirelessly to make things perfect for my family, home and work environments.
- I'm great at organizing people to get things done while keeping everyone happy.
- I'm equipped to deal with variety and action, and I am willing to take responsibility for planning, delegating, and developing projects.
- Typically patient and conscientious, I tend to make a concerted effort to finish what I've started.
- My comfort with words is illustrated by my bright language and colorful imagery.
- I'm a natural leader and lead best in direct, face-to-face encounters.
- I frequently invest my time investing in relationships.
- My strengths include communication, empathy, and my focus on harmony.
Quick Note: If you've taken a Myers Brigg Personality Test, you'll notice the last letter are different in this test. The Golden Compass Personality test changes out the P (Perceiving) & (Judging) and replaces them with A(Adapting) & Z(Organizing). So instead of ENFP they have ENFA. Instead of ENFJ, they have ENFZ. They did this because it's more intuitive and less confusing.
How This Illuminated A Change In Me
I was expecting ENFZ when receiving the report. A few months before going through the program, I took a simple Jung personality test and came up with the same result. While I was expecting this, it was surprising because, during the decades prior to taking this test, my last letter came back as Adapting, not organiZing (The headline for the personality type ENFA is Inspiring).
To make things more interesting, when I took the personality test before going through the program, my wife did also. Not only did my last letter change, but so did hers. While I went from Adapting to organiZing, she went the other way around. In many ways, we switched places as a result (I think) of some dramatic and extensive life changes over the previous three years.
The great thing about the Leaders Lyceum testing is how much detail and insight it provides to help us better understand what it is saying about us. So, the question came to mind, is this test just different than other ones I've taken or have I actually changed? When I reviewed the sixteen-page report, I came to the conclusion there were some specific attributes where I've actually changed. Since I probably only had a slight preference for Adapting, it makes sense that contextual and personal changes could shift me along the spectrum towards organiZing.
To provide some examples here are some attributes of an ENFA (what I used to test at) where I'm milder.
- Acts spontaneously
- Welcomes change and often acts as a catalyst for it
- Accepts risk, particularly if people will benefit
On the flip side, the ENFZ has several positive attributes that I'm now able to embrace beyond what I've done historically.
- Plans carefully towards reaching goals
- Contributes order to an organization
- Brings the idea into reality
- Tries to gage schedules to avoid crisis
When I saw these and other elements from the data, I realized I actually changed in ways I would never have expected. Things I thought I couldn't or wouldn't do are things I'm highly skilled at now. In 2013, I experienced the best and worst year of my life and it changed me. In some ways, for the better, while in other ways, it left me with what seems like permanent emotional wounds I can't escape. I've been given some gifts, but at a cost.
Where I'm currently at is in a unique state where I can now traverse these two rooms in the personality house. It's not an either or, it's a strength to contextually apply the most appropriate posture. I'm learning to leverage the differences in perspective to produce more effective outcomes for myself and others.
Out Of Pattern Attributes
As I dove into the report further, I discovered a few other interesting insights. In the report, there "out of pattern" personality attributes. This happens when our results come back in contrast to what is expected. I had three out of pattern attributes. Two of my out of pattern attributes fell under the last letter, where I had some conflict and change described above.
- As a Feeler, it was unexpected that I'd have stronger thinking sense when it came to being analytical. I value logic and scientific principles in decision making more than I value warm compassion. I'm more analytical than personable when making decisions. Feelers generally don't operate this way.
- As an organiZer, I'm more open ended emphasizing adaptability and flexibility instead of planning. Normally organizers prefer schedules and closure. I'm also more spontaneous and less deliberate than those with this personality attribute. While the testing put me in this category, It seems to have missed how deliberate I can be with big personal decisions. With that said, I may be operating out of personality and more in line with wise discipline practices.
How I Respond To Stress
At the end of the report, there is a section which illuminates how we respond to stress in our life, which had a few interesting tidbits, although The Leaders Lyceum deemphasizes it compared to the other aspects of the personality test.
Here is what came up for me.
I'm almost never tense and always calm. I'm also highly optimistic and unconcerned with unpredictable events. I'm highly confident and sure of myself. This makes me decisive, and less concerned about what others will think of me. Generally speaking, I agree with this but I do think I can be more tense and concerned than the report indicated.
Helpful, But Not The Whole Picture
While this report is helpful and interesting to go through as part of the overall process, it's not entirely accurate about everything. I found myself disagreeing with several results and conclusions. The Leaders Lyceum program recognizes theses limits which are why they marry our personal perspective, our personality report and a 360-degree feedback report from people in our lives, to help provide a more accurate and complete picture of ourselves. Any one of these elements don't define us, but we can leverage each to help refine us and move us towards the person we want to become.
Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash
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