Saturday, February 20, 2010


I used to think that interest inventorys and personality tests were wastes of time. I guess if you rely on them to excuse yourself or to foresee your future, they may be. But as part of my new job, I was required to take a personality inventory - we all were - and we met with the testers as a group to discuss how the different personalities could work effectively together.

Interesting enough, us group of advisers tested high in 'helpfulness'. Obviously that wasn't a surprise to anyone.

But some of things reveal on the test were especially interesting to me. I scored in such a way on the sensitivity indicator that indicated that I was extremely sensitive to any type of criticism. Which is true. If anything even hints of criticsm-positive or otherwise - I beat myself up six million ways.

Another measurement (can't remember what it was called) indicated that I was more like to explain and explain and explain. True. Before I tell a story or even say something, I feel as if I have to preface everything with history.

No surprise to me, I'm very introverted. I've always known that. I've always preferred keeping to myself. To listen rather than talk.

I sat thinking in this meeting about how I communicate with my family. I know I don't consider their own communication styles. Does the way I speak with my daughter have a different affect than someone speaking that way to me? Does the way my son deal with schoolwork show up in his personality style?

No. I don't think that personality tests are the endall in figuring out oneself. But I think the tests can definitely give cause to consider some possibilities and to remind us that not everyone perceives things in the same way, processes information at the same speed, or communicates with the same motivation.

While I'm not sure that I will remember the communication tips given to us for long, I do think that the testing will affect the way I look at and communicate with the people around me.

And there's not a thing wrong with that.

1 comment:

bketeyian said...

I enjoyed reading this. I'm often skeptical about inventories, but find that I usually get something out of them. I created an inventory related to individual communication styles. When I present it at workshops, there are many skeptics. I always encourage their skepticism and ask them to be open-minded, too.
If you are interested in communication styles visit:

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