Thursday, June 4, 2009

Take a Personality Test? Why Not?

Last post we talked about the negative statements people make about taking personality tests. Hopefully I disproved or at least gave some food for thought to those statements.

Each post I am going to put a link to a test that I am familiar with. I do not have a lot of experience with the tests that use 16 different points of personality. I am better versed in the basic four (we will discuss this more in the next post) Today's link will take you to Gary Smalley's test that is based on the 4 basic personality types which he assigns animals to, The Otter, the Beaver, the Golden Retriever and the Lion.

This is hands down my favorite analogy of personalities. And the test is usually pretty accurate. The link is

Just to let you know I ALWAYS come out being an OTTER which I love - but I don't love the secondary trait I have which is the LION. We will get more into the personality types later. My husband is a BEAVER/GOLDEN RETRIEVER. I can assure you that is a challenging combination of personalities! He wants to work all the time and I want to have fun! What's wrong with him?????? :)

Today we will look at all the positives of taking a personality test:

1. It Gives you a Clear View of your Strengths and Weaknesses: Knowing your personality can help you use your strengths for good and to find the best fit in life situations for you. It can, when used properly, guide you toward situations, groups, and career choices where your strengths are most valued and appreciated. It can also and usually does, reveal blind spots (weaknesses) that may be hindering us in relationships, job situations and life satisfaction. Knowing how others see you help you see yourself more clearly.

2. It will enhance your relationships: When you begin to understand the basic personality types you can many times see what type of personality those in your life have. If they will do a test that would be the best situation but if not you can still in most cases figure it out. Understanding someone elses personality can give you insight to help you communicate better with them, understand them better, take things less personally, and occasionally give you some tools to help them with their weaknesses. This is true with both family, friend and job relationships. You will find you will get along with people better when you understand yourself and others to a greater degree.

3. It will guide you into a job or career situation that is most satisfying: Many jobs have qualities that are naturally more attractive and fulfilling to certain personality types. For example, some personalities need to be around people, need to feel included and need to have incentives to be happy, where as some personality types need to be alone, are very task oriented and really do not want to be bothered when doing their work. If you are uncertain about what type of work you want to do or are unhappy with the work you are doing it may be helpful to learn about what types of jobs people with your personality type have found happiness in.

On a personal note, one of the greatest tools I was given in my marriage was when I was introduced to the personality types. The more I learned about my "beaver" husband the more grace I gave when he didn't act, say or do what I thought in my "otter" mind was supposed to happen. I began to realize that otters and beavers do things very differently and I needed to understand that beavers are task oriented and need time alone and are VERY detailed and do not get extremely excited about anything and not always the most social of animals (or people). When I really got this concept, I began to give my sweet beaver husband some grace and it works the other way around to. I also have great relationships with my kids because I began to understand they are not like me but they have their own unique personalities and we all (as of course my kids are well versed in personality types and taken I don't' know how many tests) began to work with and around those traits. We all have learned to give a little more, understand a little more and continue to work on those areas in our lives that need to be adjusted.

REMEMBER, that people don't fit neatly into personality compartments. Every person is unique, but knowing you share some characteristics with certain personality types, will many times serve as a guide in determining environments in which you will feel more comfortable or career that you might more fully enjoy.

Next Post - THE Basic Four Personality Types...

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