Monday, January 12, 2009

Personality Assessment

I am pleased to note after completing four personality assessments that I do indeed seem to have one! A personality, that is. While I did not doubt this for a moment, I believe that there are others who might not have had the same luck. Alas, one facet of my personality that none of the results seemed to mention was my hearty, if somewhat acerbic, wit, my flair for being sarcastic and how much I love to make others laugh. My mother used to comment that I should have pursued a career as a Muppeteer. By contrast, she also lamented that I did not become a Supreme Court Justice, as I had planned at approximately age seven.

There’s a moniker for people like myself: “Jack of All Trades, Master of None.” That statement sums me up perhaps better than the various reports from the assessments. It would also explain how I would have made either an excellent Muppeteer or Judge, as the two careers seem to have nothing in common. However, the Jung Typology Test did indicate that I possess a “distinctively expressed judging personality,” which would, we presume, assist me as a judge. But then again, perhaps not, as it also told me that I had only a “slightly expressed thinking personality”.

Actually, the most revealing analysis from the Jung Typology Test was the link to an “INTJ” type description by D. Keirsey which described me as a “Mastermind”. Masterminds are said to make up only about one percent of the population and are described as planners who consider every contingency. They prefer not to take command until those around them “demonstrate their inability to lead”, at which time they step in and take over. They are strong-willed and self-confident and are not impressed by traditional authority or catchphrases.

I must admit, that does sound a lot like me. People must earn my respect, they are not granted it simply because they have a title or position. I am a planner who absolutely loves policies and procedures. I’m stubborn and self-sufficient and am happy to stay in the background observing and doing my work quietly, allowing others to take the glory (although I do like mention of how brilliant I am from time to time), until they make it apparent that they’re incompetent, at which point I have no further use or patience for them and will simply take over from there on out. I personify a favorite quote of mine, “Step up or step aside!” – Christopher Titus.

Ironically, when I took the Keirsey Temperament Sorter test it gave me startlingly different results. The first time I took the test it suggested I was an Artisan. The assessment did not fit me very well at all, as my only artistic ability might be in the realm of writing, although in retrospect perhaps Muppeteering skills would fall into this realm. I retook the test and it then suggested I had a “Guardian” personality. This seems a better fit, as it describes a person who uses their skills to keep things running smoothly, is dependable and trustworthy, responsible and loyal, and honors customs and traditions. The most specific thing it said that fit me was that Guardians like to work with people who carry their weight. Yes!

The Color Quiz gave me a short and sweet personality assessment, “Needs peace and quiet. Desires a close and faithful partner from whom to demand special consideration and unquestioning affection. If these requirements are not met, is liable to turn away and withdraw altogether.” If there was more to the assessment, the website refused to share it. My husband sagely agreed with it and went back to what he had been previously doing. Actually I think that it, and he, was correct – that does fit me, despite how harsh it sounds.

The final test was the Mental Muscle Diagram Indicator which suggested I have an INTJ or Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Judging personality. While each of the prior assessments had points that I felt clearly described me, this report seemed the most “dead-on”. It clearly describes me as a systems-driven perfectionist who quickly loses respect for those considered “slacking” at the workplace. The analysis further describes me as someone who seizes opportunities others may miss, and who often takes it upon themselves to make decisions without consultation, but is also “scrupulous and even-handed” about recognizing others who contribute to a project. I specifically liked how it explained that our perceived self-confidence is really more specific in nature and based on developed specialized areas of expertise developed from a young age which allow us to “know what we know, and perhaps still more importantly, they know what they don’t know.” Wow, someone out there really does understand me!

None of the results really surprised me, at least not in content. I drive more than ten hours a week and often spend that time picking apart my day, my experiences, my reactions and ultimately my personality and communication skills. I did find it gratifying, however, to see some of the more unique parts of my personality explained in a way that I’ve been unable to express to others. I feel that these tests give some insight on how I communicate with others, specifically my frustration with co-workers who don’t pull their own weight. My communication skills and leadership also tend to relate these principles.

In conclusion, I think that these tests did a very good job of highlighting aspects of my personality. Even the assessment that suggested I have an Artisan personality fits to some degree, although I still feel it was incorrect. Even if I possess some artistic abilities, they are not dominant. Perhaps whose are the aspects I should work on in myself. I believe I have concluded that I should take the information these tests provided me and use them in my current self-improvement process. Specifically I need to trust myself and my instincts more.

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