The Joy of Self Discovery

 At this time of year, almost every family has a commencement celebration because someone is graduating.  Though this signals the end of one learning process, it is the beginning of another- hence commencement.  While it is important to learn the basics of English, Math, History and other academic subjects, through their educational endeavors some students also take personality tests to discover more about themselves.  They want to know HOW they learn as well as WHAT they learn.  They want to know their preferences in interacting with others and how to develop communication skills to bemore effective in their relationships and in the workplace with others who may not learn or communicate in the same manner.

There are several tools for increasing our knowledge of our own personalities and to help us to deal with other people more effectively.  These tools can be helpful personally as well as professionally to learn where we have blind spots and also learn our strengths.  In our executive coaching, we often use the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality assessment.  This assessment identifies 16 different personality types and their basic preferences in four areas of concentration.  These four areas include:

  1. Where you prefer to focus and gain energy (Extraversion or Introversion)
  2. The way you prefer to take in information (Sensing or Intuition)
  3. The way you prefer to make decisions (Thinking or Feeling) and
  4. The way you prefer to deal with the outer world (Judging or Perceiving)

For example, Jim and Nancy are attempting to resolve a conflict with each other about whether or not to promote Joyce.  Jim’s Type is ESTJ and Nancy’s Type is INFP.

Jim understands that he tends to push authoritatively for closure based strictly on factual data.  Nancy understands that she will avoid closure until all others related to Joyce have had input and everyone’s thoughts and feelings have been considered.  Since completing the MBTi and working to understand their own and each other’s personality preferences, both have become more “active listeners.”  Jim turns off his tendency to be defensive and push for quick resolution.  Nancy recognizes her style of drawing the process out far too long and focuses in on the most important points.  They get the best of each other’s strengths in their decision-making and end with both an objective and a compassionate solution.

Jim and Nancy could also have discovered these qualities in themselves when conflicts occur by taking the DISC, True Colors, or other similar guides to personality assessment.  With this information, the challenge is to use it to understand themselves and how they prefer to approach certain situations.  Aside from managing conflict, self-discovery through personality assessment creates a neutral language for dealing constructively with making decisions, organizational planning and communication approaches, including handling conflict.  These tools can be used to clarify the best fit, between people and their job assignments and assist team members in discovering their blind spots as well as their assets in team functioning.  There is more tolerance for diversity in the approach to problem-solving when empathy and understanding for other’s personality preferences is developed.  This promotes more sharing within the team about how each person prefers to operate.

Have you explored personality assessment and found it helpful in your work or personal life?  If so, are you willing to share with our readers how it has improved your own experience?  If you have not considered personality assessments before and would be interested in more information about how they can help you begin a new journey in your self-discovery, please let me know and I will be glad to guide you through the process.


With Warm Regards,