“It takes far more energy and work to improve from incompetence to mediocrity than it takes to improve from first-rate performance to excellence.”
― Peter F. Drucker,
If you want to up-level your performance in life, you’ve got to try personality tests.
As the Peter Drucker quote above explains, knowing your strengths and weaknesses can really help you figure out where to invest your time so that you can enhance your skills at a faster rate. If you know you’re good at one thing, you can focus on that to accelerate your performance while delegating out your weaknesses out.
Even improving your weaknesses that you were once blind to can be worth it even if it takes longer..
And don’t think that you can figure out exactly who you are and what your talents and weaknesses are on your own. We have a lot of cognitive biases and our ego that will force us to see ourselves through rose-colored glasses. You need something objective like other people’s feedback or a personality test sometimes to find your blind spots.
You still may not be convinced why this matters. Well, consider how you interact with people at work. If you’re behaving in an inefficient way with people at work because of excessive micromanagement, bursts of rage, lack of understanding of social cues, a failure to respect a different working style, or failure to get what you want from your subordinates on a recurring basis, you could be leaving money on the table from subpar management or intercommunication skills.
There are certain scenes from the popular show the office that I find funny because they play on the ignorance and lack of social understanding of some of the employees. personality tests aren’t just useful for yourself, but for understanding others and finding out the best ways of interacting based on how they are.
Understanding personality models allows you to construct a better environment for performance and to double down on what you know you do best.
DISC Personality Test
For many years, the Myers Briggs personality test has been the most recognizable and accepted personality test. However, we’ve found out over time that its accuracy isn’t as great as we thought as we learn more about human psychology and communication. Learning whether someone is an introvert or extrovert is one way of labeling a person, but not always the best or only way.
I believe a newer personality test, the DISC assessment, is best for improving your interpersonal communication. It does a better job of helping you figure out who someone is and what motivates them so that you can communicate most effectively.
After understanding how the assessment models people, I have successfully used it to find out the best ways of working together with a wide range of different personalities.
The Big 5 Personality Test
The Big 5 may be the most accurate personality test I’ve encountered in terms of being able to predict someone’s personality or behavior off a model. There are countless studies that demonstrate how accurately someone can ascertain someone’s Big 5 personality traits just based off small things, such as their favorite songs or a picture of their bedroom. There are many influencers who are proponents for this personality test, including Jordan Peterson and Dr. Geoffrey Miller.
This personality test is underrated and not talked about as much as each deserves. In the video below, I dive into my experience with taking his personality test and why it deserves its recognition.
I recommend that you check out the book Spent by Geoffrey Miller to learn how this personality test can be used in business, marketing, and your career. Additionally, it most certainly can be used in interpersonal relationships and dating. Dr. Miller’s other book on dating, titled What Women Want, elaborates on what levels of each of these big five traits women find most attractive and how to improve in these areas.
I find it interesting that in the marketing world, his book doesn’t r give the implication that having more or less of one trait is better or worse. You’re identifying how people are and understanding how different products already market to that and allow the consumer to express who they are through those five traits. However, in dating, it’s a different story. Certain higher or low levels of traits, like high neuroticism can be seen as repulsive or attractive.
I challenge you to take a strengths or personality trait test and then come back here and let me know in the comments the one thing you will do immediately to improve yourself based on the results.
I’ve taken a more affordable personality test multiple times called Strengths Finders (now called CliftonStrengths).
Despite taking it multiple times and giving somewhat different answers, the “Learner” personality trait always came up in the Top 3 out of dozens of options.
After thinking about it, it made a lot of sense. I am a great learner. I devour dozens of books and courses every month. that’s a trait I can double down on and something that few people can compete with me on. Now that I know that, I know where my zone of genius is and what to lean into. If others try to compete met with me on how much I can learn, they’ll probably lose because they’re understanding what their strengths and weaknesses are compared to mine.
I can double down on what I can naturally do better without trying much harder.
In the conflict results I showed above, it said that I calculate every variable, which isn’t always the best use of my time, and that I control every detail for the good of the company.
My natural inclination is to say, “Hmmm… I don’t know if I would go that far.” Yet I explored this idea and realize that I can start to move in this direction if I’m not aware of it. that helps me prevent myself from micromanaging or overanalyzing at work.
Add In A Qualitative Approach To Tests
Of course, I don’t think that any computer-generated test is perfect. Humans can be complex creatures, and these tests are simply our best ways of modeling that to the best accuracy we can, which may not ever be 100%. But they do get close enough to help you if you choose the right test.
Technology and science is getting better and better. I encourage you to take a test for yourself and see how accurate the results are. I believe you’ll be pleasantly surprised at some of the insights that you’ll discover.
A mix of both a personal approach to learning about yourself and a computerized approach will help cover all your bases. asked people you trust for their honest feedback of you. Let them know that you won’t be offended or upset based on what they say. As managers, coworkers, or mentors about how you come across, how you interact with others, and what can be better.
I suggest only asking people who have known you for a while who you can trust to give an unbiased opinion.
there are three versions of personality test and versions that cost money. I took a comprehensive, paid-for DISC test and here are some of the results. The following bullets mention potential conflicts I may have with clashing personality types based on how I may come across:
- Sets unwanted rules for others, but does so for the good of the company.
- Viewed by others as a “watchdog”, but wants to be seen as trying to help the business move in the right direction.
- May micro manage and in turn, unintentionally alienate others.
- Never enough facts to prove the new theory.
- Can be defensive when hard facts are questioned.
- Needs data for comfort and curiosity but may experience paralysis by
- analysis when finishing goals.
- May over-focus on the negative side of investments and, therefore, may
- miss the opportunity.
- Desires to be seen as resourceful, yet is fearful of making mistakes.
- Calculates every variable, which may not be the best use of his time.
- Will control all of the details for the good of the company.
- Can confuse his desire to support the group with his want for enforcing rules.
- He feels most effective when he can work on the plan through structure.
while some of these points are a bit extreme, I think they’re fairly accurate. They depict my highest see, compliance, nature, which cares a lot about accurate evidence when someone asserts a point in following the rules and processes. When interacting with personality types that are the opposite of this, which are typically high D dominant types, there could be clashes in communication because they don’t care so much about gathering all the facts before believing something or pursuing an idea.
As you can see, there’s so much potential for how I can improve my communication style to not come across too much like a watchdog or goody two shoes to these people. Now that I understand these potential threats and I’m prepared for them a bit more, I can know when to tone down my behaviors and demonstrate my desire for credibility without coming across to annoying. That leads to more harmonious teamwork and collaboration.
Be Honest With Yourself
Most humans are biased by things like ego. Therefore, they may have a tough time being honest with themselves and accepting the truth.
They may be too full of themselves to humble down and acknowledge that they’re micro-managers or that they take control of a conversation.
Or they may be too offended to consider that they really need more facts before pursuing an idea. If you really want to get the most out of personality tests, you have to be honest with yourself.
small dose of skepticism on the personality test results is normal. But throwing away the results of the tests or concluding that there useless before giving them a chance is only shooting yourself in the foot.
Yes, some of it might be wrong. There is always error, especially when these tests try to define something that is much more complex and abstract like human personality in 100 questions.
To give further accuracy, take a few different tests. Use your qualitative feedback. And look for patterns. If, for example, many of these tests tell you that you have a tendency to enter a meeting unprepared but your ego won’t let you admit that’s true, maybe it’s time to recognize that pattern as truth. Some of that’s easier said than done, but try.
Are there any personality tests you recommend?
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