Orange is my favorite color so you can imagine that when I found out that was the color of the rainbow I was according to an assessment I was very happy. It was an assessment I took on buzzfeed so it was just for fun. What if had been for a job or was deciding if I was going to jail? Would it have mattered then? Of Course!
Personality assessments have been around since the early 1900’s. Psychologists have been trying for quite some time to figure out human beings. They have made great strides. I recently read a book on the culture of personality assessments. Personality assessments were first used on mental patients, but later used on non-mental patients. They have been used by companies and organizations to determine if a person is a good fit for a company or organization, in custody battles with parents, and to determine if a person is sane or not. These tests can be very helpful and insightful. I use many career assessments each year to help my students with career decisions. I find the Myers Briggs and Holland Code to be quite helpful as do my students. They also enjoy the true colors assessment.
My colors are blue and gold, my Holland code is SAC, and my Myers Briggs is ISFJ. What does all of that mean? Why does it matter?
It matters because in my job as a career coach, I am able to be social, artistic, and conventional. I am using my strengths in my job.
I have been able to be successful and enjoy my work. If my students can know and understand their strengths then they can be successful. This is how personality assessments can be helpful. I believe that it’s not about getting the answer to the assessment that is important, it what’s you do with the answers that you get. If one of my students takes the Holland Code and her code is Social, Enterprising, and conventional then we know that she would be good in an environment working with others, possibly working in a business environment where things are done in an orderly fashion. So we begin discussing what types of organizations and jobs will be good for her. She starts seeing options that maybe she hadn’t thought of before. We start taking steps to get her there. It’s about seeing the possibilities and that is the best part of my job!
It is not good to put all of your stock into one assessment. They aren’t 100%. Assessments aren’t the end all be all, but if used properly they can help you learn about yourselves and others. Knowing that I am a blue helps my supervisor understand that I need verbal feedback and am genuinely interested in their life. This helps us communicate better. Using personality assessments as an excuse for bad behavior is not acceptable and labeling others is not good either. People have different experiences that cause them to learn, grow, and change. I am an introvert, but I can be extroverted at times. My desk at work is organized to a tee because my other true color is gold and I like order.
My point is that assessments can be helpful in many ways, but they shouldn’t be used as a permanent solution. There just one tool in the world of psychology and science. What matters is helping others to be their best.
When taking a personality assessment make sure it’s credible and valid.
I like the Myers Briggs, Holland Code, and True Colors. DISC is also a great assessment that is used in many organizations all over the world. Assessments can help us focus on our strengths and learn how to handle our weaknesses. When we can do this and also understand others that we work and live with, then we can be successful and who doesn’t want that?