I know that the words “Personality Profiling” can carry a stigma especially in our society but let me lay out the pros and cons first and then you can make your decision as to whether it may be right for you and your company.
First off, personality testing is nothing new. It’s been around for years. It’s also been used both positively and negatively at all size companies.
One of the biggest pros to doing this type of testing is it can help people learn how to work together in a more harmonious way and help put people into situations that give them a greater chance to be successful.
One of the biggest cons to this type of testing is it can be used to manipulate people and limit what projects and work staff members get assigned as well as how far they can go at a company.
Personality profiling can be a double-edged sword. But, it doesn’t have to be. It all depends on how you intend to use it. If you use it to recruit and hire people in a better way so they can be better matched to the job you’re hiring for by better identifying what their strengths are, it’s a good thing. If you use it to help bring about better understanding and a mechanism for teaching team members how to better communicate with one another, it’s a big plus. But if you use it to learn how to better manipulate and control people, well it’s a huge negative.
So, let’s talk about how to make this a useful tool.
Remember, this type of testing can help identify people’s tendencies but it doesn’t provide the absolute end all be all truth about people and what they can ultimately do and accomplish.
Personally, I’ve taken many different personality profiling tests and I really like them. Today, I recommend them to my clients once they understand how to use them the right way.
I was raised by my dad that you should never ask anyone to do something you wouldn’t do. So if you are going to do engage personality profiling, I strongly suggest you take the test and share what it says about you. No bad thing can come of it.
I feel so strongly in personality testing that I share what my own test results reveal about me just as I ask them to take the test and share what their results say about them and their tendencies. That is after we discuss how to use it to our mutual benefit which is learning how we can work together in a better way.
Let me explain what the difference between tendencies and absolute truths are by way of examples. My personality profile shows there is very little that would make me want to be up in front of people doing lectures, workshops and seminars. Yet, I’ve done tons of workshops, keynote speeches and training seminars over the years with great success. This is not to brag I leave the impartial testimonials on my website to defend my statement.
What makes my training good despite not tendency to want to be on stage or in front of people being entertaining is I have an overriding desire to achieve a successful outcome fueled by a desire to learn and then share with others what I’ve learned. The absolute truth here is I have a bigger desire for the outcome to turn out the way I want it to be that I override my tendencies. The desire to be successful and become a better speaker and trainer has led me to do a lot of training and practice with some great trainers who specialize in making people better speakers. I get way out of my normal comfort zone and I’m happy to do it.
I have one more example of how tendencies can be helpful but not an absolute truth. I have been working with another consultant with a number of clients for over 5 years. On paper, we’re about as opposite as opposites can get. But, we shared our personality testing results and learned how one another ticks and what we’re motivated to do and not do. We know what each of us likes to do and over time we’ve learned what we’d prefer the other person do. It works because we’ve learned how to use words that ring true with each other and it’s to our mutual benefit and our clients as well.
Last but not least, I have personally helped extraordinarily shy people become great on the phone as a Customer Service Representatives. I’ve also done the same with introverted Tech by teaching them how to talk with customers and become better at sales. Here’s what I know. Nobody who is extraordinarily shy wants to talk to people on the phone let alone face to face but if the desire is high enough, there are enough good rewards, a mentor to help then a person can pretty much overcome most of their initial weaknesses to reach great levels of success.
Now, if you can help someone leverage their good tendencies and talents by better understanding them and putting them in the right situation and coach them the way they need to be coached, the sky is the limit.
It’s a powerful advantage to use these tools. Just be careful to make things too convoluted and too technical. You want to avoid “paralysis by analysis.”
Try to take away from any good testing a few key words or key points that will help the team learn how to interact in a more positive way. Then practice it so it becomes natural.
The big thing to remember is you and your team’s attitude has to be one that focuses on, “We’re in this together to make a win for the customers, the company and ourselves.”
Then, take the time to listen to one another….and yes….learn how to love and respect one another.