You know you have some behavioral patterns that don’t really serve you, but you’re unsure exactly what you should do. You are curious to find out what these patterns are, but you don’t know how to start. This is an opportunity to start a conversation with an expert coach. The right coach might help you by identifying a useful starting point, a conversation starter.
All psychometric assessments, all personality type assessments, whether it is a Myers-Briggs, DISC, StrengthsFinder, Emotional Intelligence Assessment or a 360 Degree Feedback, are all catalysts for reflection and therefore great conversation starters. While there are ongoing discussions on how accurate these assessments are, without any intention on our side of diminishing their value, it doesn’t really matter.
Mirrors and Reflections
All the assessments are, first and foremost, a reflection point for you and it is up to you whether you see yourself in the feedback and want to work with it. Naturally, if you observe a pattern, especially in 360 Degree Feedbacks, you should reflect twice on it before you decide to ignore this information and possibly deceive yourself.
However, also keep in mind that most of the available assessments are just a snapshot in time. They are not who you are. It would be wrong to label yourself by saying, “I am an introvert” or, “I am an extrovert”. You might have a preference for introversion or extroversion in certain situations, but your identity is not defined by such a label.
Here is an entry point for a coaching conversation, because a coach will help you understand the power of words and labels, and the implications they have on our life and others in your life. We are used to introducing ourselves with the words, “I am John Smith”. Yet, this is not who we are.
To be completely accurate with our words, it would be better for all of us to say something along the lines, “My street name is John Smith,” or, “I am called John Smith and people who know me call me Johnny,” or, “My parents named me John Smith”. After all, to quote Shakespeare, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Again, you are not your name. It’s merely another label that helps to distinguish you from someone else, but it is not an indication of who you are at your core.
We also tend to introduce ourselves by stating our job title like, “I am head of engineering at so and so”, but for most us, the job we have is not really our true calling. Therefore, it would be more appropriate to say instead, “I work as head of engineering at so and so”. Suddenly the identification of “I am…” with a job is gone and our life isn’t identified by that. We are not a job. We are more than the sum of our experiences, work-related or otherwise. You are not your career, your position, or the pigeonhole into which you find yourself placed.
Now, we can go deeper with all of this and you might not agree with any of it. It proves the point of being a great conversation starter. A coach helps you in your reflection, exploration and learning about yourself. Ultimately, you remain in charge of your beliefs and the changes you want to make.
Psychometric assessments, personality type assessments, and 360 Degree Feedbacks are nothing more than mirrors. The coach is holding that mirror for you while asking reflective questions like, “What do you see?” and, “How does it feel when you say that?” or, “How does it feel to be seen like that?”.
The Truth about So-Called Personality Tests
Notice that while many people like to call them “personality type tests”, they are actually assessments. What’s the difference? It’s in the power of words. We can fail a test, but we can’t fail an assessment.
Ultimately, testing is a limited concept – it’s all about scores and comparisons to others. Testing is concerned with measuring for the sake of comparison, whether that’s skills and knowledge, information retained, or something completely different.
Assessment, on the other hand, is more akin to building a picture of someone. It’s about accurately understanding person’s attitudes and beliefs, skills and knowledge, characteristics and other qualities and then determining what, if any, methods can be used to achieve improvement in those areas. It’s not about measurement so much, and it’s definitely not about judgement. In contrast, testing carries with it heavy connotations of failure, at least potentially.
Only when we start to benchmark against a standard and interpret the result are we entering comparison and possibilities for failure or the experience of being a failure. Certified assessors are trained to debrief you in a way that helps you understand the results.
This can ensure that you’re more at ease during an assessment, as the understanding that you’re not being tested, merely assessed, can put the experience into an entirely new light. When you’re able to objectively think about assessing your personality, rather than somehow failing an imaginary test because of your personality, your characteristics, or your emotional intelligence, it becomes simpler to accept the results and interpret them in a constructive way.
Ready to Take the Next Step?
If you are ready for a self-reflecting conversation and have a desire for more self-awareness or to fill some leadership gaps, you might want to reach out to a coach and go through a psychometric assessment. The cost for such an assessment is generally in the range of $75 to $150, which makes it an affordable tool for self-improvement and a powerful way to improve your leadership capabilities at the same time.
At Paradigm Shifters, we prefer to use certain assessments like the MBTI (Myers-Briggs), StrengthsFinder or the Leadership Circle tools, as we are certified in them. However, as professional coaches, we are also well trained and experienced in using any other assessments as conversation starters.
Want more information?
I specialize in enabling people to commit to implementing meaningful, positive change and achieving goals through alignment. Why not explore what this might look like for you, your team, or your organization? For more information on my coaching and consulting services, call me today at (+81) 80-8034-4023.