Several years ago, I engaged in an online survey/test called StrengthFinders. My employer, at the time, thought that if we got to know each other’s strengths, we might focus less on each other’s weaknesses. We might actually play up to the revealed strengths of each team member and figure out how to best play nice in the sandbox. We were then asked to post everyone’s strengths on our desks so that when we became entrenched in a conversation or embattled in a discussion we would already be familiar with how each of us would think or potentially react.
Didn’t need a test for that.
Intuitive – always follow my gut. I think way too much and value feelings too little, tell me something I don’t know. And I generally perceive too much. It’s in my nature, I suppose…, And how dare Jung call me irrational.
DISC also scales people down and determines whether or not they are good for one thing or another… Like a letter determines who we are. I have a friend who just interviewed for a new position. His interview lasted for an hour and a half. Always a good sign. He left with a very good feeling. There was even talk of a potential promotion not too far down the road. I asked him how the Hiring Manager left it with him. “Well, I have to take this personality test, to see if I am suitable…” The DISC test, really? Interview went well, experience matches necessary requirements, no need to relocate, knows the business, gets along well with the supervisor…, but the company requires a test that will magically plot his personality out in lines on a graph so determination can be made whether he is dominant or maybe he is an influencer, which would be good, since he is a salesman.
I guess I am not really sure how I feel about these tests and their use. I have taken the three mentioned here and interestingly enough, much like astrology, I found just enough truth in them. As a matter of fact – a couple years ago, I took the StrengthFinders test again – seven years later after I took the first one, to see if anything had changed… Surprise! My core strengths had changed. The two years that separated my first Myers & Briggs from the second, also showed differences in who I appear to be. I answered very honestly each time.
What does it prove?
Just that we are an evolving people and nailing someone into a pigeon hole shortchanges opportunities on both sides. Every time we learn something new and apply it, every time we experience something new, every time we expand our minds or stretch our capabilities our core strengths change, who we are changes. This is a good thing. Prohibiting growth by clinging to test results is not.
Differences occur each day -
don’t need a test for that, either.
Rayanne Thorn, @ray_anne is the Marketing Director for online recruiting software company, Broadbean Technology. She is also a proud mother of four, happily engaged to Tom, residing in Laguna Beach, California, and a daily contributor for Blogging4Jobs. Connect with her on LinkedIn.