Why you should take a personality test

personality testI don’t know about you, but a personality test is often irresistible to me, no matter how unscientific or ridiculous. I see an new online personality test on Facebook nearly every day and each one looks like fun. I guess most people love to know more about themselves even if the information is completely useless. Who cares what Disney princess I am or what my pirate name should be?

Sometimes, though, it might feel easier to take a personality test about which animal you would be, than to take a personality test that would give you real information about yourself.

The process of self discovery can be scary. The word “test” can make it seem like there is a correct score. Maybe you struggle with self-acceptance and wish your results were different.

Or you might be concerned with how the information will be used if you’re taking a personality test during an interview. TIME magazine recently did a cover feature on how much personality testing is now part of the hiring process.

Still, raising your own self-awareness and understanding others is a valuable endeavor. A well-crafted, scientifically established personality test (I actually prefer the term “behavioral assessment”) can:

  1. Identify & validate your strength behaviors
  2. Show what kind of environment is best for your success
  3. Explain your stress behaviors and how to manage them
  4. Confirm your interests and organizational focus

At the same time, an assessment like the Birkman helps you understand that other people are different and that this is positive. This allows you to develop better communication and teamwork. Dr. Birkman’s priority in developing the Birkman Method was to help us appreciate diversity and overcome underlying assumptions like:

  • I’m normal – it is other people who are not normal.
  • Other people experience/perceive things the same way I do.
  • There is one best way to accomplish something.
  • The way someone behaves is how they also wish to be treated.

These assumptions are hurdles in every relationship and the Birkman is like a road map that helps you effectively navigate these hurdles. That’s something we can all benefit from.

What do you like or dislike about personality tests? Tell me about your experiences in the comments!

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