Context is so important.
Why a person makes certain choices, why they communicate in a particular way, how they relate to others — all these things inform our interactions with one another. My wife and I have always been interested in this. After she took the StrengthsFinder test with her co-workers (an assessment that tells you what your top five strengths are), I decided to take the test too so we could compare our results. Shocked at the accuracy of what our strengths were, I brought the idea to Jenn, who suggested the Pivot team take the DISC personality test.
If you’ve never heard of DISC, it’s a behavioral assessment tool. You have to respond “disagree” or “agree” to situational behaviors and statements like, “I can be forceful with my opinions,” and “People think of me as a really good listener.” In the end, you’re categorized into one of four personality types:
- D – Dominance:
Places emphasis on accomplishing results, the bottom line, and confidence
- I – Influence:
Places emphasis on influencing or persuading others, openness, and relationships
- S – Steadiness:
Places emphasis on cooperation, sincerity, and dependability
- C – Conscientiousness:
Places emphasis on quality, accuracy, expertise, and competency
Like most skeptics, I expected that our results would feel similar to a horoscope: vague enough that it can be applied to any situation/person, but specific enough that it can’t be dismissed. To my surprise the results revealed to me parts of my personality, work habits, and communication skills even beyond what I had learned from the StrengthsFinder test.
There’s no one-size-fits-all personality for any career path, and you can see that through the diverse results of our team (check out the chart below). While we’re all very different, it’s helpful to understand the story behind those differences and how it influences our work as a team. We don’t use these tests for evaluating and criticizing one another, but to improve productivity, teamwork, and communication.
Beyond the Office
Better still, knowing the results can extend past the work environment into personal relationships, whether you take the DISC, Myers-Briggs 16 Personalities, or the StrengthsFinder test. (Our team took Myers-Briggs and DISC.) These tests help you understand how to work on weaknesses, lean into strengths, and communicate more effectively. This is invaluable in any environment: work, home, family, etc.
Regardless of your role, career, or interests, personality assessments are great tools to have in your communications arsenal. They’ll help you better relate to people in your daily life—from business meetings to barbecues, and everything in between.