Personality tests are often a component of management and leadership courses. They can be used as an ice breaker or as a way to highlight the differences among team members. If you know yourself, and you know that those you work with are different, maybe you can break down some barriers to collaboration. However, in this setting, I have always felt they only scratched the surface. To go further, it is best to take it into your own hands.
Now, I was not necessarily looking to evaluate myself and figure out what type of person I am according to a brief set of questions. More so, I had one of my own team members complete a test on the website, 16Personalities, and he was interested in what I would get.
16Personalities Testing Experience
First off, 16Personalities offers a free personality test using the Myers-Briggs types. Unlike many free things on the internet, you do not need to create an account or even just enter your email. Though, you can provide them with that information after the fact to receive your results to refer to later.
Once you start the test, you will be presented with the series of questions. As you provide your answers and move through the pages, your progress is tracked.
When all is said and done, you will be given the personality type and a breakdown of traits and their percentages based on your answers.
At this point, you can read a series of pages compiled for your particular personality type. These sections will range from your general strengths and weaknesses to how they affect your relationships romantically, with friends, or even at work.
This is where my experience differed from that of the training I have been in. Instead of just getting a type and gaining awareness of other types, there was actual detail of how a personality type plays out in real life.
The last section does expose 16Personalities' objective, which is to sell you access to more information about your type. This was not an issue for me given that they do provide interesting and insightful details without any access. They are convincing the test taker to go further since the results are so telling of the individual.
"The Logician" (INTP-A)
Anyone that knows me would not be surprised that I received an I (i.e. introverted) type. I think it would take all of five minutes, if not less, to see this out of me. Standoffish is my default state in personal and professional settings. However, the entire picture was very interesting to me in the end.
Reading the in-depth sections is where I enjoyed this experience over all. It was here that I found commonality in the way I felt about myself with the words that were written. I certainly felt comfortable with who I was, and how I understood myself, before reaching this part, but I now had a different perspective. I now viewed personality quirks as personality traits.
Another entertaining feature of 16Personalities is that they provide you with examples of other people or characters that fit your personality. Here are a few they provided as Logicians.
Where to go from here
In completing this self examination and reflection, I felt it would be intriguing to compare the descriptions from 16Personalities and my own reality. I will write future posts that focus on the various personality type details and link them back here.