They say self-awareness is one of the keys to success, yet so many of us have no idea who we really are and what makes us tick. Experts call it personality psychology and it’s valuable in helping identify, predict, and understand individual differences and define personality. Personality profiling is not a guarantee of behavior nor can it be categorized as good or bad. It is merely a descriptor of what makes you innately you. And the sooner you know where you are on the personality spectrum, the quicker you can get on the path to becoming what you’d like to be.
As to where you are, there are numerous levels of analysis that can explain that:
- Trait-Dispositional Level - what you are like as a person and how you differ from others
- Biological Level - delves into the old ‘nature’ versus ‘nurture’ debate
- Psychodynamic-Motivational Level - looks at the subconscious
- Behavioral-Conditioning Level - reflects how important behavior patterns are learned
- Phenomenological-Humanistic Level - looks at who we really are and what we want to become
- Social Cognitive Level - dials into what you know, think and feel and how that affects what you do
We truly are complex beings who integrate innate coding, nurtured concepts, and learned environment strategies a million times a minute. And the more you understand about yourself, the more powerful you’ll likely become. Remember, there’s a person in personal development and that person is you. With that in mind, here are five personality tests that will get you on the road to self-discovery.
Myers-Briggs Temperament Inventory According to Carl G. Jung people can be classified into four categories. The goal of this test is to identify your psychological preferences in how you see the world and make decisions.
- Extraverted (E) vs. Introverted (I) - Preference of general attitude
- Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N) - Preference of perception
- Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F) - Preference of judging
- Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P) - Preference of information management
StrengthFinder 2.0 Dr. Donald O. Clifton identified 34 strengths and four strength domains. Don’t focus on your weaknesses. Know what you do best and put your efforts there!
- Executing: Git-R-Done
- Influencing: You Can Do It!
- Relationship Building: How you doin’?
- Strategic Thinking: Where next?
DiSC Personality Profile An assessment tool that focuses on four behavioral traits. Understand how these factors can help predict your responses to people and situations.
- D: Dominance; Person places emphasis on accomplishing results
- I: Influence; places emphasis on influencing or persuading others
- S: Steadiness; places emphasis on cooperation, sincerity, dependability
- C: Compliance; places emphasis on quality and accuracy, expertise, competency
Multiple Intelligences/Natural Abilities Test Howard Gardner outlines 8 intelligences and the results of the test show your top three areas. This test helps to uncover your natural abilities.
- Body Movement (Kinesthetic)
- Social (Interpersonal)
- Self (Intrapersonal)
- Nature (Naturalist)
The Holland Typology According to John Holland's theory, most people are one of six personality types: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. This test will help you determine which careers will suit you best.
By examining your personality, you’ll get a clearer understanding of why you react certain ways to certain things. It also gives you great insight into how different personalities “see” things differently. Understanding your own personality, as well as others can significantly reduce communication barriers and increase collaboration. Many times, we aren’t disagreeing, we’re just expressing ourselves differently.
Now, you may be thinking you are too old to take these types of tests. I can tell you I just took them all again, mid 50’s, and am still learning more and more tremendous insights about what makes me tick. Plus, with all of us living much longer, you may get the urge to start a new career or adventure based on what you’ve found out about yourself. Now that would be truly tremendous! The unexamined life is not worth living so go out there and find out what makes you uniquely you.