By: David Brim October 25, 2014
We all interpret the world in a unique way based on our past experiences, education, attitude, dominant thoughts, needs and goals. These factors act as a lens and shape our perception of what we experience which cause us to respond to people, events, and stress differently.
Each of us also has natural character traits that can either be strengths or weaknesses in various situations.
As a leader, or manager, it is important to understand those on your team.
- How do they see the world?
- What are their dominant thoughts, needs and goals?
- What are their natural character traits that can help them to excel or fall short depending on what is happening?
Once you understand them you can more effectively translate a message or truth you are seeking to convey in a way that is easier for them to grasp through the lens they see the world through. You can also put them in situations or roles to maximize their likelihood of success.
It is also extremely important to understand yourself…especially if you are (or are looking to become) an entrepreneur. There are times when things may not go as planned. These trying times can can be stressful and test you mentally, financially and emotionally. During these times of stress you must know how to pick yourself up, make well informed and balanced decisions, be a good steward of capital & resources, and able to embrace uncertainty with faith and confidence.
In order to do this you must carve out time for reflection and know how to re-align your dominant thoughts during times of stress to ensure that the decisions and plans you make take you, and your team, down a fruitful path. This cannot happen without a true and deep understanding of yourself.
It can take a great amount of time to gain a deep understanding of yourself and others in your life. Though deep understanding takes time, I have found two resources that have been helpful in my business and personal life. I thought I’d share…
Strength Finder 2.0 Assessment
The Clifton StrengthsFinder is a Web-based assessment of normal personality from the perspective of Positive Psychology. It is the first instrument of this type developed expressly for the Internet. Over a secure connection, the Clifton StrengthsFinder presents 177 items to you. Each item consists of a pair of potential self-descriptors, such as “I read instructions carefully” versus “I like to jump right into things.” The descriptors are placed as if anchoring polar ends of a continuum. You are then asked to choose the descriptor that best describes you, and to identify the extent to which that chosen option is descriptive of you. You are given 20 seconds to respond to a given pair of descriptors before the assessment automatically presents the next pair. Source
My Results – Strength Finder Assessment
I took the assessment several months back after it was suggested by a successful angel investor and entrepreneur I am close with.
Strategic: People strong in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.
Futuristic: People strong in the Futuristic theme are inspired by the future and what could be. They inspire others with their visions of the future.
Relator: People who are strong in the Relator theme enjoy close relationships with others. They find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal.
Activator: People strong in the Activator theme can make things happen by turning thoughts into action. They are often impatient.
Self-Assurance: People strong in the Self-assurance theme feel confident in their ability to manage their own lives. They possess an inner compass that gives them confidence that their decisions are right.
Based on my understanding of myself I thought this assessment was spot on. I also had my wife Lindsay take the assessment. Though she had none of the strengths that I ended up with we both thought her results were very accurate as well. See a list of strengths, or take the StrengthFinders assessment yourself.
Myers Briggs Test
The purpose of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) personality inventory is to make the theory of psychological types described by C. G. Jung understandable and useful in people’s lives. The essence of the theory is that much seemingly random variation in the behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent, being due to basic differences in the ways individuals prefer to use their perception and judgment. Source
Similar to the StrengthFinders Assessment you are asked a variety of questions. Based on your answers you determine the following….
Your Favorite world: Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or on your own inner world? This is called Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I).
How do you process information: Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning? This is called Sensing (S) or Intuition (N).
How do you make decisions: When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances? This is called Thinking (T) or Feeling (F).
Structure Preference: In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options? This is called Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).
Your Personality Type: When you decide on your preference in each category, you have your own personality type, which can be expressed as a code with four letters.
There are 16 combinations available. Here is a breakdown of the frequency of each type in the general population:
I have taken the test several times and have come up with (E/I)NTP each time. Typically my results end up with an E (extroverted), but at times I have ended up with an I (introverted). The E/I is related to where you gain your strength – from being around others or internally. Not necessarily how good your communication skills are. The ENTP is a “Visionary“.
Career types for an ENTP include:
- Marketing personnel
- Sales reps
Once you know your personality type, or that of another person you can also access great resources to assist you with communication, career growth, relationships, and more.
Whether you are an entrepreneur, manager, college student or simply someone looking to improve themselves or others – I highly suggest exploring these resources. Consider sharing them with your spouse, co-workers, manager, employees and friends.
Once you have taken the test drop a comment and let me know what your top strengths via StrengthsFinder, or your personality type via Myers Briggs ended up being. Cheers to continued growth!