Leadership Personality Assessments: Are They Necessary?
Are leadership personality assessments necessary? Depends on who you ask.
Are they helpful? Well, let me ask you this:
If someone you knew had a debilitating eye disease that limited their vision, would you be curious about the way they view the world—what they can and cannot see? What colors they see? How clear or blurry images appeared in their sight?
YOU’RE STILL HUMAN
Whether you actually have vision problems or not, you’re still human. And as humans, we all have a unique way of viewing the world around us—a way that includes blurred vision, rose-colored lenses, blindspots and super clear images. What’s clear to me may not be as clear to you, and vice versa.
With this perspective in mind, I have a hard time turning down a leadership personality assessment because I’d like to believe there’s a speck of truth to learn in each one of those assessments. To me, leadership personality assessments are opportunities to see the world through the lens of another person. It’s more about an others-centered approach to leading and interacting with the people in our lives.
But make no mistake. I understand that many of you have felt boxed in, manipulated, or even abused by the way others have mishandled the tender results of your leadership personality assessments. If this has been the case for you, I’m truly sorry. That is not okay.
Maybe for others, you feel more “exposed” than anything else. It’s extremely vulnerable for someone to know all of your personality in those ways. Maybe you’re hesitant to own up to your shadow side (your false-sense of self) or you’re too wounded to embrace the truest parts of you.
Maybe some of you have stayed small for so long in order to serve those around you that you aren’t sure you’re willing to embrace the growing pains of being big—of filling out the space you were meant to fill. This can have a great relational ripple-effect with your coworkers or your friends + family because it means you no longer play the role everyone is used to you playing.
This is where leadership personality assessments can be so helpful—when they give you language around your viewpoints, reasons to describe the changes you need to make, and questions to help you understand the perspectives of those around you.
If you’re new to leadership personality assessments, here are my top 3:
- StrengthsFinder (recently re-named the Clifton Strengths Assessment)
- The Enneagram – my preferred comprehensive assessment or my preferred free assessment
- Paterson Center Thinking Wave-Length
Other helpful assessments I’ve used in the past, depending on the nature of the conversation:
- How We Love Attachment Style a.k.a. your “Love Style”
- The Table Group’s Ideal Team Player – online assessment
- The DISC Profile
- The Myers-Briggs or MBTI Personality Type – free assessment
And 3 more assessments that I haven’t used, but know colleagues who use them all the time:
If you’re taking a personality assessment for the first time, I encourage you to share your results with a trusted friend, boss or mentor.
Personal Reflection Q’s for you:
- Do these results reflect an accurate snapshot of me?
- How would my trusted friend, boss or mentor answer that question?
- What is true about me from this assessment?
- What is not true about me from this assessment?
- What will I do to grow, change or lead well as a result of this assessment?