There are many options available today for getting to know your team and how to best work together. I think, though, that these exercises can be more useful for getting to know the person you will always have on your side: yourself. Sometimes it is hard to see ourselves as others see us and as we are, but these tests can help us see what we may have never understood before and to learn more about our preferences and how we act in different situations.
What follows is a list of tests I recommend if you are interested in getting to know yourself better.
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
Based on Carl Jung’s theory of psychological types, Isabel Briggs Myers and her mother, Katharine Briggs, developed MBTI. It identifies a person’s preferences based on four pairs: Extraversion or Introversion, Sensing or Intuition, Thinking or Feeling, and Judging or Perceiving. These preferences can yield sixteen different personality types. [i] Your combination of the pairs will give you your type, which you can use to understand more about your personality.
If you decide to take the test, you can find more information about your personality type here.
The Big Five Personality Traits
The Big Five is a personality test and classifies a person’s traits into five categories: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and open-mindedness. It is the test that has the most scientific backing and is used by psychologists. The Big Five has been shown to correlate with academic achievement, for instance.
The Big Five gives you scores in each of the five groupings and helps you understand where you fall along the spectrum for each one. It also provides a detailed description of what the score means. The Big Five classifies personality along a spectrum rather than a type so that there is more nuance inherent in the scale.
The DiSC profile is based on William Marston’s concepts, which describes a person’s preferences within a work environment. Wiley, a publishing company, has a version of the profile that centers on four categories used to describe a person: dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness. Your preference may be for one category or a combination of two, but regardless, there will still be one that is dominant.
The DiSC profile describes what your inclinations are at work, including priorities, strengths, weaknesses, and motivators. It can also help you see how others view you so that you can be more effective.
The Team Dimensions Profile (TDP)
The TDP gives you an idea of what your natural strengths are when you are working in a team setting. The profile can identify you as a creator, an advancer, a refiner, or an executor. These designations don’t mean you can’t play the other roles in a team, but it shows your dominant preferences.
This test provides very valuable information. When I took it, it classified me as a creator, and when I finally understood what it meant for me and embraced my role, it gave me more freedom to focus on what I am best at and finding partners that will complement my strengths.
The CliftonStrengths test helps you find your top five strengths. The test includes a good description of how these strengths show up in your life and how you can better apply them. Most importantly, you will get more clarity so that the next time you are asked in an interview what your main strengths are, you will know exactly how to respond.
These tests can help you understand yourself and the people around you more thoroughly. If you have a partner or a spouse, you can complete the tests together. The information may help you get to know each other better.
One individual test will probably not give you all the information about yourself, but if you take more than one and put them together, you may start to see trends. Identifying these patterns can be helpful toward getting to know where your natural strengths and preferences lie. Additionally, they can take your life in a completely new direction that will empower you and your innate talents, instead of struggling against weaknesses or paths that are not fulfilling.
[i] The Myers & Briggs Foundation. (2014). MBTI Basics. Retrieved May 21, 2019, from https://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/.