I mentioned Digital Identity a while back. Personal identity has been something of a hobby for me, I suppose. I harbor this hope that if I can figure myself out, I’ll stop getting in the way of my own ability to contribute to humanity. Maybe it is because I need to plumb my own depths in order to create characters. Or, it could be because I can’t figure anyone else out so why not start with myself?
Another reason it’s important – probably the most important reason – is because I work in teams. I work in global virtual teams – I work in teams as an actor. The whole world is built on collaboration these days, and I think it’s important to understand your own styles and how others operate in order to work well with others. We do a variety of personality-type tests as part of our team building exercises, and we do assessments as part of our own Career Development program.
The assessment that I’ve found most provocative recently is something called Strengths Finder. I am not an expert in this area, so I can’t do it justice. But the upshot is that this is – we grow and develop better when we focus on maximizing our strengths rather than coming from a “gap-fixing” mindset. I can try for years to fix my lack of passion for html code, OR I can put my skills as a team facilitator to use. In theatre terms – I can go on kicking myself because I can’t design sets, OR I can focus on being the best actor I can be, and help out in other ways. It’s a different mindset and is more optimal for growth.
Another tool we’ve used is the Meyers-Briggs assessment. I’ve taken this one probably 20 times since my days as a Psych major in the Dark Ages (college). At school, working for the college, here in the corporate world, just looking at my own inner being…. the result has always been exactly the same: I am an INFJ. Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr. were/are all INFJs. Hefty company. Once again, that’s a lengthy explanation and I can’t do it justice in a short blog.
Which brings me to my point – there is a lot to these assessments, and that can make it hard to understand the patterns, the similarities between them. It’s hard to remember what my results mean individually, much less when I try to identify trends across all of these tools.
So here’s what I’ve started to do – take an assessment report or description of the “type” and make word clouds. It’s completely unscientific of course. But, here are the first couple that I’ve done.
This first one is the result of my StrengthsFinder assessment. My Top 5 Strengths are: Strategic, Input, Achiever, Communication, Intellection.
This next one is the INFJ Cloud. There are hundreds of descriptive texts I could have used for the cloud. I chose one prepared by Sandra Krebs Hirsch and Jean Kummerow.
And now, I can start to see what types of similarities exist. So far, the only one that really stands out is the word “PEOPLE.” Granted, the text could be using the word “people” in a lot of ways. “People who are INFJ’s have great depth of feeling” is very different from “An INFJ has a strong instinct to help people.” I’ve not done that sort of analysis yet. I think I’ll try a few more and see what comes of it.
FYI – should you stumble upon this little blog – I used Wordle to create the clouds.
More on that anon. For now my lunch has been eaten and it’s back to work.