Emotional Intelligence and Personality tests can be lots of fun to do but are they the Horoscopes or the Facebook quizzes of the Corporate World?
You know the quizzes that you do online where you answer a list of multiple choice questions and they tell you which Disney Princess or cast member from Friends or GOT house you belong to? It’s all fun and games until you get an answer that you don’t like or agree with? Does that change the way you now watch that show or was the quiz simply wrong?
Any personality quiz, regardless of the topic, is a subjective test based on our own answers and that’s what makes them so interesting!
There are approximately 31 different personality tests available based on available research. Myer Briggs and DiSC are two of the most popular with Myer Briggs being around since 1921 and DiSC since 1928. I’m not sure whether this is a good thing that they have such extensive history or whether it’s a concern that things have certainly changed a lot in the last 98 years! Many others have been created throughout the years with quite a few companies creating their own tests.
Some are so accurate and describe us perfectly, others tell us something that we don’t expect and therefore could be assumed wrong or inaccurate. Either way, they use our answers to closed questions and place us into a category.
There is only so much that an online test can do. Have you ever read a multiple choice question and thought ‘none of those answers best suit me’ yet you are forced to pick one to continue. It does create the risk of a ‘cookie cutter’ approach. You are either A, B, C or D, end of story. No, you can’t be A sometimes and a little of C on other occasions. No, it can’t be dependant on the situation and the people involved. No, your emotional purpose or driver is not relevant. The test does the best it can with the questions and answers it has.
Does this make them a waste or time? No, I don’t think so. Does this make them accurate and statistical information to create measures, determine careers and create development plans? No, I don’t think it does. Does this provide a great base to have a conversation and get us in the right frame of mind to dig deeper in EI? Yes, I believe it does.
What we choose to do following these tests actually determine the value.
Here are 4 things to consider when doing these tests:
So in summary, Personality and EI tests are fun and a great place to start. In fact, there are so many free tests that you can do online simply by searching ‘Free Personality and EI Tests’. We can also teach and learn the skills to be able to identify other people’s personalities without doing an actual test. We can learn how ‘what we do’ and ‘what we say’ impacts on those around us. Open ended questions, together with observation and listening, will result in more honesty and a better understanding then any closed questions or test.
Working backwards by understanding how an emotionally intelligent person looks and responds, allows us to do a gap analysis and create a personalised growth plan. This, I believe, is more powerful than any multiple choice test.
Amy’s ‘y’ is inspirational leadership and emotional intelligence delivered through corporate consulting, keynote speaking, group training and career coaching. Contact her today through her website to see how Amy can help you find your ‘y’