Getting to know ourselves better is at the root of counseling. It is a wonderful way to grow in your personal life. We can learn about what makes us unique and what makes us tick. Your counselor may choose to use personality assessments to help you in this journey. These are tools that will help your counselor better understand and serve your needs. They’ll also provide information you can carry with you into the rest of your life and relationships.In this article, we’ll look at three common personality tools. This article will explain a bit about the process for each one and what the different results mean. Keep in mind that this is a broad overview. There are volumes written on each of these assessments.
Personality assessments have been helpful for personal, relational, and spiritual development for millions of people. There’s nothing like that “ah-ha” moment these tools can bring. They can also bring depth and understanding to a relationship. They’re also sometimes used on job applications and in interviews to help the prospective employer learn more about you.
Hopefully, this article will help pique your interest in some of these tools. If any of them sound particularly interesting to you, ask your counselor about them. In most cases, your counselor will have you complete a survey at home and bring your results with you to your next visit.
Common Personality Assessments
This is the most well-known personality tool. Students often complete it in high school or college psychology classes. It’s one that thousands of companies have used to build their teams. The results help you learn more about your strengths, weaknesses, preferences, and more.
To complete the assessment, you’ll answer a series of self-reflective questions. The results will be one of sixteen possible combinations of a series of four letters. These results may change during different seasons, ages, and stages of life so it’s a good one to retake from time to time.
Everyone will fall into one of each of the following. In some cases, you may be close to 50/50 but you’ll still lean a bit more in one direction than another. The types are:
I/E- Introvert or Extrovert
- Introverts are energized by time alone and are generally more reserved and quieter.
- Extroverts are energized by time with others and prefer a lot of social activities.
S/N Sensing or iNtution
- Sensors are interested in, and focused on, what their five senses experience. They’re often very tactile and hands-on.
- Intuitives (marked with an N since Introverts uses and I) are more focused on patterns and theories. They’re often future-focused.
T/F- Thinking or Feeling
- Thinkers make decisions with their heads. They want all the facts and information before making a choice.
- Feelers make decisions based on gut instinct and feelings. They’ll also be concerned about the feelings and impact of their decision on others.
J/P Judging or Perceiving
- Judgers thrive on routine, order, and structure. They do best with predictability and plans.
- Perceivers like flexibility and the ability to leave things open-ended. They do best with a lot of “room to breathe.”
The Enneagram is an ancient tool whose origins are not fully known. It’s recently been gaining popularity and is becoming more widely used by the year. In this system, everyone falls into one of nine numbered types.
While online and book-based assessments work for determining your number, it works best to do a typing session with a certified coach. This personality assessment is much more nuanced than others and it can be difficult to properly type independently.
The Nine Enneagram personality types are:
- The Perfectionist
- The Helper
- The Performer (also called the Achiever)
- The Romantic (also called the Feeler)
- The Thinker (also called the Observer)
- The Loyalist (also called the Questioner)
- The Optimist (also called the Adventurer)
- The Challenger/Asserter
- The Peacemaker
Gallup Strengthsfinder (aka CliftonStrengths)This tool is less well-known but growing. It’s most often used in the workplace and for job applicants but has begun being used as more of a personality tool too. It looks at one’s knowledge, talents, and skills. There are thirty-four possible “strengths” under four distinct categories which are assessed. It gives you a lot of information and is incredibly helpful in team building. It is completed through a self-assessment tool online or on paper. You can also verbally complete it.
The thirty-four strengths are:
Executing: Getting things done
- Achiever: likes to be busy, check things off, and complete tasks.
- Arranger: organizes and creates systems to get things done as efficiently as possible.
- Belief: sees the world through a strong set of core values that influence their actions and decisions.
- Consistency: love fairness, predictability, and reliability.
- Deliberative: analyzes and thinks through decisions and actions.
- Discipline: needs order and structure to thrive. They do best with routine.
- Focus: chooses a path and stays on task, difficult to distract, and will stay homed in on one thing until it is done.
- Responsibility: keeps promises, takes ownership, and values follow-through.
- Restorative: likes to solve problems and figure out a better way to do things.
Influencing: Motivating others, inspiring change, and persuasive
- Activator: loves action and getting things rolling.
- Command: natural leaders and quick with decisions.
- Communication: express themselves easily verbally.
- Competition: constantly compare their performance with others which influences how they function and make decisions.
- Maximizer: focuses on growth and making a good thing even better.
- Self-Assurance: have a strong belief in their abilities and their ability to make decisions.
- Significance: want to be recognized and to stand out.
- Woo: WOO stands for “Winning Others Over.” They like to meet new people and win their affection.
Relationship Building: The ability to understand, grow, and build relationships
- Adaptability: able to adapt to change through being present to other’s needs and being in the moment.
- Connectedness: belief that people, events, things, and places are all connected, and things do not occur by chance.
- Developer: see the potential in other people and work to help them grow and build.
- Empathy: can sense and understand the feelings of others.
- Harmony: like to help resolve problems, find the middle ground, and create solutions.
- Includer: aware of other people, especially outsiders, and find ways to make sure everyone is included.
- Individualization: able to see the strengths of each person and how they can all fit together as a team.
- Positivity: think positive and find the silver lining.
- Relator: desires long-lasting, deep, and tight-knit relationships.
Strategic Thinking: Intellectuals who thrive on absorbing and analyzing information
- Analytical: gather information to consider all the facts and analyze for decisions.
- Context: value learning from the past and from history to have the best possible future.
- Futuristic: think and dream about what could come and love to create visions and inspire dreams.
- Ideation: love to produce innovative ideas and ways to look at the world and situations.
- Input: information gatherers who can collect and use massive amounts of information.
- Intellection: love deep and thought-provoking discussions, analysis, and logic.
- Learner: thrive on learning new things and learning more about themselves.
- Strategic: able to see unusual ways to solve a problem or meet a goal. Like to come up with new options.
As you can imagine, having information about yourself from these personality tools can be transformational. They allow you to better understand yourself and others, your family, work, small groups, teams, and churches can be changed forever with these tools.
“Journaling”, Courtesy of Thought Catalog, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Leaping”, Courtesy of Sammie Vasquez, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Who Are You”, Courtesy of Brett Jordan, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Stand Up Meeting”, Courtesy of ThisisEngineering RAEng, Unsplash.com, CC0 License
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