Understanding your own personality type is a great step to self-development. You can understand how you work and learn best as well as identify potential weaknesses. There are a number of personality type tests you can use but the most prolific is the Myers Briggs Type Indicator. It classes people into one of 16 personality types which indicate if you’re introverted or extroverted if you prefer mental reasoning or gut feeling etc. They give you an idea of what your “operating system” is. It’s important to note your personality can change over time, so this test really represents your current state, and although the test isn’t critical of traits, it gives you a chance to identify traits you might not like and work on them.
So where can you get this done? there are a range of online resources such as www.16personalities.com which will give you free version, though they normally have a paid add-on or advertising. You can go to MBTI directly www.mbtionline.com You can also find local professionals who are certified to help perform these tests and give insights, or you can just search for personality type test.
Be sure to be as honest as possible, if you put down answers for who you want to be, but not actually representing who you are now, then it will stop you from seeing areas for improvement as well as identifying your actual strengths.
The most important thing is to not just take the test, glance over the results and move on, but to take your time to understand the results and to think over these traits to decide if there are any areas you’d like to try to improve. For example, if it shows you are biased towards making emotional decisions, has this been working well for you? or would you like to be more analytical in your decisions? or maybe the other way around. There is only so much we can do to try to change our thinking, but if we can identify certain parts of our personality then it allows us to be more conscious of this and we can understand our own behaviour more, it can then allow us to identify and question why we might be making a decision.
Once you have identified your personality type you can use this information to plan out a more productive use of time. You can read up extensively on the strengths of your personality type (there are 16, so not going into all of them here, have a look at this) and once you understand your strengths, go all in on them!
If you can focus your energy towards completing work which benefits from your strengths then you will likely do a better job and enjoy it more! Rather than forcing yourself to concentrate on areas you simply do not enjoy and are not suited for. If you are extroverted and a people pleaser then book your calendar with those meetings, find people to collaborate with, find events to attend! If you’re introverted and need solitude to work most effectively then try to move those meetings to phone calls, book in a time where you will shut off all your communication for a few hours, then only focus on the very important meetings so that you can spend most of your time being effective. Play to your personality strengths, don’t make every day a battle. There will always be times you have to work in areas you don’t exceed in and activities which don’t match your personality type, but try to make them rarer and not your main focus.
- Do the personality type test
- Research and understand your personality type strengths
- Focus your efforts on activities which align with your strengths
- Identify potential weaknesses and be conscious of them
This doesn’t need to be a hard exercise and shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours in total, it’s also beneficial and fun to get those around you to take the test as well and then discuss your results together, those around you can normally give you some additional insights and perspectives. Try to revisit this test every 6 months to 1 year and see if and how your personality might have shifted. Enjoy!