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Are you a rabbit or a bird?

A rose or a violet?

What’s your personality? Who are you?

We’ve all taken one of those quizzes that flash up on our Facebook feed, or entice us in the sidebar of a web page.

And really, what does it mean if you’re a rabbit or a bird? Really?

I’m not talking about these sorts of quick quizzes – they’re more for short entertainment.

I’m talking about…

Real Personality Profiling Tests

Real, developed Personality Profiles.

Along the lines of Myers Brigges or DISC.

Those profile tests that are based heavily in psychology and analysis of the different characteristics and traits found in typical human beings.

Those profile tests that really look at the dominant “personality types” that do exist in society and through a series of really well devised questions, help you figure out where you sit and what your dominant traits are.

I’m talking about those profile tests.

What’s The Point?

The whole point of Personality Profiling is to help understand a person better.

In the workplace, employers may profile their employees to help understand the similarities and differences in their team better. They can align people with tasks more suited to their natural strengths and abilities, and facilitate a more stable work environment, by understanding how certain people may interact with one another and do or think the way they do.

On a personal level, taking a Personality Profile test can really help you understand your self a bit more. You may see things about your self that you weren’t really willing to see. You may learn why some things are easy for you and others a challenge.

Self-awareness is a big key to really managing your life and making decisions that are aligned with who you are and what really works for you.

Knowing how you interact with other personality profiles is important too. When you learn that you are only 5% of the population who thinks a particular way, that might explain why people don’t always understand you or your perspectives. By knowing how other people see things, this might help you explain your self differently in future.

What’s The Problem?

The problem with Personality Profiles is adopting a label.

I’m a bird.

I’m a rabbit.

I’m a rose.

I’m a violet.

And that means…

Every One Is Different. Unique. Every one.

And every one has a little bit of every personality trait and characteristic in them somewhere. In different combinations and amounts.

That’s what makes us all so unique.

Personality profile tools simply identify your MAJOR personality characteristics and traits. But you still have them all in some amount.

When you adopt a specific label, you can deny certain aspects of your self and lock your self into a stereotype.

This can be problematic.

If you’re identified as an introvert you may take this to the extreme and say you don’t interact or deal with people. But we all do, just in different ways.

If you’re identified as intuitive rather than intellectual, you may go to the extreme and deny all information in lieu of “the flow.”

Don’t Deny Your Self

These are extreme examples, but the point is that once you identify your self as a particular Personality Profile you need to be careful not to “become” that particular profile.

Don’t deny all the aspects of who you are in whatever proportion they exist.

Don’t say “I am this… so I cannot be that…”

Most profiling systems have a limited number of personality profiles within them.

And yet there are an unlimited number of people in the world. Each of them uniquely different.

No system can capture all of that.

Profiling systems are broad. They are a framework in which to help you start to understand aspects of your self, the people around you and your place in the world.

They are not a definitive answer of definition of who you are. Or for that matter, who any one else is.

Personality Profiles – Friend Or Foe?

Personality Profiling is great. With a disclaimer…

Personality Profiling systems should be legitimately researched and based on real analysis of personality types and have some meaning underpinning them. Rather than a random algorithm on Facebook.

And…

Personality profiles should be used as a starting point to help understand some aspects of your self.

They are not who you are. They do not define you.

Only you can do that.

XXX

Liz Watt

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