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Assessing Assessments


Personality assessments are pervasive. In the US alone, there are over 2,500 personality tests on the market. Add in all the goofy ones on social media and the number is astronomical. It seems people are fascinated with themselves and the desire to apply labels to their personality. Oftentimes, it doesn’t stop with self but labels start being applied to those around them. Caution and wisdom should be applied to any assessment.


It is critical to verify if the assessment has scientific/statistical validity that has withstood the test of both time and quantity of participants. Be diligent in checking the credibility of the creators of the assessment. Determine the purpose of the assessment and if the results satisfy the desired outcome of the participant.


Personality factors indicate how a person is naturally motivated to act. They do not limit anyone’s capabilities!! Nor, do they serve as an excuse to behave in a certain manner!! In many coaching interactions, clients say, “I’m a insert label/sign/number here, I can’t help it.” This is absolutely false! Personality factors have nothing to do with skills or abilities. They are simply how we are wired to approach the world. An overly simplified example could be cars. Imagine a Ford Mustang, a Jeep Wrangler and a Volkswagon Bug each has their own personality. They all are vehicles and when push comes to shove they can all do basically the same thing. Certain vehicles can do certain functions better than others, but they all can get you from point A to point B. (If you have the option, take the Jeep :-))


To reiterate, personality factors do not limit capabilities and are not to be used as an excuse! The personality is a gift that seems to be relatively hard wired into a person. The intensity of the factors and sub-factors may change over time, but the main personality characteristics stay consistent. Each person is equipped in a unique, special, and valuable way. On purpose.


A warning sign for an assessment is if it applies a single label or number to someone. For those who are believers in YAHWEH, this should be a ginormous red flag. If all people are made in the image of YAHWEH, how can labels be applied? People are on a continuum between balancing personality factors.


In a quarter century of coaching, I have never seen any two people the same - ever! Including twins. Each person is fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of our Creator. Each of us reflect a smidgeon of HIS image and together it is stunning. It can be helpful for us to have a data driven picture of how we are wired. Remember you are the only one with your personality. Rip off the labels. Apply the truth. Be who you were created to be!




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