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If you’re reading this article then you’ve probably been thinking (as many people do) about how to improve yourself on a personal level. Whether that is increasing your confidence, developing leadership mentality skills, being more focused in your life or even just understanding your root motivations and how you see the world, personality testing can give you the insight you want to start making changes.
There are many tests available, both free and sponsored, that can provide you with subjective insight into your character, one of the most tried and tested of these is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). While being similar to Carl Jung’s Type Testing in that it measures introspection and extroversion, MBTI differs by basing its outcomes not on judgments but by more “open ended” responses based on perception.
Of course, with any information, it is only of value if we know how to use it. In this article, we will look at how to interpret data you get from personality tests, and more importantly, how to make positive changes in your day to day life based on what you’ve learned.
Who Should Take these Tests?
Taking theses test can either be a personal choice or one that an employer, who may be looking to change company dynamics, may make. While it is unlikely that any information you gain will blow your mind, they will make you realize that your key strengths and weaknesses are not yours alone and that most of us do fit broadly into fairly distinct personality types.
By understanding this, we can then seek to make positive changes by utilizing our strengths and making support/scaffolding structures to back up our weaker areas. Understanding yourself better is the first step in becoming a better you.
If you wanted to start a company, wouldn’t you look at the assets involved, the limitations in providing your service? Sure you would, and taking a personality test is really no different. When you want to make something new, first look at the materials you are working with, then plan for success.
What the Results Mean
It’s important to remember that any statements made on a personality test (even the MBTI), are not blanket statements. If a result states “introverted”, this doesn’t mean that that’s all you are, or even that it is necessarily a bad thing. It just means that within certain circumstances, the person taking the test demonstrates a tendency towards introversion.
Does this mean that you are doomed to a life of introversion? No. What it does mean, however, is that you now know that in some situations, you will likely not be the most outgoing person in the room. So how can we use this to our advantage? By being aware, we have the advantage that we can set up support structures in advance to help make situations that we may ordinarily feel are disadvantageous, into situations where we can excel!
What are Support Structures?
Support structures are simply preparations that you have made in order to help yourself achieve a better result.
Let’s look at a very common example:
Situation: You are at a meeting where there are two opposing ideas.
The problem: In pressure situations, you tend to be a little quiet and shy of pushing your ideas.
The solution: Here’s how you might set up some scaffolding or support structures.
- Make sure that you can describe your concept in very simple, short sentences.
- Make a list of possible negatives that your idea (or point of view) might face. Figure out a plain language rebuttal to these negatives.
- Be prepared to use “interjection language”. For example, if you feel that you are being sidelined, draw the attention back to yourself by beginning your next sentence with a slightly louder “So …” or “And…” The added volume and o course the fact that these words are conjunctive (thereby continuing) should make people refocus on you.
- Prepare a summation and practice it. If you can make a concise summary that reiterates your idea, deals with negatives and shows at least two good reasons why yours is the better idea, then be ready to use it. The more you practice saying it at home, the more freely it will flow from you and stay on point.
This is not just applicable to you work life. Many people face this challenge in the home or at school, too.
How Do I Use This Information Today?
The first step is to consider how the personality test actually made you feel. There are no right or wrong results; it’s all about your subjective feelings about those results. If there are parts that you felt were negative, then this is the time to look at how you can turn these into positives.
For example, if a result states that you tend to act too impulsively, then there are several things you can do to remedy this. Begin by making a list of situations you might be in where you are likely to make impulsive or instinctive decisions. Consider what option you will have in those situations and then take your time to think about what decision will provide the best long-term outcome for you. By doing this, you are no longer acting in an “impulsive manner”. Your decisions will be based on rational forethought and consideration, which is more often than not, a better outcome.
How Can I Ensure Positive Changes Going Forward?
Changing our habits is not an overnight move. Psychologists argue that habit forming behavior takes around three to four weeks of consistency before your neural paths begin rewriting. If you only try to improve yourself a couple of days a week, you’re doomed to fail. Self-improvement is not a one-off; it’s a lifelong, and rewarding, undertaking, that if done right can make you one of those rare few: a contented person.
Set yourself challenges on a daily basis. By tasking yourself, you not only get the personal pleasure of achievement, you set yourself up to be the kind of person that hits goals. Try not to make the goals unrealistic, figure out how you will measure each success with some clear parameters and failure factors. And remember, if you don’t succeed the first time, keep going, evaluate and try again.
What Personality Type are You? Take the test here
If you want to learn more about Myer Briggs Personalities Types, go through these list of books below and start learning who you are, and who can be. Offer these books to your employees and or friends and encourage each others to take control and create change