In the process of what passes for my career, I’ve had the good fortune to undertake a number of personality assessments. You know the ones, where you’re asked to fill out a questionnaire and then you get put into a little box that describes exactly who you are.
The most well-known of these is the good old Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which I’ve been lucky enough to participate in several times – but I’m not going to talk about that one today (could be the subject of another post – stay tuned). Today I’m going to talk about another whacky but fun personality assessment tool – the DISC assessment.
Let me make clear at the outset that, like anyone with a modicum of common sense, I don’t take these tests too seriously. They can be kind of fun, and I like to make a big deal whenever the results confirm something about myself that I like. But when they suggest something not so positive about me, well we know they’re a whole lot of bunkum, don’t we.
When I did that DISC assessment, it was part of a team activity, and one of the really fun things we got to do was select cards that listed a bunch of personality traits and assign them to other team members. Like I said, barrels of fun. Careful which card you choose. You might get promoted – or you might get fired.
An interesting outcome was that the card that was most often applied to me was ‘Analytical’. Seemed like there was almost unanimous agreement in the team that this was the characteristic that best described me.
I didn’t argue with them. When I think about the way I operate, analytical seemed like a pretty good way to describe myself. It definitely applies to my work – I like to think I’m the sort of person who doesn’t jump into things, but who thinks through an issue from all possible angles before coming up with a solution.
I can also apply this approach to my writing. Whatever type of story I’m working on, I always try to allow it to percolate, letting it swim around inside my head until I’ve sussed it out as thoroughly as I can.
To follow up the card activity described above, we then had to select the card that we thought applied to us. I didn’t find this difficult. And I didn’t feel that I needed to contradict the assessments of my colleagues. So I selected the same card. But when I displayed it to the room, I made sure to cover the final six letters with my fingers. So what the other people saw was a slightly different word…
I suppose it’s another way to describe the same types of qualities. And it got a bit of a laugh as well, which is always a good thing in these types of workshops.
So what is the true me? Am I analytical, like my workmates suggest? Or is there a shorter word that sums me up?
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