To be a good leaders, it is important to know yourself. Personality tests can be useful to improve how we perceive ourselves, and to understand the impact of our personality on other business relationships. Yes, our professional life is based on process, workflow, tasks, projects, meetings, and all the “machine” parts of the work life. However, we should never forget that we all these things usually involve at some point interaction with other people.
Communication starts inside our own minds, with our own thoughts, opinions, knowledge and personal preferences. That doesn’t mean that the persons on the other side of the communication have the same thoughts, opinions, knowledge and personal preferences. Even words can mean different things to different people inside the same community. I like to say that communication has 4 parts, and distortion can happen at each of them.
1. What we think: is it clear in our mind.
2. What we say: is it a good reflection of our thoughts, or are we hiding some key information or assumptions. Often not in bad faith, but just because we assume that the others have all the information that exists in our minds. Remember: Nobody can read your minds. Be clear in your communication.
3. What the other person hear: is there some noise or distraction that can alter the reception of our message. A noisy room, multiple conversations at the same time, too much multitasking, bad timing to discuss, wrong communication tool (email versus in person)
4. How the other person understand the communication received. It is here that personality and variance in individual knowledge have a lot of impact. Even in the same community. And it is even worse if you add cultural difference around the world.
So personality tests are powerful. It is not a matter of judging yourself and making chances. First, it is important to understand our own bias to avoid miscommunication. Second, it is also important to understand the personality of others, and how it affects their own communication and perceptions. And finally, it is also very useful to know how the different types of personality interact with each others.
All of this will enable you to be a better team leader, and increase your success in your professional life.
I have used for myself this nice website, MyPersonaliy.info. It provides a good basic report, and for a small fee you can get the full PRO report.
Michel Dion, PMP, CPA
Founder and Developer of Project-Aria
Discover my book:
Leadership Toolbox for Project Managers: Achieve Better Results in a Dynamic World