3 Tips for Interpreting Personality Test Results
If you are looking for a tool to identify key motivators in life, to shed light on why certain occurrences bother you and others do not, or searching for examples of what a good career fit might be, a great jumping off point is to take a personality test. These tests, like Myers-Briggs, Enneagram, DISC, or Big 5 Personality, are different psychological approaches that help explain aspects of our personality. Each test’s purpose varies with some tilted towards business and how you interact at work and others focusing on your main desires and how you relate with the world around you. Personality tests are an insightful avenue that allow us to take a step back from ourselves and receive insight into the ways we operate from a trusted source.
When I first took the Myers-Briggs test I felt like someone truly “got me” and understood how my brain worked. It was cathartic to feel like I was not alone. Upon taking the Enneagram a few years later I had a similar experience, but in a different capacity. Both spoke to a part of me that needed their wisdom yet the guidance they imparted impacted me in different ways. When it comes to personality tests every one of them is unique. Each test has truth and wisdom to give, however some are more suited to analytical individuals while others for more creative people. There may be some tests you enjoy and others you do not agree with as much. Take what is helpful from each but do not get caught up in the flurry of information. Here are a few helpful tips to remember while reading your results:
1. It's not about the identity - It is important to remember that the purpose of taking these tests is not to solidify an ego identity. In fact, depending on the day or what environment you are in before taking a test, your results very well may vary if you retake a test. Do not be caught up on the results, instead focus on the areas that resonate with you and see how you could apply them to your lif
2. Do Not Become One Sided - It can be easy to overly identify with the strengths of your given type while at the same time internalizing the weaknesses and letting them become “off limit” areas in your life. The tests are a tool to illuminate blind spots. Once you see what a personal weakness is, do not run from it or play the victim. Learn to recognize your weaknesses and come up with a plan to grow in those areas.
3. Apply the Information – When it comes to personality tests it can be enjoyable to simply read the results to get a little uplift and then go about your day. Though there is nothing wrong with this, if you only approach the knowledge you gain from this perspective you will miss out on the whole picture. It is important to take your time with the information and compare it to your life. Are you currently living a way that matches the picture of health for your type? If not, what are some areas you could shift? Take some time to journal or think over how to incorporate the material into your daily life.
As you learn about yourself you will more easily be able to connect to others and share your gifts, talents, and thoughts with the world. Let these resources be a pathway to deeper understanding and growth in your life.