Personality Tests, Strengthsfinders and All That….

I recently read an article in Wired magazine about 'Echo Nest'. Rather than spending the time telling you about them and the article, here's a link to it! Don't click here until you read my blog though!

When discussing some research that has been conducted regarding how the music genres we individually enjoy can say something about our political preference, I saw the following which I found it fascinating…

I know some people hate things like this. Studies and research that tries to understand what people may be like, and seek to define patterns of thought and behaviour. For example, the Meyers Briggs Personality Profiling, Strengthsfinder Tests, and well as other personality or 'type' studies. Many people put these kinds of things down saying that they don't want to be labelled. I totally agree. I wouldn't want to be labelled in my political stance due to my playlist on my iPod.

However, I do fully see the benefit of these things. The truth is, there are so many people on this planet, and there are patterns of behaviour and traits that we may share with others, that is clear. God has made us uniquely different from every other human on the planet – that I agree with wholeheartedly – and I do see a benefit in helping each other understand how different people interact. Sure, there are a limited amount of Meyers Briggs types, and only 35(ish?!) Strengthsfinder 'talent themes', but as we do these tests, studies, and discussions with one another, it can open up so many learning opportunities, how to work with one another, how to help each other, how we may or may not react according to our patterns of thought and behaviour we share with others.

We don't need to run our lives by these things, but let's at least listen to what they have to say about each other and see what we can learn from them. They don't have to define us, the answers don't need to send us in a certain direction in our lives but they might just help in those meetings or conversations where we disagree or have a problem to resolve.

Want to know a secret opinion I have? A long as you promise not to tell anyone! I would actually hazard a guess and say that many of us could generally figure out the people in our lives who are the 'types' of people who don't like this kind of stuff. Through patterns of their thought and behaviour, I'm sure we could tell that they hate these studies without asking them directly about this kind of thing. Ouch, I don't think that is something they'd want to hear, so don't tell them!

What so you think about these kinds of things? Love Meyers Briggs? Can't stand the Strengthsfinder Test? Have you had great or awful experiences with them? Share your thoughts in the comments below and let's keep the convo going.



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