I have vacillated for the last few years in the consideration whether I am an extrovert with strong introverted tendencies, or the opposite. I am not by nature a joiner, but I do love to collaborate and share. I just took one of those psychological tests that define some of your broader characteristics so that I can participate in a seminar later this week. This test, based on the answers provided on that day, decided for me that I fall on the introvert end of the spectrum. I think that many who know me will find the results a hoot because the test actually did peg me pretty well. (You can take the test at http://www.humanmetrics.com/, it’s the Jung typology test.)
Folks who know me will also not be at all surprised that I got sidetracked in taking the test by the wording that was used in many of the questions – an absolute here, a vague reference there. Since it is a psychology test, I have to assume that the test creators were deliberate in their word choices. I would really like to ask why, for example on this question:
- Strict observance of the established rules is likely to prevent a good outcome
This is an essay question to me, not a yes/no proposition – therefore a terrible challenge to decide upon an answer.
Or this question:
- You prefer to act immediately rather than speculate about various options
This is also an essay question, and incomplete at that – how can I say yes or no without details or the opportunity to explain why each response would be valid based on the circumstances? I certainly hope that in an emergency there is someone on the team who can parse through various options, lop off inappropriate ones and act while taking initial actions that don’t require thought.
It turns out that the people behind the test drove me mad intentionally to determine that I build specialized knowledge systems – that I like to track down the answer to the question, ‘does it work?’. Darn Skippy, figuring out a system and getting it to work better is entertainment. There are 16 combinations of 4 letter results possible in this test and the writers don’t tell us the reasoning and criteria behind each of the letters which make up these combinations. Being an INTJ – I really need to know.
I can’t wait to find out how we will use the results in the meeting this week. I found myself already weighing the pros and cons of applying these types of personality tests in the work place. In the right hands, with deep understanding of creating combinations for optimal dialog and interaction, this would be a boon to any organization. And then there are the rest, where the possibility of misuse is varied and high. (There I go, studying systems to create sense again.)
It is this interest in process – systems and people working together in harmony – that informs my business writing. And that helps me to see that it really takes all kinds to create a strong team.
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