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I am who?

There are a plethora of personality type models and quizzes and compatibility tests online to read about and try, but what happens after you take one? Does it or should it influence who you think you are?

We all have an innate understanding of who we think we are, after all, we've known ourselves since we were born! We have been privy to all of our experiences, darkest thoughts and deepest desires ever since they started; we know each other better than anyone! So what can a personality test tell us that we don't already know?

Maybe nothing, maybe it will bring to light that part of yourself you had forgotten about or neglected. However, the real benefit in these tests is not what it can tell you about yourself, but what it can tell others about you. In order to build a successful team a leader will have to consider all available information including education, experience and best fit with the others; where there are gaps and where there may be clashes. Personality tests can give some insight into this and although they do not give the whole picture of you, they can be useful as a guide.

Some people look at the possible test outcomes, the types of personalities that are on offer, and will try and 'select' the one they want to be. They might pick a leader type, or one with a strong characteristic that they think the employers are looking for and then try to answer the questions with the outcome in mind. In some cases, they may actually get the result they were aiming for, but then what?

If you have purposefully choreographed an outcome, if you have pretended to be another personality type in order to get a position, what happens if you actually get that position? Will you then have to stay acting that personality type forever? How will that make you feel? To not be the true authentic you and thrive in a situation where you would naturally fit? I have been there myself, looked at the role and then moulded myself into what I thought they were looking for. And I did it successfully. What starts to become apparent quite quickly though is that your natural strengths become less needed and things that may be your weakness become important.

Now, there's nothing to say that one cannot grow into a role, adapt themselves and the job to fit, but it feels very much like shoe-horning who you are into what you do. And although the advice is to 'fake it 'till you make it', you have to consider what happens when you do. Is it better to be honest and authentic to get a role? know what your strengths and weaknesses are and work on both your way? From experience I can say that for me, being who I am and not being afraid of others seeing that was a breath of fresh air and a truly enlightening experience.

If you are interested in learning more about personality types and their meanings, come along to the Choice Therapies guest speaker event on 20th October at 8pm, where we have Katherine O'Halloran, an expert in the field, talking us through it. You can get you tickets here -

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