Realizing Your Personality Traits

As I’ve discussed in a previous post, Intentional Identity is the clear, unapologetic view of yourself. It’s living authentically, understanding where you’ve come from, where you are today, and where you want to be in the future. I firmly believe that the foundation for your path to success is defining your Intentional Identity and using it to drive your future vision and actions.

In order to truly discover your Intentional Identity, I’ve outlined the following five step process:

Are there any personality traits you’ve heard others apply to you consistently throughout your life? For me, this is a definite yes! Bossy, direct, talks too much, smart, sassy…and many more.

Whether we like them or not, there are particular traits that are inherent to who we are as an individual. While I have not always been a fan of the labels that have been connected to my traits, I can definitely see the traits themselves for what they are, and find the truth in them.

In fact, it wasn’t until I started delving into the world of personality profiles, assessments, and tests that I really started to understand how to use these traits to my benefit. What I found was a very consistent response, from various tests, that showed the traits that are unique to me. In sharing these same assessments with my team, I have seen how individuals tend to fight against their natural traits and debate the labels, instead of owning their strengths and using them advantageously.

Which leads me to share four tools, and an analysis process, I have found very helpful in ascertaining and understanding those personality traits that are inherently mine.

  1. Myers Briggs – This is assessment is very common and known by most people in the business and Human Resources field. It is an indicator to help you understand your personality preferences in four areas: how you get your energy, how you take in information and learn, how you make decisions and how you organize your time and environment.
  2. DiSC – This profile measures dominance, influence, steadiness and conscientiousness and provides an analysis for how you work with other styles. This analysis provides both strengths and challenges.
  3. Strengths Finder – This assessment has become my new go-to. I love how it focuses on Strengths in an effort to do more of what you’re good at. This assessment ranks a series of ‘strengths’ in order starting with your strongest.
  4. Enneagram – This analysis provides you with information on how you use unconscious strategies for getting your needs met. This unconscious component it what makes this assessment different than the Myers -Brigss, which is more about cognitive functions.

Each of these assessments, if done independently, will have a fee associated with it. However, the insights gained are really invaluable, when used to craft and develop your intentional identity. If your intent is to read the report and move on, it’s probably better not to spend the money on it. If you desire to dig deeper into your personality, here’s how I would process these results.

First, I would set aside time to document those traits that have historically been referenced with regard to you. What would your family and friends say your personality was? See if you can make a list, even if it’s using words that might have a negative connotation. It will be interesting to compare this to other assessments to see either the positive aspects of them, or see if there is some consistent thread that ties the assessments together.

Second, schedule time to take a few tests. Make sure you’re making time in your day to work through the assessments at a thoughtful pace. You don’t want to rush or hurry through these. It’s also helpful to take several at the same time to make sure you remain in the same state of mind and are not influenced by events of any particular day.

Third, have an open mind when you review your results and make sure you read the results in the context of the definitions in the test. For Strengths Finder in particular, the definition of the strengths might not be what you initially thought. As you review the results, select two different color highlighters, or pens, and mark statements you agree with in one color and statements you disagree with in another color. Reflect on why you agree or disagree. Compare this analysis across assessments to determine if the ones you disagree with an anomaly of the assessment or something else. Sometimes, you will find a consistent message that you disagree with. I challenge you to spend sometime thinking about this in depth. You may want to consult with a friend or mentor. It’s possible that you have a severe blindspot and this might be a very impactful insight for you.

Finally, answer the statement, ‘tell me about yourself’, using these results to prepare your written response. Formulating this response in writing, intentionally, will help you to answer this question in the future and provide you with an identity that you can use to design your ideal future and goals.

By identifying who you are in your personality and aligning this with your core values and origin story, as discussed in my previous posts, you have gathered significant information that can now be used to design your personal mission statement and determine how you will set future goals and objectives that align with and support your Intentional Identity.

I would love to hear what you have learned about your personality through this process. Please share your story with me below or in email to jennifer@jennthoma.com. I look forward to learning more about you!

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