Personality profiling

I’ve just been catching up with the blog reading form #blogeverydayofjune, where I was reminded we are now half way through – or will be once the day is over.  The post that has sparked this writing effort lead of course to another post (as they all do – it can at times be difficult to remember where you started) – and the post touched on leadership styles, mentioning two Team Management profiles: the Creator-Innovator and the Explorer-Promoter.

Across my years in libraries, I have participated (willingly or otherwise) in a number of leadership management/team-building courses, which all seem to involve some form of profiling: MBTI, DISC, Belbin.

The most recent one (held 2008) was with the organisation I am currently working for, and it used the same methodology as mentioned in Mal’s post – Team Management Profile. According to all these profiles, my preferences are:

  • ESTJ: According the Myers-Briggs site: Practical, realistic, matter-of-fact. Decisive, quickly move to implement decisions. Organize projects and people to get things done, focus on getting results in the most efficient way possible. Take care of routine details. Have a clear set of logical standards, systematically follow them and want others to also. Forceful in implementing their plans.
  • Influencer: According to Wikipedia: People with high “I” scores influence others through talking and activity and tend to be emotional. They are described as convincing, magnetic, political, enthusiastic, persuasive, warm, demonstrative, trusting, and optimistic. Those with low “I” scores influence more by data and facts, and not with feelings. They are described as reflective, factual, calculating, skeptical, logical, suspicious, matter of fact, pessimistic, and critical.
  • Belbin – well to be honest, I can’t really remember though I know I did this one within the last 7 years. I think it may have been Implementer, which would fit with the others: needed to plan a practical, workable strategy and carry it out as efficiently as possible
  • Thruster-Organiser make things happen; produce action out of ideas, discussion and experiments; enjoy organisation, outputs and decisions – to get ideas into practice; sometimes prone to impatiencemay rush into uninformed action; to get something to happen find an Thruster-Organiser; sometimes ‘feathers may be ruffled’ – that is others’ feathers, not their own.

Well there’s obvious a bit of a trend here, and I will say that I have been likened to a blue heeler in the way that I herd people int he right direction. However (and this is a BIG however) I have to question how we get the results. In most cases, these profiles are the result of answering multi-choice questions… do you prefer this word to that word, etc. So how much does the individual’s semantics play a part in this. Further – it is all based on self-perception. Surely all of us have some level of self-delusion. And we may be deluded as to how deluded we are! I know a few people that really have no understanding of how they are perceived or of the impact they have on other people. I wonder how much I fit into this category. I have even asked others (those I trust to be honest but not soul-crushing) who advise that I am generally very self-aware.

Anyway, from these wonderful insights into my being I thoght I’d have some fun. I’ve highlighted in ORANGE (my favourite colour) the terms I would (& have) used in my CV, and in GREEN (for no particular reason except it stands out) terms I would not assign to myself willingly. While I have not found that profiling has in recent times added any additional understanding to how I work (I know how I work), I have found it has uses in working with and understanding others. Perhaps more on that in another blog.


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