I was recently marked down a half a point on a paper I wrote for graduate school. The paper was focused around self-critiquing your leadership style based on the many tools available, to determine our communication style, behavior traits and motivators. I focused on the Enneagram, Myers Briggs, DISC, and Gallup’s CliftonStrengths. Have any of you taken any of these?
Just to get the mystery out of the way “What am I?” My Enneagram is a 9 -The Peacemaker, a 2- The Helper, and 3- The Achiever (The Enneagram Institute, 2020). My Myer’s Briggs is an INFJ-A which is an assertive advocate with a role of diplomat (16 Personalities, 2020). In Gallup’s CliftonStrengths my top five strengths are learner, belief, focus, achiever and relator (Gallup, 2020). In DISC, I am supportive and persuasive (discprofile, 2020).
What does all this mean? Well the achiever in me wasn’t happy about the .5 markdown on my paper. The learner and the peacemaker caused me to pause and consider the professors feedback which was “would have liked to see more plan on improving weaknesses”. The peacemaker/supporter/belief in me was distraught by the fact I didn’t do something I should have. The persuader/coach in me is why I am writing this blog.
After years of taking multiple tests like these I have a lot of opinions about these tests that I didn’t share in my paper. One of the tenet’s in my coaching principles is – Tell yourself the truth. I think these types of tests are a great way to give you clues and insights as to how we interact and are perceived by others. But here is my bottom line. We should all be taking in input and owning who we are, why we do the things we do and what we do. For years I wanted red, more dominating, extroverted, competitive type traits to show up in my tests. Let’s face it in corporate America those things are rewarded with promotions and recognition. But I had to face it. That ISN’T WHO I AM.
I don’t believe in fixing my weaknesses I believe in becoming a better version of myself. Self-improvement, helping others, pushing myself to become a better version of me is in my DNA and part of me to the core (that’s my belief showing up). So much so that I probably didn’t detail it out enough in my paper because it’s obvious to me. Ha, that is a weakness! Communication is at the bottom of my list in Gallup’s CliftonStrengths. So is Woo and Competition. Well what do I do about that? I work on being more self-aware and mindful. I work on healing because the more I heal the more I eliminate limiting beliefs like I am not good enough. I assess my strengths and recognize that those strengths may also be my kryptonite. For example, being selfless may also mean I put up with crap way longer than I should, it may cause me to appear weak to others when in reality I have the internal strength of Thor. Being a supporter may mean I won’t be a CEO in corporate America, but it does mean they want me as part of their team, and it makes me an amazing coach.
So, if you take the Enneagram, which is quite popular right now, or any of the other tests. Think twice before you decide you need to fix something. Sit in some discomfort and be willing to own what it is telling you. Then decide to do something about it to bring you closer to why you are here on earth and what you are being called to do. Learn to leverage what is good, learn to value and honor what others are, but most importantly learn to value who you are!
I use my strengths every day to push myself out of my comfort zone and pioneer new things. I work to recognize my weaknesses so that I can find a way to offset them and support me in becoming a better person and achieve my life’s dreams and goals. I am happy with who I am and who I am becoming, not because I fixed my weaknesses but because I chose to own them!
16 Personalities. (2020). 16Personalities profile. Retrieved from 16Personalities: https://www.16personalities.com/
discprofile. (2020). Retrieved from DISC overview: https://www.discprofile.com/what-is-disc/overview/
Gallup. (2020). Gallup. Retrieved from CliftonStrengths: https://www.gallup.com/cliftonstrengths/en/253868/popular-cliftonstrengths-assessment-products.aspx
The Enneagram Institute. (2020). The Enneagram Institute testing center. Retrieved from The Enneagram Institute: https://tests.enneagraminstitute.com/