Are you blue? Maybe an ISTJ?  Or do you prefer to refer to yourself as a, “Realist?”  If you’re racking your brain to figure out just what I am talking about, perhaps you’ve never been asked to participate in a personality “test,” but chances are, if you’ve been in the job market sometime over the past decade, you’ve taken some type of personality and skills assessment prior to being offered a position with a company.

For me, I love this stuff.  I eat it up, in fact. What Psychology major, ENFJ, “Connector,” wouldn’t?  These “tests” are all about who you are, what drives and excites you and what environments you function optimally in, as well as what areas are more taxing for you, as they aren’t part of your natural personality. I honestly find the topic endlessly fascinating, but not everyone does. Perhaps you should give it at least a little credence as Personality and Skill assessments are part and parcel of the vetting /recruitment process anymore, but what do these results really tell us- or moreso, our prospective or current employers?

Research says it depends. Skill assessments are very telling and verify that the “best indicator of future performance/habits, is past performance,” but with personality “tests” – the outcomes aren’t reliable measures of one’s success. Skills, habits and practices are, not “personality traits.”  You could be seemingly a “natural’  salesperson personality, but not succeed in sales for a multitude of reasons, the lest of these being; work ethic, resources and good old knowledge about what you do and how to do it better/more efficiently/ less costly…i.e., skills.

The true benefit in any personality assessment is what you do with the results, both personally and as an organization as a whole. Simply identifying what personality traits exist in a group is nothing more than a semi-interesting water cooler conversation. After all, you work with these people for the majority of your daily life, chances are, you could have given a tangible, educated guess as to what personality traits your co workers exemplify.  What’s of benefit is sharing that information, noting how the different traits may impact communication, office culture and how well one group of employees’ “jives” with another.  Armed with this information you can align similar or divergent personality types, along with the skill sets required to theoretically comprise your “dream team” on any given project or task.

How has your organization used personality test results to impact overall organizational success?