Self-assessment can help you orient yourself

The new year is a good excuse for getting a handle on who you are.

By Russ Kratowicz

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Back in April 1998, this column featured free Web resources related to the idea of self-determination. In that column, I mentioned that one of the prerequisites to enjoying self-determination is knowing yourself. The column this month is devoted to that idea and to other places on the Internet where you can find information that might be useful for enhancing your self-awareness. That April column discussed a tool for learning a bit more about you—personality evaluations. So, let’s start there.

What is INTJ?

The granddaddy of personality type tests is from our old friend, Carl Jung. The Jungian test is found at http://www.allhealth.com/ onlinepsych/personality/olpgen/ 0,6103,7119_127651,00.html. It consists of two parts, each with 26 questions having only two possible answers. Each section is computed separately and scored online. When you finish the second part, you get a four-page analysis of your personality type with plenty of links for fuller explanations, should you find them necessary.
The general idea is that your personality has four major axes:

  • Extraversion versus introversion (E versus I).
  • Intuition versus sensing (N versus S).
  • Thinking versus feeling (T versus F).
  • Judgment versus perception (J versus P).

The Jungian personality profile is characterized by four letters that indicate your predominate tendencies along the four axes. For example, your personality could be given as INTJ, an introverted, intuitive, thinking, judging kind of person. We are talking psychology here, folks, and within this context, the meanings of the words that describe the ends of the four axes might not be what you think. Anyway, combinations of the four give rise to 16 possible variants. Unfortunately, there is not enough space here to go into detail about the personality characteristics of the variants. You will just have to check out these sites if you are interested in learning more.

Every engineering-type knows that when you have only one data point, it is possible to draw any valid curve through it. We need a confirmation of your personality. So, following closely on the heels of the Jungian approach is the Meyer-Briggs Personality Inventory. You can find this online test at http://www. humanmetrics.com/cgiwin/ Jtypes2.asp with its 72 yes-no questions. This test also gives you the same type of four-letter personality characterization.

Finally, there is the Keirsey “temperament sorter.” Keirsey groups the 16 variants into four temperaments—guardians, artisans, idealists and rationals. I direct your attention to http://keirsey.com/cgi-bin/keirsey/newk ts.cgi for instant access to the test. There you will find 70 questions that probe your view of yourself. It does not take long to complete the test and submit the responses for analysis. The results include a graphical profile and links to extensive explanations of nearly any question you can ask about the meaning of your very own temperament, the one you have been living with since the day you were born.

Get the right

Ansir Billing itself as the Web’s No. 1 personality test, the “Ansir for One” is another self-perception profile test. This one has three sections. Each has 56 multiple choice questions covering your dominant style of thinking, working and emoting. The analysis you receive goes into some depth. Taking the test burns up about 30 minutes, and reading the results takes at least that long. Visit http://www.ansir.com and click on the phrase “take the test” found in the upper left of the page. Warning—do this self-evaluation only when you have enough uninterrupted time available. It requires some work on your part, but it is definitely worth your time.

Are you any good at sales?

It takes a special kind of psychological makeup to be successful in sales. Consider the realities of sales. Every day on every sales call, these folks live with a rather high probability of rejection. They do not actively seek rejection. It is simply a fact of life for anyone hawking their wares in any market. Sales pros are not necessarily insensitive to rejection, they just don’t take it personally.

But, aren’t we all involved in salesmanship? Didn’t we all have to do a sales job to get the position we occupy in the corporate hierarchy that provides us the pleasure of reading this fine magazine? It does not stop there, however. Once ensconced in a position, we are expected to do something, perhaps something creative and innovative, since excellence in maintaining the status quo is not a prescription for a successful career. Isn’t it true that pushing a project through the approval process in the corporate hierarchy takes some degree of sales skill?

You can take an online “Sales Personality Test” at http://www.queendom.com/sales_frm.html and complete it in less than 40 minutes. The test has 65 questions for which there are five responses each. There are no right or wrong answers. Your responses are scored online, and the results come back quickly. The possible scores range from zero (totally unsuited for sales) to 100 (going to rise to the top).
Just remember to answer every question because the automated scoring system rejects the entire response set if you leave a single question unanswered. Unless your browser is set up properly, such a rejection will zero out the answers and you will need to start from the beginning. My advice is to do it right the first time.

Are you any good at training?

Training others effectively is the key to personal success. If you can train your staff properly, you will have fewer emergencies—which will allow you to spend weekdays at the golf course regularly next summer. Yeah, right. Nevertheless, if you feel like pondering about 20 statements that probe the level of your experience and the feedback received about each, you can get an idea of how well this Web site thinks you are doing in the training and development department. Go to http://www.ddiworld.com/ newguard/index.htm and learn a bit more about yourself.

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