No matter who it is, anyone starting a coaching relationship with me always starts with taking a set of personality/character/value assessments.
In my world, personal branding must begin with ‘know thyself’. It also helps me because the results from these assessments reveal what the individual needs from the coach – me.
However, these profiling tools and assessments are not meant to make us feel ‘less than’. They are meant to highlight diversities and differences within each individual. The goal is to become aware of our values (VIA Strengths Survey), strengths (Gallup Strengths Finder) and our behavioural styles (MBTI, DiSC) and gain insights and heuristics for understanding others (DiSC).
With the rise of positive psychology from the 70s through to 80s, the language used in these tests tends to focus on positive aspects of our traits/tendencies. We now shun words such as ‘weakness’ or ‘negative’.
The reality is where there are strengths, there will always be weaknesses because they can only exist in a relative context. In other words, one cannot be strong across every measurable characteristic. While we understand the logic, some of us can’t help but feel somewhat disappointed by the findings or rebel against them (more often than not, that tendency can also also be a weakness – overly rebellious).
What I would like to share with you is the fact that any set of personality traits and characteristics forms a whole package that is us – when it is in bits and pieces, it’s not that compelling. We are one whole. We cannot deny or feel bad about one side (where’s the point in that?) and favour the other because both sides form the whole – they always come as a pair.
As someone who’s been profiled countless times, I’m acutely aware what my whole thing is. For example, while I enjoy the ability to gather, distil, systematise and develop concepts, I’m not at all a gregarious outgoing person. It’s almost not possible to be strong in both counts because the former requires a heavy dose of ‘inwards’ facing work while the latter is more ‘outwards’ focused.
I’ve come to accept both as part of building my own brand. You’ll see me absent in social media for days or weeks at a time. During that period, I’m usually in my studio/office reading, developing, and creating something because I cannot divert my attention easily.
On the other hand, others often feel very distracted (I hear this from many individuals) and not able to focus on one thing through to completion. Typically, they are the kind of people who are outwardly focused – extroverted, interactive people with hundreds of ideas, full of energy and fun to be around. They are also hugely adaptable.
As you can see, we cannot specifically pick and choose – each tendency goes together side by side. Does it mean we are somewhat ‘stuck’ with our perceived negative traits?
Of course, not.
While it would be nearly impossible for me to become a social butterfly, I’ve been able to develop skills and habits to stretch myself just enough to be effective (in my own measure) in doing outreach, engaging in social media and public speaking.
In other words, we need to accept and develop.
Accept (& Appreciate!) the whole of who we are. Develop a strategy to work with weak parts of us in order to achieve our brand goal.
And that is why all of my clients take a barrage of tests at the start. :)
What do you need to accept in your case?
And more importantly, what do you need to develop further to make 2021 an epic year for you?