Personality Versus Personal Development
Hey, welcome back to the blog!
I just wanted to cover this series of opinions about personality. So this because I’m going to be covering all of this in greater detail in an entire webinar, so you’re welcome to come join it, leave a comment down below and I’ll get back to you in terms of when this will be taking place. So let’s talk about introversion extroversion, one of the world’s favorite topic areas, it seems like just because you’re introverted doesn’t allow you to become extroverted right or something along those lines. Now, let’s take a step back into personality, personality and personality testing requires you to have a very clear what we call a psychometric construct. In other words, I need to define it in order to measure it. So what exactly is introversion? What exactly is extraversion or extraversion depending on how you label it? We know that in the Myers Briggs Type Indicator introversion and extraversion are two completely different terms compared with a layman definitions inside a dictionary. So the Myers Briggs indicates your introversion by the amount of energy that you recharge within yourself, using certain types of means. So if you’re a meditator, if you’re somebody who reads books and stays alone, most of the time, you’re introverted, but someone who’s extra, in other words, going outside of yourself, and you’re extroverted, you are likely to expend energy in order to recharge. Sounds a little bit strange, but pretty true to some people. So that’s one area. But if you measure from, let’s say, the 16PF, there’s a very different definition of that.
So you need to recognize that, in order for you to get a psychological construct that can be measured in the first place, you must first of all, define it effectively. The problem is most people in the world today, they’re just conflating the different ideas of what introversion extroversion are, that can be very dangerous, because it has been said that you need to become more extroverted, you probably don’t mean that, from a personality standpoint, you probably mean that from a behavior standpoint. And from developmental research, all of us can develop strengths, there’s nothing stopping you from having extroverted behaviors. There’s a distinction, though, between changing your base personality traits, which are precisely that to something that you can exhibit as a strength or capability. For me, I’m definitely not an extrovert by MBTI terms. But from the 16 PF, I do demonstrate more extraversion. Having said that, the combination of these two, they’re measuring two completely different things. And you should understand that by now. So my opinion about whether or not you should develop something simply because a personality test tells you that you’re of this type.
In my opinion, I think it’s silly to interpret a psychometric assessment on your own. You really need somebody with a good background in statistical psychology, to be able to give you the nuances of what these are. And again, this is a little bit of a pet peeve. I know a lot of people go out there, they get some kind of administrator rights for some personality tests that covers you know, seven elements of your personality or whatever it is, but it is in Firstly, yeah, if that particular test is well validated, good. But if the person who’s explaining the test is not a valid person to explain it, why are you using it? Right? There’s so many of them out there, you know, the DISC is one very good example, can be well-validated, I say can because there’s so many iterations of it, the majority of them are in the public domain. And nobody’s validating that you need a strong sample size in order to validate a good psychometric instrument, test the internal reliability of the items within each of the test questions, right? Then, you need to be able to verify that a person who’s assessing is actually able to bring the technical point across are most people who are certified in DISC actually trained at the Masters level in statistical psychology?
You go I’m saying right?
So firstly, you’re getting the wrong picture of psychometrics. Secondly, you’re getting people who already are unable to articulate the technicalities, and describing this to you as if it’s some kind of astrological service. So you have to pardon my skepticism. It’s, it’s because I spent a large number of years studying these things. And I don’t take these things lightly. Unlike, you know, a lot of other people you’re one of these nine or 10 different personality types. Ultimately, I believe that the psychometric profile gives you a baseline of where you’re starting from. It does not restrict you or stop you from becoming better at some behaviors? So yes, I’m introverted. How does that bear on my communication skills? Actually the completely different, right? The some overlap in so far as let’s say, large group communication is concerned within a meeting within a project, things like that.
However, just because I’m introverted doesn’t make me incapable of developing communication as a competency. managerial skills are not part of a psychological trait managerial skills are part of a set of competencies and set of behaviors that I can exhibit. Now, do they stem from some of personality? Yeah, sure. I mean, if you like people is probably easier for you to work with others and manage them well, but not always. So does it mean that if you’re extroverted, you can become a good manager, not always, I’ve seen a lot of good managers who are generally quieter, because they activate listening more effectively.
But I’ve also known in certain contexts, extroverted and managers who ended up becoming very charismatic leaders within the organization. And they worked out very well because of that particular context that they’re in. So short of, you know, copping out and saying, it doesn’t matter. It’s a question of context and all that, you have to decide, once you’ve got the psychometric test, in my opinion, study it, analyze it, and then decide where you want to go. Because it’s going to give you information out of three key sources, stuff that you discover from other people, feedback, stuff that you do from reflection, and understanding your own self, you get some feedback on that. And thirdly, from the sources that are more third party in nature, right? So you hear from an expert or somebody who’s actually utilized some kind of psychometric testing, in order to get to know yourself a little bit better, but it all centers around reflection, even if people give you feedback and you don’t reflect on it, then what’s the point?
So you need to then think about what you want to accomplish, and then utilize this information that you have to help you to get to where you need to go? Well, first of all, most people don’t listen. Secondly, most people have a fleeting thought and think that insight is more important than taking action, which is very sad. But generally, you have to do some kind of reflection in order to carry forward useful ways of being in order to get to whatever goals or outcomes that you want. Another point that I believe very strongly is that habit can be inculcated, you can develop a lot of skill sets, just by going inside your head, rehearsing that mentally in order to accomplish results. Denis Waitely did that with the US Olympic team. And with so many pieces of research that talks about Mind Body connection, they talk about what goes on inside your your mind, if you cognitively visualize it, it’s gonna show up in your body. Ellen Langer from Harvard University talks about that. But neuro linguistic programming has been practicing that without necessarily needing the validation because I find it’s just a set of tools. It’s a set of tools that don’t need to go into the quagmire of all of these psychological theories that have spanned over the last 150 years, right. So if you want a quick shortcut into the human mind, go study NLP. And if you’re interested, I’ll be very happy to walk through some of the dynamics of that with you.
This brings to mind the idea of strengths, okay, so whether it’s introversion, extroversion, big picture thinking, detail, oriented thinking, thinking, the ability to think logically versus based on values, whatever. I think at the end of the day, you cannot, with a conscience say that you only use strengths. I think that’s a very big misnomer. I don’t think the Gallup Strengths Finder or any other strengths to suggest that you only develop strengths. I think it’s crucial for the average individual to know that the distinction between white washing, in other words, just telling you that you’ve got strengths for the sake of telling you you’ve got strengths, versus confronting a weakness that is real, that is a limitation for you, but when you overcome it gives you great meaning and satisfaction. Right?
Communication was that for me, I was never an orator. I developed myself into becoming a speaker. And that took the span of 20 years. Is it worth it? Hell yeah. So what you want to do is to ask yourself, what’s the meaningful direction you need to go through a process of auditing your sense of beliefs? So that you can say, look, I want to be like this. I’m not sure whether it’s going to be beneficial. But let me think about it. Let me reflect upon it, so that I can galvanize my mental resources to say, yeah, this is worthwhile to go for that really, is it right, yeah. You’re just saying, this is justifiable. This is important to me. This is whatever reasons that are out there for me to accomplish. This goal and you make it up along the way. Whatever the case, if you feel that you are limited by a psychometric profile Don’t be the psychometric profile is meant to give you a starting point. And to be fair, it’s also a very useful tool that I use very frequently as well. So you know, by all means, go ahead and do that, do interpret it. Well. If you don’t have a proper psychological interpretation of it, perhaps you can also strike up a conversation with me, we’ll talk about that. But more importantly, don’t keep in this day and age, everybody’s talking about all his strengths, strengths. But the strengths are not the key thing.
In my opinion, I think it’s worthwhile limitations to overcome the challenges that you put on yourself, that bring a smile in your face after you’ve actually overcome them. So developing a strength sometimes is a bit overrated. I think it’s valuable, but I still think is overheated largely because we’ve pivoted from a generation of people who felt insecure to a group who have overplayed on their strength, and now don’t know how to confront that darkness. So in my opinion, I think there needs to be a little bit of balance.
I don’t know, what do you guys think? Send me some of your thoughts and comments down below. And maybe we’ll have a discussion about this in a subsequent video, too.