Personality type tests and quizzes are spreading like wildfire all over the internet in recent times. You can barely scroll through your feeds on Quora, Reddit, or Pinterest without finding one or more of such personality quizzes. But only a few are actually interested in answering the question; how does knowing your personality type help you?
To understand how knowing your personality type is helpful, let’s take some steps back in time to the origin of the modern personality tests you see today.
The first attempt to understand why people act the way they do was by the ancient Greeks who attributed human temperaments to the type of body fluid predominantly flowing in their body around the 2nd century AD.
Although this was formulated based on a poor understanding of human physiology, the theory dominated the field of psychology for centuries. Not until the late 19th century that an English man named Sir Francis Galton developed the first personality self-report.
A modification of this self-report was constructed by Robert Woodworth which was used to obtain personality information from soldiers during world war 1, to determine if they had a history or a potential of developing psychiatric illnesses.
In recent times, newer and better refined, objective personality assessment models have been developed including the popular Meyers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Enneagram Models. And these have been helpful to a good number of persons who have been able to channel their findings from the assessment to supercharge their whole life including their career, relationships, and self-development.
Why Is Knowing Your Personality Important?
One of the core benefits of knowing your personality type is that it is fundamental in developing a growth mindset.
Mindset can be broadly categorized as either Fixed or Fluid (also known as the growth mindset).
Some persons believe that human abilities are inborn and cannot be improved significantly irrespective of what we do. Such persons have a fixed mindset. Their own understanding of failure is attributed to the absence of talent.
They do not see the other variables that could also be into play for success to be possible like hard work, social connection, and most importantly the negative personality traits they have acquired from their environment starting from when they were born till date.
On the other hand, some persons believe that talents play a big part in success and failure. But this group does not completely neglect the other factors like hard work, and how their negative and positive personality traits affect their overall performance in life.
Also, there is a common misconception that talent is just the presence of physical traits that makes a person stand out. But in reality, it goes way beyond that to one’s mental and psychosocial traits that are valuable but maybe not easily observable.
By knowing your personality type, you have taken one of the first steps to develop a growth mindset which is not being afraid to stare your strengths and weaknesses in the face while also adopting expert advice for improvement.
The importance of knowing your personality type can never be over-emphasized. But for this post, we will be focusing more on how knowing your personality type can help choose a career, develop love and self-acceptance, supercharge your work effort, and how you can cope with stress and burnouts.
How does knowing your personality type help you choose a career?
Knowing your personality type is very important in choosing a career path. This explains why some schools and companies with foresight have adopted a personality assessment for students and prospective employees respectively.
By choosing a career path we also mean choosing roles you are best at both in your place of work and in life as a whole.
So how does knowing your personality type help you choose a career?
It Helps You Understand Your Strengths
One of the greatest weapons for success you can have is knowing your strengths. Your strengths are those areas where you naturally outshine others without much conscious effort.
Your strengths are developed both from your genetics and your environment. Your environment includes your family members and the people you see and interact with every day.
After taking a standardized personality test, you will be shown a list of strengths that people with a similar personality type are known to have. You will also get to know the career paths such persons towed and how these strengths have been responsible for bringing them to the peak of that career path.
You Also Have A Glimpse Of Your Weaknesses
Everyone has one or more weaknesses some of which they are aware of and some that they are still oblivious of.
It takes courage to accept your weaknesses but this acceptance is where the growth starts. But the real growth happens when you start working on your weaknesses.
Weaknesses in this case are better explained as extremes of your strength. For instance, someone whose major strength is self-confidence can only thrive as long as his self-confidence does not translate into arrogance which is now a weakness.
The reason why some people still have the fixed mindset as explained above is that they are yet to accept that their weaknesses can be turned into strengths.
Turning your weaknesses into strengths simply implies knowing when you are going too far with your strengths and learning to stop for balance to be maintained.
This is a critical skill that will help you improve your team working ability in your place of work.
It Helps You To Understand Your Perfect Work Environment
Some persons thrive well under pressure while some other persons need a working environment that is cool with calm and cooperative people.
Also, certain personality types are more productive when they are working alone while others thrive well in group works and projects.
Learning your personality type early helps you choose a career path based on your most favorable work environment. It will also help you to adapt to your current work environment if you have already found yourself in an unfavorable environment.
It Helps You Narrow Down Your Field
In life, there are countless career paths to choose from. A lot of youths make the mistake of choosing a career path based on where they perceive to be more lucrative. But an easier approach is to choose a career path based on your core strengths.
How Does Knowing Your Personality Type Help You Develop Love And Acceptance?
By love, we actually mean self-love not necessarily in the context of human relationships, although each one leads to the other.
In knowing your personality type, you learn more about your weaknesses. And by learning your weaknesses, you also come to accept them. So instead of treating yourself with contempt, you actually take a more positive outlook on life and work on your weaknesses.
Once you are able to accept your weaknesses, you will no longer be ashamed of being yourself in front of people and you will find people who will love you for being yourself.
How Can Knowing Your Personality Type Help You At Work?
At work, learning your personality type will help you in the following;
- You will know how best to channel your effort to succeed as a student
- You will understand which work environment suits you the most; a vital aspect of choosing your place of work.
- You will know how best to approach job interviews based on your personality type.
- You will also come to understand better what gives you the most satisfaction at work
- You learn the kind of jobs you should avoid for productivity
- You will also know which roles fit you most and how you can use this knowledge to perform them well.
What is the usefulness of knowing your personality type in relation to stress?
Different personality types have different stress coping mechanisms. For example, people with a more pronounced extraverted feeling tend to handle stress well by talking about their challenges with friends while people with a dominant introverted feeling can cope with stress generally by spending quality time alone.
Also, Read; The 16 Personality Types In Medical School
What Is The Available Test For Knowing Your Personality Type
There are lots of personality tests online. But the more popular ones are the MBTI and the Enneagram Personality, models.
The Meyers Briggs Type Indicator
This is a personalized self-assessment questionnaire used to determine people’s personality types. It uses 8 variables to measure this namely;
- Perceiving and
A lot of persons have attempted to modify this test to be perfect, but some experts believe that the results are not reliable and based on any reproducible scientific study. On the other hand, some people have actually found it to be helpful to the extent that it is being adopted in some workplaces and schools.
The best available mobile application you can use to understand the MBTI better, take your own free personality test, and learn how your personality type can help you is available on PlayStore and is free to download. Although you may need to pay to get access to more advanced features on the app.
The Enneagram Personality Model
This is a much more advanced self-assessment report that is best understood and taught as a typology of nine interconnected personality types.
There are also websites where you can get a free test and analysis of your personality type based on the Enneagram model.
Final Words From Medarchive Magazine
Even though these personality types have been helpful to a lot of people, it is best not to take whatever result you get as absolute.
The human mind is vast, powerful, and limitless so it cannot be summarized by a simple personality test. A lot of people after taking the personality tests and reading the interpretations will start living out the stereotype.
The right approach to following the results from these personality tests is objectively trying to find out if the results you got are in tandem with a good percentage of how you have been living your life. If this is so, then compare the strengths and weaknesses to see if they match with your current strengths and weaknesses and find ways of working on them.
We wish you the of life!
- Oxfordhandbooks (Origin Of Personality Assessment)
- Verywellmind (Overview on the MBTI)