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Conflicting Personality Traits

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I recently took a personality test. 

It’s a practice commonly used to evaluate traits of employees to better help with management and leadership roles. I admit I was skeptical about taking the test. I’ve worked really hard to be comfortable in my own skin and didn’t want a piece of paper to dictate how I view myself. 

After Taking the Test

I realized something as stupidly simple as a personality test could bring a level of self-awareness that can lead to future success. One of the things this test provided was a list of adjectives that can best describe the individual. 

The list basically breaks down strengths and weaknesses. The most interesting thing is that some of the keywords seem contradictory.

I’m Confident That I’m Confident

For example, my personality can be described as “confident”, but a weakness was listed as “low self-esteem”. Just because the paper dictates doesn’t make it accurate, but I started to think deeper about it:

Am I confident because I was born that way? Am I confident because I was once aware of flaws I could overcome?

Every Adjective Has a Negative Counterpart

I started to realize that even though I don’t struggle with low self-esteem, there are things about myself that I would prefer to be different. I learned that every positive adjective could potentially have a negative counterpart. It’s a fine line between the two.

A positive can turn negative if taken too far.  An example would be optimism, if you are too optimistic, you’ll start to avoid any sort of conflict whatsoever. This eventually turns into ignorance or naivety.  

Let’s look at the adjectives “direct” and “bossy”. 

When I look back, I was definitely a bossy child. I remember playing school and pretending to play work, and I was always the teacher and the boss. As an adult, I have been able to fine-tune and harness that negative trait of being bossy into being a direct leader. 

Being direct is a positive trait in most cases, because for someone to accomplish something, they need to clearly understand what they are being asked to do.

Transition to a Great Leader

Understanding your strengths and weaknesses is one of the best ways to transition from a leader into a great leader. I choose to lead by example.

This means I want people to see certain behaviors and traits within me and successfully want to mimic those behaviors themselves. I can groom future management when they can see what the expectation of a true leader is inside our organization. 

Working As a Team

Understanding your teams’ weaknesses and strengths can better help you communicate with them. If you know someone’s personality is extremely low-key and shy, the way you would approach them will be drastically different from someone who is far more outgoing and outspoken. 

We are all very different at every level, and understanding how to work together as a team is something we can all agree is extremely important. 

Knowing how your team or coworkers function internally can help you succeed together.  

The test I took can be found at colorcode.com if you are interested in seeing for yourself. Let me know your results!

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Last modified: June 1, 2022