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Increased Use of Personality Test by Employer

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We would be able to find multiple verses on the internet which confidently tell us that they can define Personality appropriately. But while reading them we find out a particular definition focuses on the spiritual aspect while the other on the social aspect. Which one is true? We try to identify personality as we try to identify a square or a circle, black or white, day or night. We are quick to judge the personality of our boss, colleague, relatives – based on the perception of personality that we have. But our preconceived notions about personality aren’t just wrong, they can be downright dangerous to our health and relationships, says psychologist Brian Little, author of a new book on the science of personality Me, Myself, and Us.

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Brian says that we have a mixed of fixed and free traits. Fixed traits are the qualities which come as natural to us. For example, extroversion is assumed to be one of your fixed trait. That doesn’t mean you can’t display traits of introversion in a particular environment or event. This is where your free traits kicks in. The Iceberg Personality model makes an attempt to explain human behaviors and the drivers behind that behavior. The model states that we should not only look at the tip of the iceberg i.e. the behavior of the person. But also take the hidden part of the iceberg into consideration which is the driving force of that behavior. The hidden drivers are our belief, values, attitude, emotions, self-image and many more. The attitude is very close to the surface, and it brings to surface a person’s behavior. Without a good attitude a person will hesitate to accept something new, practice a new skill, and he will fail to demonstrate the essentials behaviors which lead to success.

The key to ascertaining a person’s true potential lies in discovering these deeper recesses of his mind. Imagine that you are on a titanic, enjoying the calmness and steadiness of the never ending ocean. All of a sudden you hear the notorious iceberg collision and you start thinking of ways to save yourself. You start panicking as the time passes and the number of lifeboats starts reducing. This situation will bring out the best or the worst in someone. There are a variety of reactions shown by different people in such stressful crisis. Like in the example of titanic, some people will get frustrated and start fighting, some people would try to maintain peace, someone would give their seats to the women and children, some might cut the line to get a seat, some might even bribe to get the seat first, some might be hopeful about their rescue and some might just give-up at the very moment. These are some of the behaviors shown by people when they encounter a stressful situation. True selves of people emerge when they are stressed. Similarly at the workplace people are challenged with many stressful situations on a day to day basis.

People consider them good managers who are able to manage this stress and work calmly in all the situations. The person who has the ability to handle stressful situations are a boon to the team. They can motivate their colleagues in such situations, chalk out a correct plan to meet the deadlines, maintain good environment to work and improve the productivity. On the other hand if the team-lead is not able to handle the such stressful situation. He will get frustrated himself, will pressurise colleagues to meet the deadlines, will create a panic environment in the team and thus reduce the productivity of the team. Similarly in the case of an individual performer, he might be super talented, might work at great speed. But if he is not able to work with the team, he might create a negative work environment and will decrease the efficiency of the team. Thus it is very essential to know the personality traits of the person who the company is employing. Moreover, the human resource department now looks for a candidate which can align with the mission and vision of the organization. This method is known as the person-organization fit method, where they assess the candidates personality to find how fit is he to the organization. There are a many methods available to assess the personality traits, we will look into the two most known methods in the field of personality analysis.

Myers-Briggs type indicator (MBTI) is an introspective questionnaire, its purpose is to indicate different psychological preferences in how people perceive the world around them and take decisions. MBTI was prepared by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers based on the theory proposed by Carl Jung. He stated that human experience the world using four principal psychological functions – sensation, intuition, feeling, and thinking. The mother-daughter duo formulated four pairs of words – extraversion and introversion, sensing and intuition, thinking and feeling, judging and perceiving. Extrovert-introvert category focuses on how people get their energy. Extroverts (E) are more energized by interaction with others, Introverts (I) by the inner world of reflection, thought and contemplation. Thinking-feeling range focuses on how people make decisions. Thinking (T) people prefer to decide on the basis of logic, analysis and reason. They tend to follow their head rather than their heart, whereas Feeling (F) people usually decide first on the basis of personal preferences, second, on the basis of logic. Judging-perceiving range suggests the type of lifestyle and work habits people prefer. Perceiving (P) types are more spontaneous and seek out additional information and options. Judging (J) types tend to be planners, preferring more order and structure. Sensing-intuition describes how people take in information. Sensing (S) people prefer concrete facts, organization and structure. Intuitive (N) people tend more to hunches. They want to know the theory first before deciding what facts are important. Using these four pairs we get 16 different personality types, for examples ISTJ (introvert, sensing, thinking and judging). The below picture gives a detailed view of all the personality types and their traits.

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