What Makes You Tick?
How many of our conflicts with other people, our partners especially, are because of the ways we see, experience, and move through the world differently from one another? Probably a whole lot of them, aye?
Often the only times we talk about what makes us different are when we’re driving each other up a wall — when conflicts and clashes necessitate it. And in those cases, we’re not always shedding a positive light on our respective uniqueness!
There are less opportunities, it seems, for conversations about the good stuff inherent in our differences. And maybe part of the reason is that it’s not always clear how to make space for those kinds of conversations. It might feel awkward to pull back the layers and look at the gears that make us tick.
That’s one reason I love personality tests and strengths inventories. They create the space for those kinds of positive conversations. I realize not everyone shares such a fondness for these things, so let me share just a few more reasons why personality tests, assessments, and strengths inventories are so great.
- They give a shared language to things that are otherwise hard to explain.
- They provide categories for things that might otherwise make us seem like weird, lone aliens to one another.
- They’re an onramp to insight for those of us who struggle with self reflection.
And for all those reasons and more, they’re a good thing to throw into the date-night mix once in a while.
They will provide some fodder for conversation that can materialize into increased understanding and appreciation of one another. Who couldn’t use more of that?!
On Your Mark, Get Set…
Go pick one, and give it a try!
There’s Myers-Briggs or the Enneagram which are both more personality centric, but my recommendation, if you haven’t taken it yet, is Clifton’s StrengthsFinder, which pinpoints a person’s talents, calling out the attributes which are that person’s most natural strengths.
As the look of the cover of the accompanying book suggests, it is often used in corporate settings for team building. Perhaps you’ve already taken in for work and your results are still stored in your inbox! So dig them out!
But I don’t think this tool should be limited to work contexts. It can serve for a great conversation starter for personal relationships as well.
The way it works is after answering a series of questions, you’ll receive your top five strengths (from a list of 34 that the test’s creators have named), along with explanations of how each of your strengths might play out in everyday life, as well as ways you can continue to play to your strengths.
It’s a great way to take stock of the unique things we can encourage and remind one another about.
One thing to know about StrengthsFinder is each person will need a code to answer the questions and get their results. You can either get a code by purchasing the book at your local bookstore (the code is included in the back) OR you can buy a code on the Gallup website (you only need the Top 5 version which is currently $19). I should also say, I’m not getting any kickbacks for recommending it, I just have found it to be such a helpful tool that I am happy to recommend it!
No matter what test you use, the best part is making sense of the results. Here are a few questions to ask one another as you dig in to what it all means:
- Are there any results that jump out as being perfectly accurate?
- Are there any results that were a surprise?
- What are some ways you see the results lived out in the other person’s life, job, relationships, etc. that you appreciate?
- How can you imagine them continuing to grow in one of the aspects the results pinpointed?
Hope that it’s an encouraging time for you all! And that you find some new shared vocabulary to appreciate the ways you complement one another!
PIN IT HERE!