As a coach to smart women wanting to run smarter businesses, I help clients explore all manner of things (like who they are, what they do well, what they should be focusing on, how to set up a business strongly, and how best to market their services). Exploration of themselves, others, and the world around them is some of the most important work they'll ever do.
One tool I sometimes suggest to help them dive deeper into the exploration is the personal or professional assessment. Assessments are created by brilliant minds to help us learn the things about ourselves and others that we probably ought to know more consciously, and just don't.
If you know anything about assessments, you probably know the ones I think of as “the biggies,” like Myers Briggs and DISC, but I tend to turn to others ones over and over, and thought I’d share them with you in case they’d help you learn more about yourself or someone with whom you work.
Why take assessments?
I think asking that question is super-smart. I don’t know about you, but my experience with taking assessments has never been as much for me about learning something new about myself, as it has been in learning new ways to think about myself and talk about myself in a language other people understand. For instance, when you talk with people about your MBTI, your Kolbe, or your Enneagram number, assuming they’re familiar with it, they immediately understand things about you that you never have to explain to them, and usually, they understand you in relation to what they know to be true of themselves. It’s like having a secret little language. Heck, even Astrology works that way; whenever I tell an astrology buff that I’m a Cancer, there’s all sorts of things about me that don’t have to be explained.
And so I think it’s a fun way to understand others and communicate many of the things you know about yourself but may not have easy language to communicate.
Here, in no particular order, are the ones I find most helpful:
1. Fascination Advantage (helps you understand how you fascinate others) $37
It’s amazing to learn how other see you, and you can use the results to help you discover really good brand words and craft marketing messages that fit who you are.
There’s also a companion book that will help you dive more deeply into how you fascinate.
I am the Rockstar
2. Clifton StrengthsFinder (helps you uncover your talents) $15 to learn your top five strengths; $89 to learn about all 34 strengths.
You can use this assessment to help you determine how to use your strengths in your work and life. Research shows that people who focus on their strengths have been found to be more engaged in their work and more likely to say they have excellent lives.
There’s also a companion book for this one.
My top five strengths are: Strategic, Adaptability, Relator, Maximizer, Developer
3. Personal Brilliance Quotient (helps you maximize four key traits—awareness, curiosity, focus, and initiative—to be your best) Free.
You can use the PBQ to discover truths about what you want for yourself, how you’ve shut down to possibilities (and how you might open back up!), and how to create a plan for your life and work that really fits for you.
And yes; there’s a companion book available.
I am a Prospector
4. iPersonic (amazes people by how in just four steps and in under five minutes, they can get interesting feedback about themselves) Free, and you can then buy other assessments that will help you learn more about yourself in specific ways. Those cost $30, each (on sale, now, for new customers—50% off!)
Even if you don’t do a deeper dive by buying one of the add-on assessments, iPersonic will give you insights into your personality and career path. If you’re struggling with your career, or maybe thinking of starting a business but don’t know what to start, investing in the full Career Profile is a good one, because it explores what suits you, what your strengths and weaknesses are, and gives you profiles of 70 careers that are best for your personality type.
I am the Dreamy Individualist
5. Enneagram (personality typing that helps you better understand the core of who you are) Free to take a short test; $12 to take the complete test which also shares information about the other types which can be useful.
Available as a free version, and a paid version.
Understanding the personality types can help you immensely to understand the people you work and live with. One of the things you can learn is how the different types will show up at their best and worst. It’s priceless.
And there are a bunch of books about understanding the Enneagram. This one is my favorite.
I am a 4, but more specifically, a 479 tri-type (if you get into Enneagram, check out your tri-type)
And a bonus!
I only learned of this one about a week ago, and already I can see how powerful it can be and didn't want to leave it off my list!
6. Archetype Alignment (helps you with marketing) Occasionally, the author will make the assessment and her alignment grid (explanation of the different archetypes) available as her free offer, with an up-sell to a quick start program that helps explain how to use the findings. Right now, there’s a sale on the Archetype Alignment and the Quick Start Program—it’s just $47. I’d grab it. Just sayin’
You’ll learn not only what kind of marketing best suits your business, and why, but also why certain marketers appeal to you while some just turn you off completely.
I am a mix of Conversational Truth Guide and Compelling Creative Connector
In closing, assessments used for personal and professional development have come a very long way from the quizzes I used to take in Cosmo magazine in the late 70s, and provide far greater insights into all manner of things. That's valuable, in itself, but the add-on in being able to understand others through the same system(s) can be absolutely invaluable. Consider how you might get to know yourself better, and then consider how you might engage loved ones, clients, and colleagues in the use of assessments you find particularly helpful. I think anything we can do to better understand ourselves and those with whom we're closely allied can do nothing but enhance relationships, and our experiences of life!
Have you taken any of these? If so, what was your result? And what other assessments would you add to this list? I'd love to know, so please leave a comment for me :)
Note: I’m not an affiliate for any of the assessments. The book links are to the AssistU Amazon store where we do have an affiliate relationship, both to make it easy for you to find the books in this post, and because if you buy the books there, it gives us money to donate to charities that benefit at risk women and children here in the US. We hope you’ll choose to buy from our links and let us do a little good with any purchases you make. ♥