I just got the results back from my first personality assessment, and guess what? I’m Intuitive! I’m also a Planner, and I’m Conflict Averse. I knew that last one, ever since my MMA career ended before I ever began training for it, but it was a surprise to learn that I like having things organized when my desk is always two papers away from being declared a national disaster. Who knew that Planners could be messy?
Anyway, I went into a meeting this morning armed with my new-found knowledge and confident that I now knew who I was, and that others would ultimately respect that and bow to my wishes. That was, at least, the impression I got when I took the assessment – if I know me, then I’ll be able to convince others to do things the way I like them to be done.
That isn’t exactly what happened.
“So the new dye failed trials,” my boss said before I even had a chance to sit down. “We’re going to need to run more experiments, find a new formula, and get it all done in two weeks – somehow, don’t ask me how – because that’s when they need everything.”
“B-but wait a second,” I spluttered. “That’s impossible. We can’t design and run completely new experiments that quickly. Do we even know what went wrong?”
“It’s not impossible, it’s just hard,” my boss replied. I didn’t know for certain, but I was beginning to think she might be a Conflict-Liker. “Which is what we pay you for. Yes, we have the trial data. Let’s dig into it.”
“Hold on,” I said, remembering the biggest piece of the Personality Pie I’d been given as a treat for taking the assessment. “This isn’t really working for me. I’m a Planner. I need more time to organize things than this.”
My boss’s eyes narrowed. “Oh. You’re a Planner. Well, great. I’m an I-Don’t-Carer.”
“Is that one of the options?”
But at that moment my boss wasn’t in the mood for assessment-based humor. “Listen, this is a $3 million account. They’ve been customers of ours for 6 years, and if we don’t get them what they need, they will find another supplier. Do you understand?”
“I do. But one favor, if I might.” I cleared my throat. “I don’t really like problems. I mean, maybe you haven’t seen the purple elephant they just put on my door, but I’m Conflict-Averse. So can we just pretend that there isn’t actually a problem so that I can operate the way I prefer to?”
“That’s hilarious,” my boss said, which I think was maybe a lie because she wasn’t laughing. “That’s seriously the funniest thing I’ve heard all day.”
I was beginning to Intuit that this was going to be a crappy day.
Hi Jeff, as a long time fan of all manner of getting to know myself – and others – tools, I really enjoyed reading your article describing putting your new found insights to work for you. It will get better, I promise! I also suggest you complete at least one more profile, since Personality is helpful, but knowing ‘why’ you love what you love, and don’t like what you don’t like, is in my experience vastly more helpful. To get that set of insights, I’ve adopted The Game Changer Index (www.thegcindex.com) into my consulting practice because the information it provides is immediately applicable for individuals and for teams. It is especially useful for bosses 🙂
Please let me know if you’d like to learn more. I’d be delighted to talk with you.