In the last couple months I have taken 4 personality profile tests, read 3 books on talent-discovery, and have had amazing coaching, conversations, and lecture/class teaching that has radically transformed my perspective on gifting, vocation/calling.
Essentially, it’s given me an expanded view of how God has uniquely crafted all of us to be a reflection of Himself and how He’s ingeniously created each one of us in very distinct fashion and how we can love who we are as individuals and be awed by how He’s created others differently.
Needless to say, it’s been fantastic and I can’t even imagine what life would be like without this new self-awareness and the coaching sessions with professionals that have helped me interpret, appreciate, and understand how I can best leverage and enjoy the unique ways in which God has created me have been transformative.
I’ll admit though that over the course of the three days that it took to publish this post I’ve been very self-conscious about how some people might interpret or even read into these findings but here’s what I’ve concluded:
- I am not defined by any “Personality Profile” nor is my identity found in them.
- The study of self is a gift from God and the ability to see, identify, and embrace the unique patterns of our character and being helps us become more enamored with God and helps us be more effective for His service to others.
- The practical application of being more self-aware helps us enjoy our jobs and our relationships more and keeps us from making less prudent decisions with our time, talents, and resources.
- The framework of these characterizations neither limits my potential nor determines it but provide causeways for thinking critically about who I am and what I was meant to do with my limited time here on earth.
- The outcause of self-awareness is very much in step with the “Fruits of the Spirit” as found in Galatians 5:22 which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I have realized all of them as a result of knowing myself better!
- They are certainly subject to change as the transformative power of God is made manifest in my life and my goal is not to dictate change in character or talents but to discover them. Somewhat of a “progressive revelation” type idea. But, there is enough evidence that intrinsic and unchanging elements of who we have been created to be are real and neither environment nor experience can change them.
It’s been a pretty cool deal. I feel empowered, encouraged, and even more blessed than ever before.
Here’s a snapshot of what I’ve discovered…
I’ve discovered that I’m a mix between being an INTP and an INTJ. Sometimes it’s more like xNTx. But what I’ve learned is that the most important one is whether I’m a S or an N although most people focus on the first one (Introvert or Extrovert) which doesn’t matter as much.
INTP (The Engineer):
INTPs are logical, individualistic, reserved, and very curious individuals. They focus on ideas, theories and the explanation of how things work.
They are especially adept at discussions and debate. They have the ability to focus intently on a subject.
They appreciate and respect intelligence in others.
Here’s what it looks like:
I’ve taken this test maybe 8 or 9 times over the course of my life and the results have been fairly consistent except that I’ve been an INTJ (instead of P) at times, which has been equally apparent in my life.
Read more about INTPs here.
INTJ (The Strategist):
INTJs are introspective, analytical, determined persons with natural leadership ability. Being reserved, they prefer to stay in the background while leading. Strategic, knowledgable and adaptable, INTJs are talented in bringing ideas from conception to reality.
They expect perfection from themselves as well as others and are comfortable with the leadership of another so long as they are competent. INTJs can also be described as decisive, open-minded, self-confident, attentive, theoretical and pragmatic.
This is definitely true as well for me. Read more about INTJs here.
This one was a new one for me and one that I haven’t taken previously. The results were similar to some of the other findings in the other tests that I took so that was very comforting.
Essentially what this test’s goal is to discover one’s learning style. First developed by Howard Gardner, it is a psychological theory about people and their different types of intelligences (logical, visual, musical, etc.).
Here are the results:
1. Verbal/Linguistic Intelligence
People with Linguistic intelligence love and are talented with words. They enjoy reading, writing and learning languages. They have an ability to teach and explain things to others. They learn best by reading, taking notes and going to lectures.
- Notices grammatical mistakes
- Often speaks of what they have read
- Likes to use “fancy” words
- Loves word games
- Cherishes their book collection
- Easily remembers quotes and famous sayings
- Likes puns and rhymes
- Enjoys writing
- Enjoys foreign language
- Always enjoyed English class
- Writer (any type)
- Public Speaker
- English / Writing Tutor
- Actor / Actress
2. Intrapersonal Intelligence
People with intrapersonal intelligence are adept at looking inward and figuring out their own feelings, motivations and goals. They are introspective and seek understanding. They are intuitive and typically introverted. They learn best independently.
- Prefers working alone
- Often thinks of self-employment
- Enjoys journaling
- Spends time thinking and reflecting
- Likes learning about self
3. Bodily/Kinesthetic Intelligence
People with Kinesthetic intelligence love movement. They enjoy sports and/or dance. They are good at building things and like to stay active. They have good motor skills and are very aware of their bodies. They learn best through movement and experimentation.
- Learns by “doing”
- Would rather touch than just look
- Well-coordinated withgood motor skills
- Likes figuring out how things work
- Enjoys the outdoors
- Likes to work with hands
- Can’t sit still for too long
- Enjoys sports and exhilarating experiences
- Likes to be active
- Has a lot of physical energy
- Actor / Actress
- Physical Education Instructor
- Physical Therapist
- Park Ranger
I think the kinesthetic section was especially interesting with the career matches…!
The Strengths Finder test has been an amazing and very revealing test that has proven to be highly accurate and very encouraging to me.
Here are my 5 top strengths (or “themes”) and some insights into what they mean:
People who are especially talented in the Activator theme can make things happen by turning thoughts into action. They are often impatient.
What Makes Me Stand Out?
It’s very likely that you relish talking to others. Frequently you help people express their opinions, thoughts, or viewpoints with enthusiasm. Your words frequently energize individuals or groups. Driven by your talents, you often scare people by comparing your performance to theirs. They probably grow quite edgy as your drive to be the best becomes more evident to them.
You typically take advantage of your rivals’ timidity — that is, lack of boldness and determination. By doing so, you likely earn the best scores, ratings, or rankings. Chances are good that you empower people with your air of certitude — that is, confidence. Your very presence reassures them that they indeed are quite ready and capable of tackling assignments, spearheading projects, or playing key positions on a team.
By nature, you help people understand they are people of consequence — that is, important. How? You probably acknowledge the merit of something they said. As a result, many individuals feel a lot more confident about themselves. Because of your strengths, you repeatedly galvanize — that is, spark or excite — people’s enthusiasm by pointing out things they have done well. You often encourage individuals to revel in their accomplishments.
People who are especially talented in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.
What Makes Me Stand Out?
Chances are good that you select the right combination of words to convey your ideas or feelings. In the middle of discussions, your vocabulary provides you with precise phrases and terminology. You probably express yourself with ease and grace.
By nature, you can design innovative plans. You probably raise issues and identify recurring obstacles as you generate tactical options. Problems and possible solutions become apparent to you. Once you outline action steps, you quickly execute them one by one. You refuse to waste time questioning your ideas after everything has been set into motion. Driven by your talents, you demonstrate an ease with language.
You effortlessly verbalize your thoughts. You relish the opportunity to share your insights. You derive pleasure from actively participating in conversations when group members propose ideas, seek solutions, or debate issues. It’s very likely that you customarily pinpoint the core problems and identify the best solutions. You artfully and skillfully eliminate distractions. This helps people gain a clear understanding of what is happening and why it is happening. You frequently identify ways to transform an obstacle into an opportunity.
Because of your strengths, you work diligently to invent alternative courses of action. You notice new as well as unusual configurations in facts, evidence, or data. Others, however, can see only separate, unrelated bits of information. You are fascinated by problems that puzzle, confound, or frustrate most people.
People who are especially talented in the Futuristic theme are inspired by the future and what could be. They inspire others with their visions of the future.
What Makes Me Stand Out?
Driven by your talents, you sense your life has deep meaning. With remarkable vividness, you often imagine where you will be, what you will be doing, and what you have the ability to accomplish in the coming months, years, or decades. Your dreams of tomorrow are very alive in your mind today. You intentionally strive to transform these possibilities into reality.
Instinctively, you think intensely to conceive vivid mental images of the future. Many individuals lack your ability to envision what will be possible in the coming months, years, or decades. As a result, they regularly rely on you to do this visioning for them. Because of your strengths, you are typically enthused about what you can accomplish in the coming months, years, or decades. Your ability to think about the future naturally feeds your desire to be the very best.
By nature, you occasionally think about what you could fix or do better. Your mind might be occupied by what you can accomplish in the coming months, years, or decades. This partially explains why you find today’s events ordinary and less fascinating than the future. Chances are good that you intentionally take steps to be the mastermind of your own future. You refuse to leave your destiny to chance. You probably resist placing it in someone else’s hands. You trust your own intelligence and imagination when setting a direction for your life.
People who are especially talented in the Competition theme measure their progress against the performance of others. They strive to win first place and revel in contests.
What Makes Me Stand Out?
Instinctively, you often tackle assignments with great enthusiasm and speed. Your “Let’s just do it right now!” attitude causes many of your friends to pitch in and work alongside you. They probably share your desire to capture topmost honors and first-place titles. By nature, you are much more intent on winning and being the very best when you have established a mutually supportive relationship with your teacher, coach, or supervisor.
The attention of authority figures usually gives you just the boost you need to push on toward victory. You
probably have benefited from similar ties in the past. Chances are good that you generally concentrate on being the very best or finishing in first place. You probably want everyone to know that you are the official victor. You are highly motivated from within to do many things better than ever before. You prefer to engage in activities that are evaluated objectively with scores, ratings, or rankings.
Driven by your talents, you undoubtedly outwit or outmaneuver most of your rivals. You aim to distinguish yourself as the champion. Your fear of losing likely fuels your desire to be victorious. It’s very likely that you want people to see you as a winner, as “number one,” or as the very best in various activities. Being quite sensitive to what others think of you probably is a powerful motivating force that usually works to your advantage.
People who are especially talented in the Adaptability theme prefer to “go with the flow.” They tend to be “now” people who take things as they come and discover the future one day at a time.
What Makes Me Stand Out?
Chances are good that you realize that each day offers its own surprises. You trust you can handle whatever occurs. Even when you do not know exactly what to do, you probably know someone who does. You have an uncanny ability to easily and cooperatively proceed in the direction in which other people and processes are moving.
Driven by your talents, you may take advantage of opportunities to engage newcomers and/or outsiders in small talk or serious discussions. Perhaps this approach works well for you. Why? You might realize your chance of meeting the person again is remote unless you introduce yourself, ask some nonthreatening questions, then listen attentively. To some extent, you want to transform strangers into acquaintances. You might want a few of these acquaintances to become your friends.
By nature, you dread adhering to someone else’s calendar. You prefer to determine your own schedule and pace. You enjoy responding to challenges and crises as they present themselves. Because of your strengths, you are quite comfortable letting the day’s events and people’s demands determine what really deserves your attention. It’s very likely that you might prefer to be an individual performer because you like to deal with things as they occur. Perhaps your flexible approach makes your job or studies a bit more pleasurable. You might be less effective when you are forced to adhere to every step or deadline of someone else’s action plan. If the plan also is outdated, your efficiency might be diminished.
I have found Strengths Finder to be an invaluable part of my journey of becoming more self-aware of who God has uniquely made me to be. I recommend you consider taking this test without reservation.
Right Path Profile 4 and 6:
The Right Path Profile Tests (4 and 6) have also been exceptionally helpful in my own personal development. I’ve taken this test 3 times over the course of my life and it’s gotten increasingly more accurate.
I’ve really enjoyed the process of being coached through this test by a true professional, Fran LaMattina, and it’s been uncanny how she’s been able to draw out of me these characteristics and help me understand who I am and the potential that I have. It’s been an honor and privilege to work with her!
In fact, it’s been so good that I’ve received coaching with my wife and other family members with her.
Profile 4 (Director Blended):
Directors usually have a unique blend of confidence, initiative, and people skills. They typically are able to see the larger vision and then use their superior communication skills to motivate others toward accomplishing it.
The Director is typically outgoing, bold, optimistic, fun-loving, competitive, confident, assertive, and a visionary who motivates others to accomplish tasks. A Director excels by having the freedom to define organizational goals and by influencing others to reach those goals.
Directors may experience struggles, such as getting carried away with enthusiasm, being poor listeners, overestimating themselves and others, possessing unrealistic optimism, and “using” others too much.
Directors at Work:
- Work Activities – Because of their high level of energy and desire to succeed, Directors function best with opportunities to influence others, communicate ideas, and overcome new challenges.
- Contribution to Work – Directors easily grasp the larger vision, use verbal skills and high energy to mobilize people and get results, and generate new ideas.
- Task/People Orientation – Directors relate well with people but, under pressure, will give priority and focus to the task.
- Mobility Factor – They need mobility and prefer to be engaged in multiple projects. They seek a constant flurry of activity, variety, and change.
- Stress – Confining routines, handling detailed information, overcommitment of time, and lack of access to people create stress for Directors.
- Performance Improvement – Directors should temper their expectations, commitments, and optimism with realistic views of the amount of work required by others and themselves to obtain goals.
- Leadership – They enjoy being in charge. They excel at defining the goal and then motivating others to work with them to accomplish it.
- Fears – Directors fear the loss of control in the work setting, as well as the loss of influence, not having an input, loss of respect or reputation.
- Communication Style – Directors communicate effectively by being direct, enthusiastic, optimistic, energetic, bold, and emphatic.
- Measure of Success – Directors like to be recognized as people who attain challenging goals and noteworthy achievements.
- Relationship To Authority – Directors respond well to strong leaders they respect. However, they will confront poor or weak leadership.
Of course, the full report was much more comprehensive. Very informative and very helpful!
The Right Path Profile 6 dives a bit deeper into who I am and targets a number of different factors. Here’s a brief overview:
- Dominance – Confident, self-reliant, naturally wants to take the lead and control the agenda. Results oriented.
- Extroversion – A naturally outgoing person who enjoys meeting strangers; enthusiastic and good at networking.
- Compassion – Objective and not afraid to make difficult decisions; likes to move ahead at a fast pace.
- Conscientiousness – Spontaneous; prefers to operate flexibly and without a lot of details or restrictions.
- Adventurousness – Adventurous, ambitious, and competitive; attracted by a challenge.
- Innovation – Mid-Range Score. Will use a mixture of abstract and concrete ideas to solve problems and initiate change.
IDAK Talent Discovery:
This was the first time I have had the pleasure of taking the IDAK Talent Discovery test and it’s been very helpful for me to identify and focus in on the natural talents that God has given me. What it’s essentially done is provide clear guidance for areas of work that will not only interest me but provide high impact but also satisfaction.
That’s what everyone wants, right?
So here are my Final Validated Talent Strengths:
- Conversing : This talent documents your above average capacity to converse one to one so as to be easily understood. Usually both communication and listening aptitudes are equally strong to sustain an easy flow of one-to-one discussion.
- Writing Words : This talent documents your above average ability to clearly convey information, a mood, or a feeling through the use of written words. It is usually displayed through writing in administrative or technical reports (including e-mail), in journalism or in creative ways such as short stories, drama scripts and poetry.
- Giving Presentations with Audience Interaction : This talent documents your above average capacity to speak clearly in front of an audience regarding a subject without necessarily requiring prepared speeches or a lesson text. It is more informal and allows for spontaneous questions and answers (giving announcements, readings or directions). It is not necessarily a lecture or monologue style.
- Singular Relational : This talent documents your above average capacity to work on a project by yourself or with two to three others over an extended period of time. Because of the limited interaction with the general public, relationships tend to be selective, very deep and long lasting.
- Synthesizing : This talent documents your above average capacity to examine ideas, elements or concepts from a variety of resources and bring them together to form an opinion. This talent can be demonstrated while compiling information for research papers, teaching curriculum, instructional manuals, etc.
- Imagining : This talent documents your above average capacity to originate themes for stories, theories and philosophies. It can be displayed in using analogies or word pictures when speaking or in combining creative media expressions (photos, video recordings) to produce multimedia presentations.
- Creating : This talent documents your above average capacity to form new associations (ideas) with previously unrelated concepts, objects or systems. These new ideas do not necessarily require knowledge of previously developed methods or resources.
- Promoting : This talent documents your above average capacity for persuasive ability in motivating another person or group to accept new and different viewpoints. This talent is usually accompanied by enthusiasm and excitement for a concept and can be demonstrated over a broad range of interests.
- Developing/Initiating New Ventures : This talent documents your above average capacity to develop a “vision” and to recruit others to participate in its accomplishment. This talent demonstrates the capacity to initially oversee the start up of new programs or expansion plans. The emphasis is accomplishment of the goal.
One of the neat things that this test has done for me is provide clarity on why I’ve enjoyed the things that I’ve enjoyed doing in the past and why some jobs have proven to be extremely frustrating and draining on my spirit.
What the result has been is that it’s helped me begin to focus on my natural strengths so that I can not only leverage them effectively within my current job roles and responsibilities but also capitalize and choose new projects and opportunities with wisdom and discernment.
It’s been extremely eye-opening.
What about you? Have you taken these types of personality/talent profile tests? What have your results been?