I have mixed feelings about personality tests. My standard answer whenever someone asks me what my enneagram number is is I’m whatever number doesn’t care about enneagram numbers. But at the same time, I know that some personality tests can be really useful. Recently, a client of ours, Chad Wilson at Foundation Bank, mentioned that his team had started to go through the Working Genius Working styles test. And on that recommendation, I took a look and bought the book, and now our whole team has gone through it. And I have a few thoughts. One of the reasons I like this methodology is it’s focused on how you work and work together with other people as opposed to your personality or who you are as a person. I think that distinction is important here. We all have different personalities, and I want the goal of something like this, like a personality test, to be how can we work together to win with the focus being on the work? This feels less psychoanalytical and more practical and professional. Lencioni, the author of this book, breaks the entire work world into six skill sets, which may come off as simplistic, but I think he really does a good job with it.

Those six categories are broken down into the phases of work. This simple breakdown contains the entire work experience really clearly. Those skill sets are wonder, invention, discernment, galvanizing, enablement, and tenacity. And while this is also very simple, it has a lot of depth to it. There are only six options for you to score in. They also remove any percentages. So it’s a very clear layout of what strengths and weaknesses are. Working genius breaks it down into two areas of genius, two areas of competency, and two areas of working frustration. Each person can do any of the six, but where you’re going to be the happiest and most effective is showed on that chart. The book is written in classic Lencioni format. Half of the book is a simplistic allegory in the form of a fictional office situation. The other half is more of a breakdown of the model of working genius. This isn’t a long read, but it helps to show you how the tool can be used in the entire workplace. The book pushes you to an assessment. The assessment is online only and is $25 per test. The online platform is actually really nice.

It is set up for an admin to make group reports and then send it to the entire company, which is what we did for our group. You get to take the test once, so you got to go with what you are given. And so far, our team has taken it and only one or two people have objected to one of their letters, which I think this means they have it dialed in pretty well. It’s a shortish test, taking maybe about 10 minutes. I don’t think Working genius is going to turn our organization upside down, but I will look at it for a tool and for languages and techniques to help me lead my team better. Getting a better idea of how our team members work will be helpful. Working genius provides a team map that helps to show where people fit together in the whole work environment. And so when we are thinking about hiring specific positions or assigning people to tasks, having an idea of how they might work and work together and having language around that will help us execute better. Have you taken a personality test that you’ve enjoyed? I’d love to hear more about it.

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