Monday, August 02, 2010

[Rant] Get Outta My Head

Get Outta My Head: For my day job, I recently took a personality test. Called Predictive Index, its primary goal is to identify your favored modes of communication and learning. The idea is that it's a way for managers to better facilitate useful communication among employees and perhaps defuse some conflicts. It involves only about five minutes of a survey, associating specific words with what personality features you believe you are expected to display.

Blah, blah, blah - more Human Resource silliness, right? Except I have to admit that this one nailed me cold. Astoundingly so considering it took only five minutes of time with no prep required. Here is my complete evaluation. There is one statement that is questionable, but everything else is pretty close to right on.
Dave is a thoughtful, disciplined person who is particularly attentive to, careful of, and accurate with the details involved in his job., He identifies problems, and enjoys solving them, particularly in his area of expertise. He works at a steady, even pace, leveraging his background for the betterment of the team, company, or customer.

With experience and/or training, Dave will develop a high level of specialized expertise. He is serious and dedicated to his job and the company. His work pace is steady and even-keeled, and he is motivated by a real concern for getting work done thoroughly and correctly. His discipline and circumspect thinking will lend caution to his decision-making; he plans ahead, double-checks, and follows up carefully on his decisions and actions.

A modest and unassuming person, Dave works autonomously in his area of expertise. When working outside of his expertise, his drive is to seek specialized knowledge by finding definitive answers from written resources, authoritative management, or established subject matter experts. He is most effective and productive when he works within or close to his own specialty and experience and he prefers to stick to the proven way. If it becomes necessary for him to initiate or adopt change, he will need to see cold hard evidence to prove that the new way is proven, complete and yields high-quality results. In addition, Dave will carefully plan the implementation to minimize problems and maximize results.

Dave is reserved and accommodating, expressing himself sincerely and factually.
In general he is rather cautious and conservative in his style, skeptical about anything new and unfamiliar or any change in the traditional way of doing things. Possessing the ability to strongly concentrate on the job at hand, he's most effective when given uninterrupted blocks of time. He has a better-than-average aptitude for work that is analytical or technical in nature.
The italics are mine and they are the passages that I think are key and I find it rather like witchcraft that they could nail those qualities in such a brief little test. The final paragraph overstates the case a bit. It makes me sound like a stick in the mud and a wet blanket. I am not that cautious and conservative. I'm also not sure I am so good and making use of uninterrupted time.

I would also point out that, while this is accurate with respect to my corporate job, I'm not sure it's the same when it comes to writing, and perhaps less so with respect to my personal relationships.

But still, in context, it's dead on accurate. Fortune tellers have come a long way.