I love a cynic. Let’s face it, being British by birth gives me an automatic qualification in skepticism and sarcasm, so imagine my delight at seeing the following blog post “Saying No to Personality Assessments at Work” by Laurie Ruettimann (@lruettiman) on her Cynical Girl HR site.
Laurie’s post on why Myers Briggs is a PhD forced into a High School Diploma (my interpretation) certainly warms the insides, but what made my head nod the most was the numerous and pointed comments from her readers about how behavior is both more relevant and accurate to the challenge of performance.
Let me share some of my favorite comments:
“Figuring out the behavior that is successful in a job, and then assessing the behavior of the potential candidates, is a responsible management action.”
“… I think that’s what flawed about these tests. Yes it [Myers Briggs] and the Predictive Index and the DISC will tell you about me but what it doesn’t tell you about me and anyone else is how we adjust ourselves to fit our surroundings.”
“Categorizing or labeling people in my opinion is extremely annoying – and can be very limiting (maybe even damaging) to the individual’s personal or professional life.”
“The Myers Briggs is still around??? Call me incredulous. Not only is the Jung fad way out of style, the MBTI has very poor reliability and validity. I have taken it a number of times and had a different assortment of letters as a result every time.”
“I agree about the MBTI tool used in a work environment. First, I don’t think the MBTI is necessarily reliable; I’ve taken it three times and each time had a different outcome. Second, that the person someone is at work is [not] necessarily who they are overall.”
I encourage you to read the post for yourself and see the vigorous comments that appeared rapidly in just the first few days that it was public. You might also check out the link someone posted to an extensive review of Myers Briggs from the Washington Post.
Even without wearing my super-skeptic hat, there is just so much noise around personality assessments to justify why organizations continue to see personality as such a key indicator of the performance of individuals and teams.
If I could add a line (admittedly stolen from our homepage) to the topic: “Excellence in the workplace is about behavior, not personality!” Thankfully, we see more and more that many others seem to think the same!