How do you get the most done with the least difficulty by doing what you do best?
First up you need to work out what it is you do best. There are lots of personality assessment tools out there that help you work out what you are good at and what you need to work on (or avoid all together). Tools can help you live an easier life and have more fun while doing it.
Here are some of my favourite assessment tools – some free, some not. Tools are not listed in any order of importance.
One Minute Millionaire is primarily about a group of people getting rich by creating and selling a toy. It’s a great read for left-brain and right-brain preferences. A story runs on the right hand pages for the right-brain dominant person and the facts and theories about what is happening runs on the left side. It is symbolic, intuitive and gives the reader the freedom to mix it up depending how they feel.
One of the key learnings from the book is to create a mastermind group of people – preferably at least four people covering off on the four distinct personality types – Hare, Owl, Turtle, Squirrel – to create, develop and successfully launch and maintain a business (product or service).
Once you work out what you are – take note of your contribution, weakness and instinct (that is, what you do without thinking, especially when under stress).
Hare – Creative Types, but bad at follow-through.
Owls – Planners and go-getters.
Turtles – Cautious Types who point out issues.
Squirrels – Details oriented person who get the job done.
You can also have a blended personality.
I’m a Hare/Owl:
DESCRIPTION: The Hare/Owl is an idea generator who is also a true entrepreneur. They are good at exploring alternatives and concepts, and they are also more comfortable with an insightful plan. The Hare/Owl is able to generate ideas and develop a plan, based on past experience,to promote those ideas successfully.
The Hare/Owl derives satisfaction from identifying good ideas and developing solutions and strategies to overcome obstacles to implementation. They enjoy working on multiple tasks and like to be involved with the creation and advancement of ideas.
When everything is in its place, the Hare/Owl may get impatient, ready for the next challenge.
CONTRIBUTION: Development of new concepts and ideas that can be advanced within a known process or structure.
WEAKNESS: The Hare/Owl may become frustrated with the details of an orderly implementation plan, and may pay little attention to the danger signs and barriers associated with implementation.
INSTINCT: Creating new ideas and advancing them in pursuit of team objectives.
Character Strengths and Virtues
Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman authored the Character Strengths and Virtues handbook that provides all the information behind a free online survey VIA Survey of Character Strengths.
- The survey takes about 20 minutes and ranks your strengths in order from strongest to weakest.
- It is designed to be applicable to all cultures and there is even one for children.
- You need to register and agree to let your survey responses be used in an aggregate research study but your privacy is assured.
- Check out the other good surveys on this university site while you are there.
- I recommend you print out the extended results rather than just the top 5-10 strengths because then you can see how you rank overall.
Most of my top 8 strengths fall under the one core strength and virtue area of Wisdom and Knowledge:
Martin Seligman is known as one of the forefathers for Positive Psychology – a move away from the focus of psychology on fixing people and treating disease – to focusing on what is bright and strong in life and what can lead to greater happiness and fulfillment.
If you’re interested in positive psychology and being happy – check out the video below – a trailer from Happy the movie:
Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI)
This one sounds painful but it’s not. I spent 5 days a few years ago learning how to apply this model in everyday life and it was one of the most useful weeks in my life. It has been around for more than 30 years and helps you to communicate with those that think like you, and those that don’t.
In the words of wiki, Herrmann identifies four different modes of thinking:
A. Analytical thinking (BLUE)
Key words : Auditive, logical, factual, critical, technical and quantitative.
Preferred activities : collecting data, analysis, understanding how things work, judging ideas based on facts, criteria and logical reasoning.
B. Sequential thinking (GREEN)
Key words : safekeeping, structured, organized, complexity or detailed, planned.
Preferred activities : following directions, detail oriented work, step-by-step problem solving, organization and implementation.
C. Interpersonal thinking (RED)
Key words : Kinesthetic, emotional, spiritual, sensory, feeling.
Preferred activities : listening to and expressing ideas, looking for personal meaning, sensory input, and group interaction.
D. Imaginative thinking (YELLOW)
Key words : Visual, holistic, intuitive, innovative, and conceptual.
Preferred activities : Looking at the big picture, taking initiative, challenging assumptions, visuals, metaphoric thinking, creative problem solving, long term thinking.
Whole Brain Thinking video
I wear a big yellow hat.
HBDI types me as a strong imaginative thinker. My most satisfying moments include taking risks, designing, seeing the big picture, being part of a team, helping people, listening and talking. I would be happy as an entrepreneur, writer, artist, teacher or facilitator. While I usually look for all hidden possibilities, use my imagination and consider how my decision affects others – I may overlook following procedure and gathering all the facts and details. Good to know.
You will need to find a HBDI practitioner near you (search the internet HBDI and your location) to get your profile. A training course will demonstrate how practical the instrument is.