Yesterday, we all took a test that Colette brought in. I have to admit I’m like most people: I deny the validity of such instruments, but I’m a sucker for taking them. So I did. And it led to some fun discussions Here are some things we found out about each other:
- Colette has a dominant personality, which probably explains why we all took the quiz without argument. According to the analysis, she places a value on time. (This is true. Colette hates not to be busy. She’ll grab a cart of books and go off and shelve them during slow times.) To work best with such people, one should not ramble or socialize too much. So I publicly apologize to Colette for her entire work experience here.
- Pam scored high in the people-oriented category. No surprise there. She’s the one who knows where students come from, what their majors are, and by about three weeks in the semester, which books they want to check out. According to the test, as a supervisor, I should never eliminate social time from her. (As if I could, Pam would find a way to make friends and talk to people in solitary confinement!)
- Emily was our conscientious and compliant person. According to the analysis, she is the “anchor of reality” on our team. And that’s probably accurate. As a supervisor, I should give her data to support my instructions and reassure that no surprises will occur. I should never refuse to explain details. This is true. Sometimes talking with Emily about a new procedure or policy is like being grilled by the Supreme Court. (In a good way, Emily. In a good way. These folks fear criticism!)
- The rest of us made up the Steady group. This, according to the test, is how it should be. To function, organizations need lots of these folks. We’re good listeners and team players, and we’re predictable, reliable, and friendly. However, we can also hold a grudge, react badly to criticism, and resist change. Our supervisors should not be pushy or confrontational. (We also are prone to stomach issues. Not sure how they determine that.)
Like most of these things, we all found spots that were right and some that didn’t describe us at all. Still, I suppose that any test that reminds you to treat people as individuals and not as widgets is a good thing.