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Why Personality Tests Don’t Work

The Neuroscience of Identity and Why People Get it Wrong

Do Psychometric Tests Really help improve teamwork?

With so many profiling tools, personality tests, psychometric assessments, and assessments focusing on “personality”, it is easy to get confused… especially since most of these are based on the “Non-empirical” work of Carl Jung’s archetypes.

The fact is that Personality is just too complicated to be put into a test or assessment. There are too many factors…

  1. “How” your brain gets clarity and processes information – these are genetic factors, not environmental. While behavior can change, it is filtered through a specific brain process. 
  2. “Why” you are motivated to do what you do – other than Risk adversity and optimism which have genetic relationships, why you do things is almost entirely affected by your environment and the emotions you have associated to the decisions you make. Your culture, your parents, your friends, media… are all part of why you do what you do and this can also change as life and influences change.
  3. “What” You assume, or “Encoded Assumptions” – perceptions of what is fair, what you deserve… these are also environmental factors affected largely your WHY
  4. Values and the level of value flexibility – What is right or wrong, good or bad, acceptable or not, most values are usually formed by adolescence, but we have different levels of value flexibility, and some experiences can change our values.
  5. Primary postures – the intensity or softness of our primary physical presence and how it is affected and affects mood.
  6. Core identity – what you would like to think of yourself becoming, the connection to the ideal you which you continue to aspire to be. We often make decisions around this identity and it shapes us either through feeling successful or feel remorse that we are not living up to our own potential.

So why do people get it wrong?

…because clients want an “ALL IN ONE” easy solution! 

So test creators try to cram all of these personality elements into ONE psychometric test because it is what sells, because people want ONE answer to solve all their problems…

And that is the problem. It is the combinations of these that affects motivation, decisions, attitude and even competency, and one VERY IMPORTANT fact most “personally” tests ignore… your behaviors are affected by what environment you are in at a given time. Different groups bring out different facets of who you are… and the attitudes and decisions you make are affected by the people around you.

Example: To make a decision, your brain must go through it clarity getting, “Ambiguity Relief” Process, first to understand it, then your emotions take over, what will this mean and how will it feel, is the risk worth it… Then it is measured again your Values, and you Core Identity… is it right or wrong to do this and how does it relate to you and who you want to become

So, parts of our personality are flexible… behavior also changes over time due to neuroplasticity. Priorities change and so do our motivators, which affect, yes, you guessed it, our personality! 

So HOW can one put all this into a “personality” test? And, even if you get the primary factors, it would be TOO COMPLICATED for the average person to actually use when dealing with others across teams. Only the HR managers and neuroscientists would know what is going on… 

Which brings us to what does work. 

Each of these is important and knowing how 2 simple ingredients mix is not much different than cooking. We know that pizza requires dough and sometimes cheese (Italians know what I mean) topped with a few other ingredients perhaps like peperoni… many of us like ice cream too, but we will not likely have a pepperoni / ice cream pizza. So knowing the simple components/ingredients is the key to knowing how they could mix… and not only for the individual but for the group… each set of ingredients of a person’s Identity affects other people, just like too much salt in the minestrone soup can turn a great meal into an unbearable one. Maybe you have experienced this in a team.

So let’s start with Only ONE foundational ingredient. One genetic element that everything else is filtered through, your “HOW”. How you get clarity, How you interpret the world around you, and How that interlinks with action and decision. (See the Genetic Ambiguity Relief Brain Process Research by Arthur Carmazzi)

Knowing your “How” will not show you what motivates a team member, but it will show you how to bring out the best in team performance… one of our biggest issues in a team is that different processes of approaching the same objectives yield frustration and nurture mistrust. This affects individual performance and affects team dynamics. A clear understanding of our HOW can create more synergy, help us manage our exceptions to deal with team members more intelligently, and help us to set people up for success instead of failure.

Applying Colored Brain which ONLY measures the Brain’s Ambiguity Relief on How the brain gets clarity and HOW action is related to that clarity process, is an uncomplicated way to help people understand and apply that one, very useful thing without getting bogged down with too many variables.

As further understanding of people is required, we can learn and apply a separate “Emotional Drive” model, and the motivation and perception gaps that are affecting our decisions and behavior, to understand our WHY (at least in the current time frame and environment).

When we understand Colored Brain, we also can predict what happens when we combine our HOW with our WHY or even with other’s HOW. The goal is a very simple, yet expansive model that the average dishwasher can apply to improve their leadership, effectiveness within a team and the relationships that support easier communication and faster achievement with superiors, subordinates, and peers.

But that is not enough to be effective!

To be effective, everyone involved must be included, but when everyone is “Busy”, time and focus on a “test” is not a priority… so how do you get everyone involved?

Gamification

Gamifying communication and relationships with Productivity Danger Zones and reviling the people around you who may actually have issues with you, but never said anything… makes the Colored Brain system fun. But is that enough? 

People don’t have time to remember what do do with what and how this connects to that… 

They want EASY

…so connecting everyone is automated, people see their own color and everyone elses…

…and a single click gives strategies on how to communicate, lead, improve productivity and relationships with the people you are connected with. Plus there are some training videos to get the basic gist of what it all means. 

As a Thrive Global subscriber, If you would like to try Colored Brain Psychometric Tools for Free, please email us at: [email protected] 

By Arthur Carmazzi, Founder of the Directive Communication Leadership and Organizational Culture and currently ranked as one of the world’s top 10 thought leaders in organizational culture and leadership

this article is an updated modification of the original article at: https://coloredbrain.com/personality-tests-not-work-arthur-carmazzi

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