I read a great definition of personality recently. It said that personality is “about our different ways of being human.” And yet, too often those “different ways” get sorted by all of us into “good person” and “bad person” feelings and references. Too often I find myself reacting to a different personality with a negative thought or expression such as, “He’s such an….” (you fill in the blank)
I recently completed one of the many personality surveys I’ve done in my life. I’ve completed DISC and “Colors” and, of course, MMPI. I’ve done clever analyses and scientific ones. I’ve done ones that were easy to relate to and impossible to connect with. This most recent one, from a company out of Phoenix Arizona called PDPworks was, in my opinion, the easiest to understand, relate to and challenge myself against.
While going through the debrief I asked the consultant, “What is personality?” I then proposed an answer to my own question. “Isn’t personality an expression of what I value, what I believe and what I aspire to or dream of?” In other words, isn’t there a connection between Values, Beliefs and Goals and how those, often unspoken concepts, express themselves in my “personality”?
I’ve always believed that the real value in personality assessment experiences lies in changing me. The great thing about focusing inward is that you’ve got things you can actively affect and change dead in your sights. And, since so much of life involves interacting with others, doesn’t it make sense to work to take the “sharp edges” off of our personality to make engaging and interacting with other personalities more fluid and productive?
Those “sharp edges” in what I value, what I believe and the goals and dreams I’m chasing can fairly easily be seen as “gaps”, specifically 3 gaps – the ones I write about every week – the values, beliefs and goals/time gap. And, as we write in our book, when you close these gaps you achieve inner peace. But, don’t you also achieve some level of “outer peace” – in your relationships.
As you become “easier to live with” doesn’t the world around you, including the people you meet every day also become “easier to deal with”?