In the Social Change Model of Leadership, a hallmark of college leadership development literature, Astin & Astin describe 7 “Cs,” or components of creating social change beginning with an individual’s self-awareness. One of my favorites is called consciousness of self, which can be defined as one’s ability to be aware of their thoughts, behaviors, actions, values, and other seminal patterns of identity. According to this model, if we lack consciousness of self (note: not the same thing as self-consciousness), it will be almost impossible for us to act because we will always struggle to connect personal identity to whatever comes next. This philosophy resonates with me deeply.
Entering college, I had almost no language to describe myself, often feeling misunderstood by others and even myself. However, as I began to take personality assessments and leadership development inventories, I experienced a few fascinating moments of awakening:
1. Someone out there understands me because someone out there created language to describe me, which means I am not alone, and there are others like me.
2. Having certain personality traits, skills, or behaviors does not need to be evaluated as “good or bad.” There are many types of people who function effectively in this world, and no one type of anything is better than another.
3. It is powerful to feel you are in community with other people who are like you. Of course we shouldn’t connect exclusively with people like us, but in the moments when we need to feel solidarity in identity, having a shared language or experience helps us create community more easily.
Below are some of the most influential inventories I’ve taken. I’ve tried to find the most legitimate free resources on the internet, but some (StrengthsQuest and Leadership Practices Inventory) require a fee to take. Those two particularly are worth the price because of the wealth of literature and resources that accompany your results. Otherwise, the rest should deliver accurate results and provide you with a clearer insight into yourself.
Some pieces to remember before self-assessing:
1. Any assessment instrument can be flawed. For MBTI, we know, of course, that there are more than 16 different types of people on this planet. Hell, for True Colors, we know there are more than 4. These assessments are just a starting point so you can find a home under an umbrella, then see which parts of that description resonate with you most.
2. You may find that you resonate with multiple results. For example, as someone who is 50/50 on the cusp of ENFJ and ENFP, I find there are a few different truths to my personality. I suggest that you honor the complexity of your results and know that it’s perfectly normal to resonate with more than one.
3. Continue to research. Don’t rely only on the results paragraph given to you on each of these sites; Google, Google, Google more information, videos, and resources about your specific result because the internet can offer many of them.
4. Be open to some results changing in time. My StrengthsQuest results have changed slightly throughout the years. A few of my signature strengths have remained consistent, but any assessment depends on the context of the situation you’re thinking of when you take the assessment, as well as where you generally are in life. Think of your results as a snapshot of you in the here and now.
5. Across all the assessments you take, make note of the consistencies of your results (see my example at the bottom of this post). As more characteristics repeat themselves, you are able to generate some patterns of your identity that become very salient to you. That’s how you begin to use new language for better articulation!
Whenever you’re ready, take these!
MBTI/16 Personalities Test:
Enneagram Type Indicator:
Sun Sign Chart:
Moon Sign Calculator:
Rising Sign Calculator:
Leadership Practices Inventory:
For those of you who are curious, here are my results:
|StrengthsQuest||Connectedness, communication, intellection, relator, activator|
|Love Languages||Quality time/Physical touch|
|Numerology||Life Path 6|
|Moon Sign/Rising Sign||Gemini/Sagittarius|
|Leadership Practices Inventory||Challenge the Process|
My results across the board show a primary motivation to develop relationships with people and help people in their process of self-development. The ENFJ teacher identity and the True Colors Blue, paired with Strengths Quest Relator, show a strong desire to be on emotional journeys with people. Of course, there is an oppositional part of my personality in which I use my influence (DiSC) and my challenge the process (LPI) characteristics to innovate new ideas and communicate them (SQ) with purpose and practicality (TC green).
I also get read to filth on almost every result for being too much of a visionary and not having enough follow through. The number of times I’ve read, “You begin wonderful projects that you never complete,” (@Aries) has helped me recognize my own burnout and lack of follow-through, which has actually made me scale back the number of projects I begin and minimize my commitments so I’m not disappointing anyone. I also read that I tend to be a little more exclusive with my relationships, so while it’s true that I value connection, I am selective about the kind of connection and with whom.
Good luck with these, frands!