As a way to learn more about our team we undertook a couple of personality tests to make connections and break down barriers. At times these types of tests can be seen as a glorified horoscope but at the same time there are some aspects that are helpful when informing next steps. Also people love nothing more than learning things about themselves as a way of justifying why they are like they are and there is much value in naming reality.
Last term the senior leadership team had taken part in the ‘Hermann brain’ test. This looks at whole brain thinking and we used to tool to see how we all think as individuals and then compared the results to see how we function as a group. The tool looks at what parts of our brain are more dominant than others and how to harness our power and use for good rather than evil. It also looks at where we go to in times of stress. My results were of some interest as I came out very even across all areas my weakest area was the analytical area (blue) followed by the relational area (red). I thought I may have been a little more ‘red’ but knew that I was very practical and love getting the job done!
Once again lets not forget that the results of any type of brain or personality test are not conclusive and have been compared to Facebook quizzes which tell you which Kardashian you are most like and why.
After the test the natural discussion was ‘Oh that’s you in your red brain’ or ‘stop being so green and let me stay in my yellow’…..horoscope much?
With this in mind it was still important for our bigger team to go through a similar process to learn about themselves with affirmations about their personalities and learning styles. The other aim was for people to learn about different types so they can be sympathetic when it comes to the space we are in and the activities we are taking part in.
The two tests we took were with the full staff under our own steam were the DOPE Bird personality test and the Myers-Briggs 16 Personalities Test. We mainly looked at the introvert/extrovert aspects of the Myers-Briggs so that we could understand where people get their energy from. This is something to be mindful of when working in an open environment and many learning new big ideas in a short space of time. We needed to be aware of the energy of those around us and who needed what sort of space and who needs to be around people.
The DOPE, or PEDO test as it is sometimes known, neither is a great name for a test you want to give to new team members! This test splits people into types birds and you display traits of these birds. Peacock – Showy & optimistic; Dove – peaceful & friendly; Owl – wise & logical; Eagle – bold & decisive. I was a cross section of Peacock (14 points) and Eagle (11 points). This has legitimised me in being the centre of attention & telling people what to do!
This was a good process with the group as learning about ourselves and why we tick can help us to understand difference and support us in challenging situations where conflict may arise.
Next steps to look in more depth at the other personality styles so I can understand more about others as when you know about a dominant area you can often play up to this and use it to justify your behaviour. However I am sure as a teacher if a students was to say ‘I was being bossy and getting on with the job ‘cos I’m an eagle’. No matter what bird you are that doesn’t fly with me!
The reason for the blog title is also a reflection from my day today. As an Eagle we need to know the answers and I can relate to those people and give them what they want. I need to remember the doves are going with the flow and may become overwhelmed with the answers. So give everyone what they want in the timely, planned manner rather than overloading people with information.