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Here are two biiiig reasons why personality or psychometric tests suck….

You know the drill. Once in a while the boss decides you’ve all got to get together and find out about each other. What makes you tick, and all that jazz. So how’re ya gonna do that? Lucky you – it’s MBTI time (other tests are available). Forms are filled, scores are totted up, foreheads are wrinkled. And then you are ready for the illumination – the results (cue fanfare).

Guess what…the test results tell you a bunch of stuff you already know about yourself, and importantly, it’s stuff you like. ‘Ooh, isn’t it uncannily accurate’ titters the excited recipient. Well derrr, you filled out the form, what did you expect? This is the first reason these tests suck. They tell you what you already know.

And guess what else…the test results tell you a bunch of stuff you already know about yourself and don’t like. And being human, you choose to disregard it all. Yeah OK, you might buy it for a wee while, but as soon as the L&D expert’s back is turned – you’ve flipped back to the real you. This is the second reason these tests suck. You ignore the stuff you don’t like.

From my experience I know many folks in the world of work agree with these observations, and I’m struggling to think of anyone who approaches these assessments with anything higher on the excitement scale than vague (and often forced) interest.  What do you think? Oh, and I’ve just bagged myself a ticket to the L&D Connect Unconference on April 24th. Why not get one too and we can carry on this conversation in real life.

And please – don’t get me started on Belbin. If you want to know your ‘team role’ just take a look at your desk. It’s state of organisation or otherwise will tell you pretty much all you need to know. There you go – I’ve just saved you a bucket of cash for you to spend on something ‘useful‘.

photo c/o dumbledad




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