“Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting a particular way. You become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions.”- Aristotle
(Editors note: Todays guest post is by my buddie Eduard over at People Skills Decoded)
Knowing your personality can be one of the most valuable types of knowledge you possess. When you know you personality and it tendencies, you see your productivity, your confidence and your people skills advance. Which is probably part of the reason why, from paid personality assessments to coaching, there is a huge industry for helping you understand your personality.
If you do have the money, I encourage you to use these methods. They are worth it, as they can take your knowledge of your personality further and faster then you could otherwise. This being said, it’s important to realize that there are also many ways to know your personality which work very well and are also free. Here are the top 3 I encourage you to use:
1. Free online personality assessments. In the era of the Internet, although professional personality assessments are traditionally somewhat costly, you can also find many online free of charge. Not all assessments you will find free on the Internet are professional of course, some are created more for entertainment purposes, but some are actually very good and worth paying attention to. The trick is to search really well and get to those.
Do some Google research for free personality assessments, ask people on relevant forums or sites where you can find some, ask your friends who are into psychology or personal development. If you give it the right amount of dedication, I guarantee you that you’ll find some quality assessments online for free. Speaking of which, here is one such personality assessment which I often recommend, called Primary Color Assessment.
2. Getting 360 degrees feedback. One of the most effective ways to know your personality better which costs no money is to ask people who you know for feedback. Their opinions are not the truth, but if you combine enough subjective opinions others have about you and you add your own opinion, chances are you will get very close to the reality of how you are, plus how you project yourself socially.
This kind of feedback from people in different relationships with you (your boss, your colleagues, you friends etc.) is what’s known as a 360 degree feedback. Provided the people who give you feedback know you relatively well, they are honest and they give you feedback using a standard questionnaire or list of questions (which you can create by yourself), you will get some very valuable information.
3. Looking at the patterns. Let’s say you are a person who whenever has a conversation, hears a speech or tries to solve a problem, asks a lot of questions. This is a pattern: a recurring way of thinking or behaving. And each pattern you have is a reflection of certain personality traits you have. For example this pattern is probably an indication that besides being a bit annoying with all your questions, you are also analytical. You seek and you are good at understanding cause-effect relationships. I am good at this and believe me, it’s a trait worth having.
Patterns are the reason I recommend you to take a good look at yourself and notice your thinking, feelings and behaviors in various circumstances, to look for the patterns in them and to figure out the traits they reflect. It’s a priceless exercise of introspection, observation and analysis which very few people make us of.
These are the most effective methods I know for knowing yourself better without spending a dime. I’ve used them personally and I’ve also seen many of my clients use them with success. I encourage you to take each one of them and apply it. You will see your knowledge of your personality improve in a very meaningful way.
Eduard Ezeanu is a communication coach with an attitude-based approach. He helps others to improve people skills they find relevant and get top notch results. He also writes on his blog, People Skills Decoded.