Written by Tim Scudder, CEO, Personal Strengths, USA
Let’s say you’ve just arrived in a new place and you need a map. What kind of map should you get? The answer, of course, depends on what you plan to do and how you plan to get around. If you have rented a car, you’d probably like a detailed street map. If you have some free time, you might want a tourist map showing points of interest. If you plan to use public transportation, you might want a subway map... or perhaps a ferry map if there’s a lot of water. There are several ways to draw a map of a same area - and for just as many different uses.
Assessment instruments are sort of like maps of people - each starting with a different perspective or question and consequently creating different descriptions of the same person, but with some points in common. If you are wondering what sort of assessment to use to map people in a work situation, there are several options available: SDI®, MBTI® instrument, DISC®, TKI, etc.
As with maps, you may choose to use just one, or you may find benefit in using several in conjunction with one another. Your choice depends on what information is most valuable for your situation. So what information is mapped by the various personality assessments?
Selecting the right assessment involves aligning the capabilities of the assessment with your learning goals. The SDI’s strength is in creating “pictures” of relationships between people to help them communicate more effectively, manage potential for conflict, and improve satisfaction in all relationship dynamics.
The MBTI instrument’s strength is identifying preferences that affect what people pay attention to in any given situation and how they draw conclusions about that information.
DISC’s strength is in identifying the way a person will behave in a specific situation.
TKI’s strength is in identifying and naming an individual’s approach to conflict. When you travel to a new place, having a combination of maps enhances and broadens your experience there. Having a combination of assessments reveals a deeper, broader understanding of how a person operates in life.
While the SDI is a powerful, stand-alone tool, contrasting the results with the MBTI may show how two people with the same motivation could be very different in the way they make decisions or collect data.
This multi-layered understanding of people may be the perfect blend of information to guide you toward achieving your learning objectives. It all depends on where you want to go, doesn’t it?