It's been a hectic week and though I started last week with the best intentions of planning ahead, it's only week two and my schedule has fallen apart slightly. I've had some homework I didn't expect and I thought you might be interested to hear about it.
I've just finished taking a test that tells me what labels fit my personality. It's called Strengths Finder 2.0. The test is meant to be a tool and help me focus on my strengths. The book that comes with it gives me suggestions for taking my strengths and building upon them and how to work with people who have strengths different than my own. I happen to be a good learner, am inquisitive, like to think, am mindful of patterns and am supposed to good at conjecture.
I already knew these things about myself though maybe I wouldn't have verbalized them with the same vocabulary. This isn't the first time I've taken this kind of test. A similar one I took a few years ago, called True Colors, was a little more simplistic but came to about the same conclusions. And before I took that test, I knew myself pretty well too. These tests seem only to confirm what I already know.
What floors me is that there are people out there who don't know how they tick and that they find these tests not only useful (I can see that) but they change their approach to life, to relationships, to family and friends, to colleagues and mentors based on what is basically a personality test.
The bad thing about these tests is that they label each and every one of us. Americans have a way of taking labels and making them stick, whether they are valid or not. It worries me.
All this got me wondering... how many of you have taken a test that tells you something about yourself like how you learn or what career you might choose or what kind of intelligence you have? Did the test help? Did it hurt? Did it change you?
Do you think all this test taking is an essentially American thing? Or do you think that other cultures do this as well?
See... that's the learner in me, the inquisitive person who finds that a little bit of information leads me to asking more questions.