My Failed Attempt (So Far) To Make Sense Of It All

I’ve made sense of some things, just not all things.

Last week I paid for and took the new online assessment tool, StandOut. This is a Marcus Buckingham product. He co-wrote (with Donald O. Clifton) the book, Now, Discover Your Strengths.

When I began my business career companies regularly used polygraph exams for pre-hiring assessment. Hard to believe, but it was common practice in the 70’s and into the 80’s. Experience taught me that the polygraph exams weren’t nearly as valuable as the opinions of the examiner administering the test. I went to greater lengths to find an examiner I trusted than most because that was what I valued most. The fact is, I’ve always trusted observation – body language, tone, personality, demeanor, eye movement, response and communication skills – more than any test or profile.

Personality profiles and other forms of assessment fascinate me. I have used a variety of tests designed to show us how people are wired. For many years I used the DISC profile during the pre-hire process, but I always used it after being convinced I was going to hire the candidate. I wouldn’t offer a candidate a job until I got the results of the DISC profile. The outcome of the profile never affected my decision to hire. The DISC profile helped me see ways I could better communicate and coach the person once I did hire them. I found it helpful, but it was just one piece of the roadmap I used to lead companies.

But this short video isn’t really about assessment tests or profiles – well, not entirely.*

A few years ago I revisited my interest in profile testing when Tom Rath‘s book, StrengthFinder 2.0, was released. My interest was no longer in the pre-hiring process. Now, I was interested in personal discovery and development. Those remain the focus.

The StandOut profile indicated I’m a person who tries to make sense of it all. Life is a puzzle and I’m a guy who is constantly trying to put the pieces together. It’s true. At least I feel like it’s true. It doesn’t mean I’m successful all the time.

Today, I focus on just one little business phenomenon that has constantly puzzled me. I can’t figure it out. I confess. I’m beaten. The puzzle is too complex. My mind, too simple.

Have a great weekend,

*I’m planning a show on profiles and assessment tests. Do you have experience with one that you think is the cat’s meow? Would you be willing to join me on an upcoming podcast to discuss your use of it? Drop me an email or leave me a voice mail.

1 comment… add one
  • jwginn Jun 4, 2011 @ 0:31

    Randy,

    Fantastic discussion. I paid the $15 bucks and took the survey immediately. My life was impacted by Strengthsfinder. It validated a lot of traits that I had. It helped me change career paths in realizing I was trying to do something well outside of my skill set. Thanks for the discussion.

    Jeremy

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