Friday, September 27, 2013

Playground Shapes

Long ago and far away (often in strange cities), I used to moderate focus groups. This meant I was paid to do one of my favorite things - people watch. A focus group is a microcasm of life, and you get to see a variety of personalities merge.

Personality is interesting. There are a zillion personality tests out there as we try to "figure people out". I've taken many. I have a few favorites...

  • I once worked somewhere that classified all potential clients according to the DOPE Bird Personalities. (Dove=politician; Owl=intellectual; Peacock=showman; and Eagle=leader) I tested out as an equal part Owl/Eagle. My boss was a Eagle/Peacock. I looked at him and said, "Both mine are predators."
  • At a seminar I attended in New Orleans, Connie Podesta was the guest speaker and did her "famous" Shapes test. I was a circle - and I ended up choosing that shape by doing exactly what Connie said a circle would do. I thought "Oh, triangle. But it's too sharp and pointy. Circles are nice." Oh, predictability! (And I am pretty much the archetypical circle.)
  • According to Gary Chapman's Love Languages, I'm Acts of Service/Touch.  (Other "languages" include Gifts, Words of Praise and Quality Time.)
  • And let's not forget the one everyone takes at some point, MBTI. (And an article that echoes my own thought on that particular test.)
I suspect one can make a personality test about almost any aspect of personality. So, what's your favorite playground equipment?

  • Jungle Gym - the Independent Adventurer/ The Challenger Taker
  • See-Saw - the Co-Dependent/The Collaborator
  • Swings - the Over-Achiever/ The Independent Thinker
  • Slide - the Rule Follower/ The Social Nurturer
In the end, all of personality test (even mine) are simply ways of helping us understand and relate to others.

Take-away - We are complex beings made of stardust, not a single set of traits; we shine with possibilities. See the possibilities in yourself and others.

Update - 3/24/14 - Just found a new personality assessment on entrepreneur types. I'm mostly Urchin with a dash of Whale.

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