Personality tests amplify our blind spots and biases; they stop us from listening to understand people and being curious about what makes each person unique. In this episode, we share why personality tests are not helpful tools for companies or managers.
Timestamps and takeaways
01:43 Some facts and figures about personality tests to date and how it is a $2bn dollar industry, growing by 15% each year.
02:22 Leaders often use them as jumping-off points to get to know their teams. However, that is where they become dangerous.
03:57 Personality tests are not based on good psychology or science and are no better than horoscopes.
04:04 What we learned is that these tests are also not well suited to people outside of western cultures, and they are by and large constructed to be ableist, racist, sexist, and classist.
05:04 We get drawn to these tests because we as humans are in the constant search for who we are and our purpose in life, and we also seek certainty/security.
05:48 We will never be able to find out who we truly are by doing a personality test because we are constantly changing and growing.
08:33 Personality tests are rubbish tools for HR and recruitment to create hiring or efficiency shortcuts; there are no shortcuts for getting to know someone.
12:09 Humans are not so good at being comfortable with uncertainty, and it’s this grasping for certainty when it comes to wanting to know someone that can get us into trouble.
13:26 The alternative, instead of doing personality tests, is to listen to understand each other, allowing everyone to learn about themselves.
Some resources on this subject:
- 7 and a Half Lessons about the Brain, book by Dr Lisa Feldman Barrett
- Persona – HPO documentary about personality tests and their origin
- ‘They become dangerous tools’: the dark side of personality tests, The Guardian
- Why personality tests don’t work, PsychMechanics magazine
- Personality Tests Don’t Work Heres Why and Alternatives, Noble Academy
- Reasons why personality tests don’t work, Wise Step