The Dark Side of Personality Tests

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:

Peter Griffiths
Peter Griffithshttps://www.themindtakeaway.com/
Although I never planned it this way, I had two parallel careers before co-founding my own company. I performed as an electronic musician at numerous international festivals and clubs, including the Glastonbury and Creamfields festivals. At the same time, I served as a people manager for large-scale organisations in Europe and the Middle East. Balancing such diverse careers helped bring the benefits of creativity into the workplace and gave me valuable problem-solving and leadership experience. My travels through business, music performances, and personal adventures have taken me to 50 countries and five continents. Those experiences allowed me to cultivate meaningful relationships with people from many different cultures and backgrounds. Throughout my career, I learned how to maximise individuals' potential and create the right conditions for creativity and innovation to flourish. By fostering diverse thinking and developing a psychologically safe environment, I am skilled in bringing out the best in others and showing others how to build high-performing teams from their own experience. My leadership approach has always been to trust first, nurture growth through opportunities that arise from failure and uncertainty. Knowing first-hand the value of communication and self-reflection, I seek to guide people to reconnect with their wisdom, creativity, and passion for life. Over the last two decades, I developed hundreds of individuals and high-performing teams for Orange Telecom in the United Kingdom and Zurich International Life in the United Arab Emirates, and Booking.com in Germany. Currently, I work as a creativity consultant, certified executive coach, and mentor.