Should you require your employees to take personality tests?

by | Mar 20, 2024 | Blog, Next Level Business, Soulful Leadership

I did.

I even started requiring job applicants who made it to the interview round to take the test.

Controversial, yes. Effective, absolutely.

In 2008 I opened a ballroom dance studio. Two years before that a coach had introduced me to a personality profiling test for entrepreneurs called Wealth Dynamics. I had taken it, found the results interesting, and helpful to me personally, and put it aside – until I was struggling with my studio in 2009. 

Yes, I had opened into a recession and I knew that we could be successful anyway. I had my business plan and strategy in place and I had a great business coach and mastermind group. I hired people with the exact skills that I required AND we were growing. I had a team of 4 people (including me) and we were on fire with ideas. 

So what was the problem?

We’d grow in fits and starts. An idea would catch fire, we’d run in that direction and then a new idea would catch our attention and we’d run in that direction. I was working 12-15 hour days and found myself getting really frustrated that no one was following through beyond coming up with  ideas. The follow through was left to me – and I know that’s not a strength of mine.

We talked about it at team meetings. I gave team members more autonomy – ‘great idea, why don’t you run with that and see where it goes’. We brainstormed solutions. I talked to my mentor and took it to my mastermind group. And our programs continued to go from idea, to creation – to stagnation.

How Personality Tests Can Help You Build Your Dream Team

During one of my long days I thought of that profiling test I had taken and decided to talk to one of their consultants. He mentioned looking beyond skill sets to the whole person and their gifts and strengths.

The next week my whole team took the test. And then I laughed. It was blatantly obvious why we were stuck in first gear – why we were in an on-going battle trying to establish consistency.

My entire team was made up of idea people, what Wealth Dynamics calls ‘Dynamo’ energy. We all had different sets of skills, and our natural flow was ‘new’ and ‘next’. Think spring, all the bright new shoots coming out of the ground, everything in its state of potential. Each of us thrived here. I’d hired visionaries and big picture people, the Dynamo’s of the world. 

Have you ever been on a team that would have amazing ideas, start working on those, have more amazing ideas and shift focus? Obviously, the work done on the first set of ideas falters with no one tending it. It becomes an endless game of catch up. That was us to a T.

I now knew the problem, I didn’t have a solution. I’d been trained to hire for skills and personality. I assessed what the studio needed and then hired based on, ‘can they do what’s required’ (skill) and ‘will they compliment the rest of the team’ (personality).

I dove into the Wealth Dynamics concepts and began studying gifts and strengths – beyond skill sets and personality. They have a quote that’s attributed to Einstein that began to take on a new meaning for me.

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

Skills vs Genius

In school, we learn skills. We’re taught to put aside what we’re good at and focus on shoring up our weaknesses. This teaches us from an early age to ignore what we’re good at and focus on what someone else deems ‘useful’.

In a recent article, Richard Branson talks about his own struggle to find his gift and says, “I spent most of my childhood being told by teachers that I was dumb or lazy. What I lacked in spelling and maths skills, I made up for in creativity, intuition and problem solving. I just wish I had realised it sooner!

I decided to experiment by adding a new team member. My challenge was how to find that person. I required the same things I’d needed when I made my last hire: the same skills and someone who’d work well with the team.

My wealth Dynamics coach told me my language in the ad was the problem. This is key. I speak Dynamo. It comes naturally to me. When I write up my ads for hire, it’s written in my voice. That will naturally attract other Dynamo energy people. Hence my team of Dynamos with varied skill sets. 

There’s Gold in the Subtleties

We looked at what we needed from the Wealth Dynamics genius energy perspective – a tempo energy person. Tempo geniuses are grounded and steady, with a keen sense of timing, perception and perseverance. While they may take their time with decisions, they bring a sense of stability and reliability to any team and ground the vision of dynamos so that ideas actually come to fruition.

I then gave my job requirements to a Tempo energy person (on my coach’s team) and asked her to write the ad.

The tone and language was subtly different. I was actually a bit underwhelmed. I brought it to my team meeting and realized that all of us were indifferent about it. When someone said, “well, that wouldn’t excite me”, I realized it was perfect. It wouldn’t attract another Dynamo/idea person.

We placed the ad. In the meantime, I’d been studying the questions to ask and the subtle differences in language that different genius energies tend to use. For example, Dynamos tend to talk about ‘what’ and ask ‘what’ questions. Blazes tend to talk about ‘who’ and ask ‘who’ related questions. Tempos tend to talk about ‘when’ and ‘where’ and ask questions related to those and Steels tend to think about ‘how’ and ask ‘how’ questions.

We hired a tempo front desk person later that month. I’d be lying if I said this one thing solved every problem. It didn’t. It did ground many of our ideas to create several consistent revenue streams. It was exactly what we needed to get us out of first gear.

Is your team filled with people that get along great but keep having the same problem over and over? The fix could be as simple as looking beyond skills and personality to natural flow states. One place to start is the free Genius Flow test

In case this is the first time we’re meeting, I’m Maren, an executive life coach, speaker, dancer, and serial entrepreneur empowering you to step into your purpose and live your most fulfilled life.

When you’re ready, here are a few ways I can help regardless of where you are on your journey to self discovery:

Book me to speak at your next event and inspire your team of high achievers to step into their purpose, master their mindset, amplify their impact, and find fulfillment.

Join the Dance with Life Program: Uncover your unique gifts and experience a more fulfilling way of success with my Dance with Life program. I’ve helped dozens of high achievers transform their lives. Learn how you can join this transformative journey.

Download my free guide – “Spinning Life in Your Favor”: Access three simple steps you can take TODAY to start dancing with life instead of slogging through it.

Listen to The Soulful Leader Podcast: Tune in to the Soulful Leader Podcast every Tuesday for inspiration, tools, and actionable tips for personal and professional growth.

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