Does personality testing capture the heart of your veterinary team?

July 9, 2019

Want to dig into your own personality or gather a fun (and perhaps useful) profile of your veterinary team? Here are some of the most popular personality tests floating around.

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Are you thinking about doing some self-reflection or want to try a new take on improving communication in your veterinary practice? We scoured the internet for some of the most popular personality tests out there being used by businesses, large and small, for better team communication and workplace culture.

There are hiring-specific tests available (for example, Berke), but the ones below tie into pop culture, emotional and personal issues and other similar topics. If you get all bought in on how your team members fit on a particular test, and you knew the kind of personality under that rubric you were looking for, tests like these might be helpful. Anecdotally, however, it seems it's the rare veterinary practice that gives non-skills-based test like this to applicants or interviewees.

Personality: Big Five

Although the most research has been done in psychology internationally surrounding the Big Five Personality Test, it's not currently popular as a management tool. You can experiment with an open-source version here. The Big Five traits are “Openness to experience,” “Conscientiousness,” “Extraversion,” “Agreeableness” and “Neuroticism.” You'll also encounter variations with tweaked traits or names: HEXACO (which includes the “H” for humility-honesty) or …

Personality: Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

This test (originally tied to ideas from psychologist and psychiatrist Carl Jung) has taken some critical punches in recent years (most prominently in this book), but it has been used to varying effects in the business world for decades now. Some people love it, and some people dismiss it. #YMMV

The official version isn't free, and the team at the Myers-Briggs Foundation argues that it's worth the money to have the test analyzed by a real-life consultant. If you just want a taste of the kinds of things the test asks, you could take a spin on a popular free version here.

Personality: Process Communication Model

This one's claim to fame is it was originally used for astronaut selection at NASA. This website claims to offer a test based on it for you to try but, like the Myers-Briggs Foundation, companies selling Process Communication Model like this one recommend more robust, personal analysis.

Personality: DiSC

That's “Dominance,” “Influence,” “Steadiness” and “Conscientiousness” and, behind Myers-Briggs, this seems like the next most-popular personality test in business out there. This open-source test offers a little background on the questionable validity of it. If it works for you and your team, great. If it doesn't, don't beat up on yourself.

Communication: Emotional Intelligence

Many companies have asked executives and entire teams to explore their emotional intelligence, based off a popular book that's undergone many editions. Personal as well as 360-degree, multi-rater versions of the Emotional Intelligence Appraisal are available. An initial test both in print and online comes with the book Emotional Intelligence 2.0.

Communication: Keirsey

David Keirsey did research into romantic relationships, parenting, leadership and intelligence for years and wrote a seminal book back in the day, Please Understand Me. Now, a company under his name sorts people into four temperaments and 16 role types (his spin on Myers-Briggs traits), and some companies have used this for leadership and team management. You can take a rudimentary personal test here.

Communication: Style Under Stress

The authors and company (VitalSmarts) behind the bestselling Crucial Conversations, a book that's traveled through business circles for many years, offer tests, study tools and educational opportunities to explore personal and team responses to tough discussions and how folks act when they're stressed. Check out the free version here.

Fun: BuzzFeed

Tired of thinking about “real” personality quizzes? It's time for BuzzFeed. Current entries: “Which Elton John song are you based on your personality?” and “The taco you build will reveal your best quality.” Have at it.