One’s self-concept is developed throughout one’s lifetime and has an impact on behaviors and choice of action. How have you come to understand yourself over time? How has this understanding led to the choices you make? One way of gaining knowledge of who you are is through personality assessments. There is a plethora of assessments and inventories, and I describe three that I have used successfully with diverse audiences. I have found that these three assessments are excellent tools for building cultural intelligence and leadership.
- Reflected “Best Self” Exercise helps individuals to identify their strengths and talents. The exercise requires that you seek out and request feedback from significant people in your life— siblings, parents, friends co-workers, colleagues, mentors, supervisors, relatives, and so on. Once you collect the information, you create a picture of your “best self.” 1
- Via Institute on Character is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 2000 by Dr. Martin E. P. Seligman and Dr. Neal H. Mayerson. The organization provides, free of charge, a survey (VIA Survey of Character) that measures 24 character strengths. VIA stands for “Values in Action,” and the survey can be used to help improve one’s performance and well-being. 2
- The Enneagram Institute provides a personality assessment to help you discover and understand your personality type. The institute suggests that there are nine basic personality types, and these types serve as a framework for understanding oneself and working with others. 3