I geek out over data. I wouldn’t consider myself a full on nerd, but I am well on my way.
Personality profiles fall into the “data” sector for me. I have taken quite a few over the past few years, including the Myers-Briggs from 16personalities.com for a 3rd time the other night (INFP for the 3rd time in 3 years).
I took one toward the end of summer last year that dealt with leading from my strengths (not strengths finder), and printed out the results. As I read through them, I was intrigued. I showed them to someone who had been working closely with me for the previous few months, and they said: “You know, I think these results are more honest than you would be with yourself.”
Now, I wasn’t being called a liar, but instead having it pointed out there were some deep truths in the lines of the report.
Personality tests aside, I want to surround myself with people who will, in a loving way, be honest with me. I want someone who will tell me the things they think I do not want to hear.
I had a similar conversation recently, where as I was talking with someone I trust, they felt the freedom to ask a probing question about a statement I had made, and then proceeded to explore the implications.
Now, there’s a difference between someone coming at you with spears to point out faults, and someone who genuinely wants the best for you being honest with you. Proverbs puts it this way: “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” (Proverbs 27:6, NIV)
The bottom line is this: surround yourself with people who feel the freedom to be honest with you. If you want to grow, you need someone who can see the food stuck in your beard, so to speak. Guard yourself as to who it may be, but when you find someone like that, embrace it and grow.