Connecting Your Purpose to Your Talents
Many people struggle to identify what they do well in life. However, on the road to figuring out your life purpose, it is critical that you know the handful of talents you possess so you can continually operate from your sweet spot. If you’re at a complete loss for who you are and what you do well, a helpful place to start is by narrowing down your personality type.
There are several great assessments you can take but I want to share three that I find to be low-intensity to access and provide a high return in terms of connecting you to your talents. I recommend clients start the journey toward purpose by learning their type from the Enneagram, Myers-Briggs and StrengthsFinder assessments.
Below you’ll find a quick overview of each assessment as well as a link to take a test online where you can find your specific type. Keep in mind that as you learn your type you’ll likely want to explore
My absolute favorite tool for exploring your personality is the Enneagram. You’ve likely already encountered this system of assessment because it’s very en vogue at the moment and people love sharing their type with you. I should give the warning that once you dive into the Enneagram world, it’s easy to get sucked into the rabbit hole of type.
So what is the Enneagram?
It’s a system of personality that includes nine interconnected types. The exact creator of the system is debatable but it is thought be based on Sufi and Christian traditions.
What’s so great about it?
I love the Enneagram because it nicely aligns with life planning principles in the comprehensive nature of its use. The insights from this assessment can be used in a business setting by empowering individuals to understand interpersonal dynamics and workplace culture. It also aids in individual personal growth through its emphasis on spirituality and what it means to move toward wholeness. One unique aspect of the Enneagram is the understanding that we have a core self and that our personality is really a pattern of behaviors we adopt to meet the challenges of the world around us.
Where can you learn more?
Read The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile
Take the assessment here - ENNEAGRAM ASSESSMENT (Beware that they can notoriously unhelpful. It’s often best to read the descriptions of the nine types and then determine which best aligns with your personality.)
Book a coaching session with me if you need help discovering your type and understanding how this information can help you get more life direction
Listen to the Atlas: Enneagram album by Sleeping At Last. Listening to the song for your type might make you cry like a baby.
Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator
Perhaps one of the most reference personality assessments, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is likely the reason you refer to yourself as extroverted or introverted. The categories from this assessment have easily seeped into common language and the typing is often required for work or school.
So, what is the MBTI?
A system of classification created by Katherine Briggs and based on Carl Jung’s beliefs that we are all born with certain personality preferences. The indicator measures your individual preferences for introversion vs. extraversion, sensing vs. intuition, thinking vs. feeling and judging vs. perceiving.
Why bother with Myers-Briggs?
I find the MBTI to be most helpful in understanding how we prefer to operate in our professional endeavors. While your type might guide you toward one particular career path, it’s not meant to pigeon-hole you. We all have the capacity for moments of all areas of the personality spectrum. Rather, this assessment might help you identify the kinds of tasks and activities you’d most enjoy or find most energizing.
Where can you learn more?
Read Type Talk by Otto Kroefer and Janet Thuesen
Take this online assessment - it’s not the official instrument administered by trained individuals but it can be a helpful start
I have mixed feelings about the StrengthsFinder. It was developed by Gallup over 20 years ago to help people focus on personal growth by means of advancing their strengths rather than improving their weaknesses. The idea was that there is more to be gained from optimizing what you do well than focusing on where you need to grow. I agree with this in part. We need to pay more attention to operating from our sweet spot. But many have taken this to the extreme to say they have no obligation to grow at all in areas where they are lacking. With this one, remember: moderation in all things.
What it’s all about?
Based on Gallup’s research of human strength, they created the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment. This instrument outlines 34 of the most common talents people demonstrate. These talents range from things like adaptability and consistency to individualization and self-assurance.
How can this help you?
I love StrengthsFinder because it helps provide language for people who are fumbling with finding their talents. Your top strengths are usually indicators of your high-contribution zone and what you can offer to any organization or company. Use this to help beef up your resume.
Where can you learn more?
Grab the StrengthsFinder 2.0 book by Tom Rath. The book includes access to the assessment so double win.
Chat with me in a life coaching session about your strengths. I’ll get you access to the book so you can learn your type and then we can explore how this relates specifically to your role.
Still hungry for more personality assessments? Some of my favorites are embedded in the two-day LifePlan Intensive process I take clients through to discover their life purpose. If you’re unable to commit to a two-day personal growth retreat, grab a LifePlan Kickstart session and we can dig into your type in 90 minutes.