Tuesday, March 13, 2007

just my type?

last month, m and i participated in a church planter assessment — a powerful experience, in more ways than one. it's amazing how much the assessors were able to infer about us from a relatively short time together (less than 4 full days).

of course, they had a lot of information at their disposal: observing us in a variety of structured group activities, asking questions in a series of short interviews, hearing us talk both about the bible and our calling. one of the more entertaining tools was personality testing, and we were subjected to plenty of it. m was typed an enfp on the myers-briggs and a high i/s on the disc, and i was an entp and a high i/d. free versions of two of the tests are available online; if you're into this kind of thing, try them out (and share your results with us!):
what does it all mean? check your results (or ours) here: mbti (look for the table on the right, marked "the sixteen types" and click on the appropriate link) and disc.

there are many ways to misuse such tests — notably, avoiding responsibility by hiding behind a temperament description (e.g. "i shouldn't have to make those phone calls because in introverted," or conversely, "i can't be alone and quiet before God because i'm an extrovert"). but i've found them helpful in a couple of ways. first, they can be a helpful starting place in sorting out what kind of person i am and how i work; who knows — some of the seeds of my calling might be found there! but they are also a good reminder that every person is different, and the people in my class, at work, or on my team are probably seeing and experiencing life differently than i am. remembering that can make it easier to bear with the differences and love people in the midst of them.

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