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The Greek philosopher Socrates famously said, “Know thyself.”
Personal knowledge and understanding, he believed, are the foundations for a happy, fulfilled life. In the modern world, though, knowing yourself isn’t only important for personal fulfillment but also for professional growth. The ability to recognize your strengths and weaknesses, motivations and tendencies, and unique facets of your personality can be the difference between failure and success in your pharmacy career.
Self-knowledge doesn’t stop at you, though. When you know yourself, you are also able to know others and create better relationships with clients and colleagues alike. Especially in a field like pharmacy, this is critical. Every day, you work closely with others, so it is important that you understand them. As you build your understanding, you can interact with your team more effectively and treat your patients better.
With one small step, then, you can improve your entire pharmacy ㅡ so it’s an investment worth your time.
As you get to know yourself, personality tests can be an excellent self-help tool, if you choose the right kind.
Personality tests have been around for hundreds of years, but they have become more popular in the last few decades. As they have gained popularity, they have sometimes been used for entertainment rather than educational purposes, with daunting tests like “What Your Favorite Emoji Actually Says About You” and “Solve These 3 Word Search Puzzles And We'll Tell You Who You Really Are” circulating across the Internet.
These personality tests can be fun, but they have little value for self-knowledge or improvement ㅡ and they don’t carry the same weight as a traditional personality test.
As you start taking personality tests and seeing results, it’s natural that you will want to get your team involved ㅡ and when your team gets involved, the magic starts to happen.
Personality tests are effective for individual use, but they are most powerful on a team. When you recruit your pharmacists, technicians, and support staff to take personality tests along with you, you will notice a difference in your dynamic and see better success.
As each person takes a personality test, they are able to not only learn more about themselves but also learn more about each other. As they share their results, they can create conversations and encourage communication that extends beyond the test. They can also develop the sense of understanding that is so crucial to team success and positive patient outcomes. In this way, team involvement yields better outcomes for everyone.
Taking the plunge into personality tests doesn’t have to be difficult, either. Make it a team-building activity at your next meeting, assign it as take-home work, or even require it as a part of your onboarding process. The work is simple, but the impact is great.
There are many reputable personality tests that you can consider taking. In this process, it is important to shop around and try out a few sample tests. Then, when you find one that works, take it to your team. To help you kickstart your research, here are a few of the top personality tests: with insights into how they work, what they measure, and what they can do to improve your pharmacy.
Of all of the available personality tests, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is among the most well-known. It is based on the theory of personality types, which was developed by psychologist Carl Jung, and has been trusted by professionals for nearly 60 years.
MBTI argues that all people fall within one of 16 different personality types, which are based on four main criteria: how you get energy (Extraversion vs. Introversion), how you process information (Sensing vs. Intuition), how you make decisions (Thinking vs. Feeling), and how you deal with the outside world (Judging vs. Perceiving).
Upon taking the test and answering the questions, you will be assigned a 4-letter acronym that describes your personality type. Examples include ESTJ (which stands for Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking, and Judging), INFP (which stands for Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving), or any combination of letters.
MTBI is helpful in understanding how you 一 and your team 一 interact with and make sense of the world. It can give you insights into the deeper layers of your personality, which affect your performance. Take the Myers-Briggs test for free here.
Instead of looking at your personality as a whole, the CliftonStrengths test zooms in on one unique aspect of who you are: your strengths.
The 144-question assessment measures your natural patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving, and then categorizes them into 34 different types. Examples include Focus, Responsibility, Consistency, Adaptability, and Positivity types.
After taking the assessment, you will receive a personalized report of each of your strengths, including your Top 5 Strengths. You will also get a detailed summary of how these strengths apply to your day-to-day life. In effect, the test can help you to identify where you and your team already do well in the pharmacy and maximize those strengths. CliftonStrengths can be purchased for individuals or teams.
While tests like Myers-Briggs and CliftonStrengths can be used for personal or professional purposes, the Caliper Profile is specifically designed for the workplace. This makes it an excellent tool to have on hand at your pharmacy.
Rather than simply seeking to describe your personality, the Caliper Profile determines how your personality affects job aptitude and performance. It measures 22 different personality traits, which are then grouped into 4 main categories: Persuasiveness or Leadership Skills, Interpersonal Skills, Problem-Solving or Decision-Making, and Personal Organization or Time Management.
When you take the test, you can get a better idea of your behavioral tendencies, your sources of motivation, and any potential areas for improvement. Aside from personal use, the Caliper Profile can help to build your team, find appropriate roles for each team member, and even hire new members. Purchase a plan and get started here.
Similar to the Caliper Profile, the DiSC Profile measures personality as it pertains to work. It is based on the theories of psychologist William Moulton Marston, which were developed nearly 100 years ago and still remain relevant today.
DiSC measures four main personality traits: (D)ominance, (i)influence, (S)teadiness, and (C)onscientiousness.
Upon taking the test, you will be assigned to your strongest trait, which can predict how you behave at work. D personalities, for instance, tend to focus on achieving the bottom line. I personalities are interested in building personal relationships and persuading others. S personalities care about keeping peace and cooperation. C personalities want to achieve quality, competency, and expertise.
By understanding your behaviors and the behaviors of others, you can improve teamwork, communication, and productivity in your pharmacy. You can also better understand your patients’ behaviors and come up with intervention ideas more effectively. Learn more about the DiSC Profile here.
A final personality test to consider for your pharmacy is the Hogan Personality Inventory.
HPI is used to predict occupational success by looking at your “bright-side personality,” which determines how you perform at your best.
HPI is based on the Big Five Model of personality and measures results by using 7 main scales: Adjustment, Ambition, Sociability, Interpersonal Sensitivity, Prudence, Inquisition, and Learning Approach. With better insight into each of these areas, you can learn how to capitalize on your strengths. You can also recognize strengths in others and build your team up by reinforcing their positive behaviors.
In addition to the Personality Inventory, Hogan offers several other assessments that may be beneficial for you and your team: the Motives, Values, and Preferences Inventory; the Development Survey; the Judgment Assessment; and the Business Reasoning Inventory.
Your personality is an immutable part of who you are, both personally and professionally. When it comes to your career in pharmacy, it is critical that you know yourself, know your team, and know your patients so that you can see better results. In this effort, use trusted personality tests to get deeper insights and see real improvements.