What Makes You You? 4: The Benefits of Knowing your Personal Preferences

Do you want to feel more in control of your life?

This is one of the key positive, personal benefits of knowing your psychological type/personal preferences. Armed with this information not only will you feel more energised and motivated you will be able to deal with problems in a proactive and more effective way.

So what are the positive, personal benefits

. . . of knowing your psychological type/personality preferences? The last blog asked the question – ‘Is it worth spending any time and energy on finding out more about your psychological type/personality preferences?’ After all, if you have reached where you are now reasonably happily, is the added value it is going to bring worth it? Or, if you are not happy with your life, then how it is going to help you improve your situation?

I have challenged myself with this question many times, as a coach and as a developer of coaches and mentors. All the participants on our coaching and mentoring programmes complete an assessment on their psychological types/preferences as we believe an understanding of self is essential if you are going to become an effective coach or mentor. By effective, I mean able to work differently and appropriately with each individual client.

When I have explored the question with a large number of my clients, as well as with participants on OC coaching and mentoring qualification programmes, the answer has always come back as a resounding ‘yes’. It has usually been accompanied by a very personal account of the positive impact it has made on their thinking about themselves or about other people, about how they have now decided to organise their life or go about their work. The most frequent comment is how they wished they had had the information and insights earlier in their life.

In the words

. . . of a course participant, a coachee and a Headteacher who offered the opportunity of assessment of their preferences to the staff team:

“I found it extremely helpful to gain an understanding of my psychological type. I am now able to identify my preferred type as well as the learnt behaviours which might mask or undermine how I can work most effectively” Lynn Watson

“I found the whole approach to psychological preference and the outcomes of my assessment extremely helpful. It is clear how I can use these insights to better understand my ‘behaviour’ and to reflect on this in relation to future interactions/situations” Sue Morgan

“This has made a huge difference to the way our staff team works together. Staff now have a much greater understanding of their preferences and those of others members in the team. This has led to greater tolerance and an enhanced value for each others’ strength. Now we are much better able to support each other and work as a stronger cohesive unit, when ‘the going gets tough’”. Caroline Vernon

What then are some of the benefits you can expect by finding out more about your personal preferences?

Some benefits of knowing your psychological type/personality preferences

At an individual level it will help you:

  • identify what energises and motivates you
  • improve your communication
  • improve your problem solving strategies
  • manage change proactively and positively
  • be clear about the kind of environment in which you would thrive
  • better understand the kind of work you would be really successful at and enjoy
  • value your way of working
  • have an insight into how others are likely to see and experience things differently to you
  • improve how you relate to others, particularly those who have different preferences

At a team or organisational level it will help you to:

  • understand more about how different individuals within the team think and respond and how this influences the team’s effectiveness
  • appreciate how similarities and differences can be used effectively to improve team as well as organisational performance
  • improve communication within the team
  • value and make good use of different strengths
  • identify potential blind spots in your team

Which of these bullet points are relevant to your life right now? Will tackling any of them improve your life and enable you to experience the positive, personal benefits of knowing your psychological type/personality preferences? If so, and you already know what your preferences are, then revisiting them and reflecting on how well you are using that understanding is well worth doing. If you don’t know your preferences yet then my next blog – What Makes You You? 5 – will help you move towards this.


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