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Posts tagged ‘Personal Development’

Insightful(?) Dichotomies

A brief article in the August issue of Psychology Today looks at the current state of affairs of personality tests.

The inconsistency of some of their standards has given rise to doubting the value of results.  Indeed, popular ‘Temperament Sorter’ and ‘Type Indicator’ programs include undesirable features such as “ambiguous language and false dichotomies”.

For example, one question asks the test taker if it feels better to have one’s head in the clouds or to feel like one’s in a rut?  Such questions are likely to trigger uncertainty in how to respond, especially given the alternative meta-meanings of each; although in this particular case, the answer might be affected by whether one is looking up or looking down when considering it.

Many participants do feel that legitimate probing can be valuable; moreover, rating questions as having higher difficulty tends to connect them “with greater perceptions of depth”.

However, challenging does not equate with enlightening: a ‘type indicator’ can result in different personality categories each time such a test is taken.

Assessments which focus on major traits are likely to reveal that aspects such as agreeableness or extraversion come in degrees, not packable absolutes.  It’s the consistency of scores when participants retest which conveys more meaningful revelations.

Given some of the volatility in current societal relationships and expectations, there are no doubt many other paradoxical comparisons one could construct to generate insight…

  • Which is worse, driving on the wrong side of the road or yelling out one’s window in the middle of traffic?
  • Are politicians who lie as expected better than those who lie unexpectedly?
  • Is corruption involving safety worse than corruption involving the pubic purse?
  • Is refusing to help a long-time neighbour worse than refusing to give to charity?
  • Is it better to lead by example or follow with fortitude?
  • Which is worse, a broken fingernail or a broken toenail?
  • Is it easier to handle raining on your parade or dealing with a flat tire?
  • Is a salesperson who omits information to help close a deal worse than a developer who derails information which would stop a deal?
  • Is it better to come to aid a stranger in an emergency or to babysit for an in-law in distress?
  • Is it better to confront a bully at a beach or at a playground?
  • Should one feel right to leave no tip, or is it better to ask for additional free helpings?
  • Are there smarter rules for recycling or for obtaining a driver’s license?

Life Lessons Learned After Class

So-called advances in education (as in, children not learning multiplication tables?!) notwithstanding, there’s plenty to be said for enhancing self-awareness the personal way, via introspection blended with own experiences, stories of the streets, etc.

The June edition of Psychology Today includes a list of skills which are likely to be only truly clarified, then absorbed, outside the classroom.  The key rewards for doing so lie in linking one’s vision with achieving life goals. (more…)

What’s in Their Mindset We Can Mine?

It’s worthwhile periodically to consider what it is that makes some of us so much more successful than others, in certain occupations or other pursuits.

This doesn’t mean we should look to copy what they do.  It doesn’t mean we should be envious.  It does mean we should emulate the positive and practical of their drive, their manner, and their goal-setting.  What is it, in manifestations of their mindsets, we could use to better ourselves and the value of our actions? (more…)

Lucky Charms

Some of us will recall a TV commercial for a heavily sugared breakfast cereal named Lucky Charms, declared to be ‘indescribably delicious’.  Well, their consumption, no doubt, has been beneficial over time to the dentists whose clients have overindulged in such candied cereals when younger.

The more general concept of lucky charms, also known as talismans, has been widespread for ages.  (more…)

When Sales Skills are Life Skills

Many are the skills we can develop which help us to grow, making a positive ripple effect of our efforts on others, gradually wider and fuller.

Some aptitudes have wider applications than others – consider cooking versus negotiating skills.  The significance, the impact, of some talents may expand beyond the borders of their logical environments. (more…)

Life Lessons from the Winter Olympics

We’ve just had the latest round of the Olympic Winter Games play out in Korea in the latter part of February.

Some nations, particularly the three highest medal count countries – namely, Norway, Germany, and Canada – found relative success after their long journeys to southeast Asia. Other countries didn’t have their usually expected triumphs (U.S.A.), and one wasn’t even able to compete under its national flag (Russia) – so, bigger is not always better. (more…)

Being Mindful

It would seem superfluous disputing that the mind is the most important cognitive part of the body; assuming that’s so, being ‘mindful’ should be at least in the highest echelon of good default positions.

What does mindfulness mean? An article in the February edition of Toastmaster magazine gives this a thoughtful (as it were) look. (more…)