Writing Quote: Not the Same

When selecting writing quotes each week, I often (though certainly not always) look for common themes in the posts of the week, and try to find quotes that reflect those themes.  Last week’s quote was a little random, in that sense, but this week’s is a bit more consistent with the emergent theme of this week’s posts.

I wrote a bit about this personality test we use in my MBA program called the Birkman, and I wrote about about trying to craft unique and interesting and nuanced characters.  And, on the Weekend Assignment, I wrote about writing “Fan Letters” and shared a few things about myself that you may not have already known.  The common theme in all of those posts isn’t too hard to tease out.  It’s that each of us is unique, and different.  We have different strengths and weaknesses, different histories and personalities.  Continue reading

Personality Tests: “Birkman” for Writers (Part 2)

So, yesterday (link goes to Part 1, yesterday; there is also an addendum here) I began by talking about this personality test I learned about during my MBA called the “Birkman”.  I think from that post it’s pretty clear that I’m generally dubious of personality tests, in general, but I’ve discovered in the Birkman a tool with a lot of flexibility and a little more honesty about the complex creatures that we are.  And I said I’d go into more detail about how this tool can be used by a writer.

I’ve been excited to write this post for weeks now, but I knew it would be a big topic, and one that would require a lot of background and explanation.  With as busy as I’ve been these past few weeks, I just hadn’t had the opportunity to do this topic justice.  But here it is, at last!  Warning… this is a massive post… with a lot of detail.  Good luck reading it! Continue reading

Personality Tests: “Birkman” for Writers (Part 1)

Note: this is part one.  Read Part two here, and an additional addendum here.

Personality Tests

One of the interesting sidelights of the MBA experience, for me, has been my new exposure (and newfound appreciation for) Personality Tests.  Most of you have heard of the Myers-Briggs test, and the different types.  Most of us even use Myers-Briggs terminology when we describe ourselves: that being whether we are an extrovert or an introvert (though we typically use the terms differently from the way Myers-Briggs means it).  

I don’t know about  you, but I personally have a love-hate relationship with the Myers-Briggs.  I find the concepts intriguing, but the execution and classification to be dense and misleading.  Considering how popular it is, the somewhat misleading nature of the test can be dangerous if employed in the workplace, for instance.  It’s also been my experience that the Myers-Briggs is not, shall we say, as fixed as the creators would have you believe.  I’ve seen my MBTI-type change over time, depending on my mood at the time of the test.  There is just something left to be desired by this overly simplistic classification system.

Introducing the Birkman

So, I was initially skeptical when introduced to the “Birkman Method” in connection with the MBA program I’m in.  It’s just another way for someone to think they know me when they don’t know me, I reasoned.  But, I’ll be honest again, with my Birkman report in hand, I think I’m converted to the potential value of tests like this.  I can even see how this would be useful if deployed within a proper context within the workplace.  I can even see how I can use this tool as a writer. Continue reading