I like revisiting or exploring different frameworks to think with, not necessarily to adopt them whole, but because they usually offer me small nuggets of inspiration. Here are some examples of what I explored and what I found out along the way:
Ways to explore your traits, motivations or fears
- Enneagram Core Motivations: This is a tool which combines modern psychology with an ancient personality system, and it helps you identify one of nine core motivations. There is a helpful post that explains how to choose your type, and plenty of free online tests available to experiment with. I found this really helpful as a prompt for reflection and enjoyed thinking about which core motivations I would NOT choose and why.
- Gallup Clifton Strengths Assessment: this is a popular assessment tool, particularly in a work context. Whilst the assessment tools either require a paid subscription or one off fee for completion, there is a wealth of articles, tools and resources online via the official site. This could be good fit for you if you are working in a large organisation for example, and may be something employers offer.
- Myers Briggs Personality Types: This is probably one of the best known frameworks, and it offers free online tests as well as resources to explore. I have done several of these over the years as part of recruitment and coaching, and always found it helpful not least because it’s interesting to see if your answers change over time.
- Spark Types: This framework offers a free test to help you find your Spark Type and is based on the work of Jonathan Fields, and his accompanying book ‘Sparked – Discover your unique imprint for work and what makes you come alive’.
- Harvard Business Review: If you prefer to explore rather than do an assessment, there are plenty of examples online to help you reflect on different leadership styles or personality types. I found the later video especially helpful as it focuses on potential limits rather than strengths.
Beyond finding a fit
At times, finding a framework you feel affinity with can be hard or feel unproductive. So here are some ideas for what I explored in that situation, starting with Emilie Wapnick’s TED talk and related book, How to Be Everything (and you can be a ‘multi-potentional-ite’). I have always been interested in working (and thinking) at the intersection of different interests, different disciplines, and so the perspective Wapnick shares chimes with me.