Personality quizzes are loads of fun. Everybody likes to talk about themselves and as human beings we like to know there are others out there like us.
I’ve just taken Charity Connect’s brilliant “What fundraising animal are you?” quiz (which is where the bison in the title comes from). I lead with my Earth Green energy most often according to my most recent Insights profile. Buzzfeed says I’m 41% Ravenclaw, 24% Hufflepuff, 22% Gryffindor and 13% Slytherin, which probably reveals more than I think it does.
All of this is interesting to know. But what’s the point of it? I sometimes wonder.
It’s all very well knowing what your strengths and weaknesses are in a professional or even personal context. That knowledge alone however does absolutely nothing. As Mary Calahane points out in this fantastic article about confidence, that post-it of an inspiring phrase might look pretty stuck to your pinboard, but are you actually following that advice?
The trouble with this sort of thing, in my not-very-informed opinion, is that in a lot of cases the learnings from personality tests or work profile quizzes often fall by the wayside. You feel invigorated and full of fresh energy when you discuss the results with your colleagues, but too soon you’re back to the routine of day-to-day work in the office. All that enthusiasm is absorbed and diluted by your next campaign, your monthly reporting, your appeal targets.
It’s hard to remember what the quizzes told you about how you work when you’re so focused on just doing your work and, oftentimes, just keeping your inbox under control!
But all is not lost! I’m a big believer in small change. And I don’t mean shiny new £1 coins (although I like those too, if you fancy sending me some).
What I mean is making little adjustments here and there. For example, I know I can be very process-driven. So when I can sense in a meeting that I’m getting too bogged down in the details, I try to raise my head a bit. I find it difficult to socialise with colleagues beyond my own close-knit group, but I still make an effort to talk to people in other teams because I know that they have something interesting to contribute too.
I’m sure we all know, small changes add up. Before you know it, that little change has made you more confident and a happier fundraiser – and it’s made the people around you take notice.
The point of personality quizzes and such like isn’t to give you everything you need to know to achieve your goals. It’s to help guide you in improving how you work on your own and with others. It’s to help you figure out what you might benefit from working on, because maybe you’re not so good at that part. It’s to help you see how you fit into a team, and how other team members fit in around you. It gets you talking to your colleagues about all these things.
And occasionally, it gives you the chance to ask the office if anyone is a turtle.