Keith has strong interpersonal skills enabling him to work with diverse groups of people and motivate them to work at peak performance levels.

— Dr. Bob Bowers, Deputy State Superintendent, Ohio Department of Education


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Myers-Briggs, DiSC, Management Styles Inventory, MOTIV, and 500 others…take your pick. When you boil it down to its most simple form, all of these are assessments attempting to tell participants their tendencies in specific situations – leading, managing, reacting, thinking, motivating, developing, etc.

Don’t get me wrong. Some of them are pretty good. None of them is perfect. BUT, they are generalities based upon participants indicated preferences or responses when they took the assessment. In many ways, they are like stereotypes. They may be a small predictor based upon historical evidence or common observances, but no one is locked into his/her style. If you don’t like what you see in the outcomes, change them. The real gem is learning to adapt your style to respond to others, whether in your personal or your professional life.

The labels that are produced help others to predict your actions, preferences, etc. Labels help others feel more comfortable with the people they meet. Labels help people organize and characterize us. As humans, we’re more complex than that. Take the styles at face value. Are they good information? Perhaps. Are they a final verdict on you? Absolutely NOT!¬†Don’t feel boxed in. You have knowledge, and as we all have heard, “Knowledge is power.” Use it. Otherwise, the knowledge is wasted.

Be better. Act differently. Go against the grain. Shake things up. You don’t have to live out your style descriptions. They’re just labels, and labels belong on clothes, not people.

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