Personal Growth:

Tools for learning about ‘personality’

One of the biggest challenges of becoming a ‘lay’ leader of a New Worshipping Community will be managing, growing and building on your relationships. 

The most important thing you can do here is pray. Remember that even when things are a challenge with your team or your vicar or maybe someone in the congregation, that Jesus calls us to love everyone radically, to even submit to them and to care for people even when they don’t care for us. 

Often when you are trying to work out what is going wrong (or right) in a relationship it can be helpful to think about where the other person is coming from. How do they think? What makes them tick? Why are they so driven by that and not by something else? 

It can also be worthwhile to think about how YOU are being experienced by them. How do you come across? How well do you know yourself?

There are lots of personality assessments out there - none of them are ‘right’ or even ‘true’ but some of them are USEFUL.

Here are some of the best:

  1. Enneagram (powerful tool for understanding your deeper motivations - not everyone’s cup of tea but lots and lots of anecdotal evidence for its effectiveness). Take a look Ian Morgan Cron’s The Road Back to You as a primer and his fantastic podcast Typology. He is an Episcopal priest and a trained psychotherapist. Another note his book Jesus, My Father, the CIA and Me is recommended by Rowan Williams and is a really good read on learning about your past and childhood as well, and how God shapes us through our struggles. 

  2. StrengthsFinders - an interesting one for figuring out your major skillset and how you can develop that; there’s an expensive test online but it is pretty good if you’re keen.

  3. MBTI - Myers-Briggs, the classic. There is a ton of online tests for this and why not have a go at one. But as with many of these things, it is working them out with friends and colleagues that is a far more powerful indicator of what we are really like. 

Use them, especially Enneagram, as a platform for spiritual discipline and prayer. They are a chance to pray through your blindspots as well as your strengths. Don’t go round typing other people and categorising them! But learn more about how you and others tick, and what might be going on behind the scenes.