Relationship Tests Galore! How Good Are They? Which One Is For Me?
Just about every match making site and relationship ezine offers relationship or personality tests of some kind.
Are they any good?
What do they really measure?
Which one is right for me?
As with most queries I went to the web for answers, but to my surprise even my favorite article sites came up empty. No articles about the value or benefits of the myriad of tests. So I reached back to my former life as a psychotherapist and dusted off my mental assessment file.
First let?s differentiate between personality tests [or assessments as they are more technically known] and the common on-line relationship tests. The former are at times associated with clinical assessments used for diagnostic purposes that is assisting professionals in the treatment of mental or behavioral problems. Where as the more common Myers-Briggs, Enneagram and DISC tests are used primarily for personal understanding and to improve communication between people. These assessments have wide spread use and when applied well can have significant impact on how people work together in both personal and work relationships. However, these tend to be pricey, long and stiff.
Then there are the relationship tests of today that have answers for most everything by associating your family dog with your choice of mate and your favorite desert with your social behavior, and so on. How accurate are they? I don?t know, but the value of them as I see it is this.
Imagine for a moment you and your partner arrive in a foreign country. Neither of you speak the language, a loaf of bread costs 35 pesos [you have no idea how that translates into your currency] and the public toilet is the wall, any wall. Getting from the airport to your hotel is a major adventure and takes 2 hours in a tiny open-air three-wheeled vehicle. The point is you are out of your comfort zone you cannot communicate and even the simplest task becomes daunting.
We spend much of our time in relationships as if we were in a foreign country, groping around not communicating well and getting hopelessly lost at times. Relationship tests, at least the good ones, can provide that common language, that ability to communicate and get along in the environment.
Let me explain by using a really humorous example:
We used [back in the day of paper and pencil tests] what we call Awareness Tools to help people in relationship understand themselves and each other better. Here is the story: Chris a financial advisor who heads up a rather impressive team of staff was asked by his manager to have his whole team profiled. That is, each was to take our Awareness Tools with the goal being increased productivity because of improved communication. Anyway, Chris did this grudgingly writing ?this is a bunch of ?.? on his ?test booklet.? Later during our consultation to discuss the results with his team Jon, the very astute sales assistant laughingly says, ?This profile is right on, I saw you bust that pencil.? Yup, Chris had been accurately pegged as quite the hot head and his whole team knew it. The good thing is Chris realized they knew it and this freed him and them up to face reality and use their newly discovered ?language? afforded them by the Awareness Tools to really communicate with each other.
That was in days gone by now everything is done on-line [our tools included] and results are instantaneous so none of us has an excuse. No, none of us has an excuse not to find that ?common language? via one or many relationship tests.
Wendy and Chris [same name, different fella] during the early stages of their life together took a relationship test to help them understand their hopes and dreams and the core values that drove them. It was an eye-opening experience as they became aware of their differences, but more importantly finding commonalities in their before unspoken dreams. The result: clear direction, life purpose and probably even more valuable than that ~ dogged determination to succeed.
So the next time you get an invitation to take a test in your inbox or you find one on a website, be daring, take it and get your partner to take it and watch what happens.
Remember, life is short and relationships should be FUN!
About the Author: Margrit Harris, Your Relationship Expert, is a former Team Relationship Consultant for First Union Securities [now Wachovia], Morgan Stanley, small business owners and professionals. Today she offers free relationship advice and her Relationship Tests [Awareness Tools] at www.stratateam.com/WhyitWorks.asp.