My former manager was always looking for new ways to organize the team. One day, he suggested that our staff of 12 take a personality assessment. The results, he said, would allow us to team up and tackle projects more efficiently.
I’ve always enjoyed the entertainment value of horoscopes and what they say about my Capricorn attributes. This test, however, took things to another level. I felt, in a strange way, understood when I took the personality test based on Myers and Briggs' theory. “Detailed. Logical. A problem solver.” The test seemed to “get me.” It revealed details I never fully realized or appreciated about myself.
I was labeled an INTJ – The Mastermind – Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging. Only one percent of women share the INTJ personality type, and just two percent of the general population. In a time when we’re all struggling to find our uniqueness, I was excited with the results.
I told all my friends and family. Who wouldn’t want to know more about themselves, right? I shared my results and a link to the test, encouraging others to participate. But, digital excitement rarely equates to in-person excitement. That’s when I had the idea for the personality party.
I thought, why not help people discover their unique personality type by gathering them together over small bites and wine or coffee and cake? (Did I mention that INTJs are always thinking about ideas and solutions?)
This step-by-step guide can help anyone put together their own fun and easy personality party.
1. Send out creative invitations
Stir up some mystery with the wording you use on your invitations. You can say something like, “Did you know? The way you opened this card—right away or the next day—tells a lot about your personality. Want to discover more about you? Join us at our Personality Party!”
2. Include a link to the Typefinder personality test
In your invitations, include a link that invites your guests to take an optional personality test to discover their personality type, if they’re interested. At the party, they’ll have the opportunity to discover more about themselves and others.
3. Make the party pressure-free and fun
Some guests may attend for fun and not necessarily be open to taking a test or sharing details about their test results, and that’s fine. Help them out by creating 3x5 flashcards that list attributes of each personality type. Post them around the room so guests can learn more about the various personality types. Your guests may be able to discern their own type -- and those of others -- through the use of the flashcards.
Some facts you can include on your flashcards:
The I (Introverted) personality is energized by time spent alone.
The E (Extroverted) personality is energized by time spent with others.
The N (iNtuitive) personality favors ideas and concepts over facts and details.
The S (Sensing) personality focuses on facts and details rather than ideas and concepts.
The F (Feeling) personality makes decisions based on feelings and values.
The T (Thinking) personality makes decisions based on logic and reason.
The P (Perceiving) personality likes to be spontaneous and flexible.
The J (Judging) personality likes things planned and organized rather than spontaneous.
For those who would like to take the online test in person, have a tablet setup that allows them to do so.
4. Offer options for non test takers
Not everyone will take the test, so have options available that let everyone get to know more about themselves and fellow guests. Introduce them to “The Cube” psychology game, or put out board games such as Say Anything, The Game of Things and Metagame. All of these games are designed to reveal personal opinions and/or knee-jerk reactions to hypothetical situations.
Ask guests to watch or listen for personality cues from other guests. Keep a mental note of the different personality traits they notice while interacting with others at the party (here’s where those flashcards come into play). Do answers to common questions reveal that some players are more extraverted than others or that others place more value on hard facts?
5. Survey everyone
Gather everyone together near the end of the party. Ask those who played games to share what they learned about others, referring back to the personality flashcards around the room. Did they encounter a natural problem solver (INTJ) or someone who was the life of the party (ESTP)?
Now survey the group that took the test (set up a whiteboard to help track responses). Have them raise their hand if their test revealed that they are extraverted. How many of them discovered that they make decisions based on feelings and values? Share your own story about why personality analysis excites you and how it has affected your life. Ask if anyone would like to share what they learned about themselves by taking the test.
6. End with a Q&A session
As the host, offer to answer questions and discuss more about each personality type. Hand out a resource card for guests to refer to after the party if they’d like to learn more. The card can contain a list of links on Truity to learn about self-discovery, personal growth and how their personality type may help them find their ideal career.
Remember those personality tests my team took at work? The results were enlightening. They helped me understand why some people spoke up the most in meetings and why others seemed genuinely concerned about others. We didn’t end up using the information to organize ourselves into teams, but it did help us appreciate and understand each other in new ways. A similar goal can be achieved with your own personality party.