Three Professional Development Tests Your Team Should Take

Originally published – June 24, 2013

You know what I love?  Professional Development Tests. You know, those tests your boss makes you take to learn more about yourself and how you like to work and what your communication style is and if you like groups, or if you like data, or if you like creative freedom or if you like colors, or numbers or sushi or ketchup on your fries…. The list goes on and on and on.

Some tests are a hundred questions and some are less than ten. Really, the professional development industry has exploded (or maybe I just started paying attention).  Hmm, seems like something I should look into… but I digress.

I know what you’re thinking. I’ve got to be kidding right? Who likes those tests? People take them once and then shelve the books forever. Really, here is my shelf.

But I say don’t dismiss them so quickly. Find some good ones and then, as a team, go through your results. You are bound to find some “Yep, that sounds like you!” and “I don’t do that.”  But at the end, I’ll bet you have a better understanding of each other and yourself. It just might make you work better together.

Just as not to be too painful, I’ve limited this to three. Check them out, and learn a little more about me.

3. Standout by Marcus Buckingham

This is an interesting test that shows your value. It outlines how people can challenge you, when to come to you and how you like to be recognized.

I’m an Equalizer /Stimulator – “You’re an activist. When you are rallying support for issues close to your heart, you have unstoppable energy, vitality and strength. Standing up for the rights of the underprivileged, bringing injustices to public consciousness, motivating and supporting people to stand up for themselves and others — in short, any activity where you are lending your talents to create a more just and fairer world is deeply satisfying to you. You bring an optimistic quality to your fight, an enthusiasm that infuses others with the energy to do what’s right.”

Accuracy = Kinda Close

2.  How to Fascinate by Sally Hogshead

I just recently took my team through this exercise. You can take the test and learn what your fascination triggers are for a reasonable price. Buy the next level and you can learn how to craft you 9-second fascinate statement.  I would say this one is a very feel good and light test. But don’t let that detract from it’s value, our team had a great time with it.

I’m the The Advocate. I am Dynamic, Inclusive and Engaging.


  • You are a champion of people and ideas, and your energy makes you an active, resonant voice for groups.
  • Your unique ability to connect with and inspire people is complimented by an inherent desire to create opportunity and make things happen.
  • You’re extroverted, gregarious and personable. A gifted conversationalist, you have the ability to draw people in and keep them hanging on your every word.
  • You are creative and artistic but your POWER trigger means you work in a way that compels people to like and respect you for it. The attraction you generate inspires participation, thereby making you highly influential.”

Accuracy = Really Close

1. Strength Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath

So, this isn’t by any means new.  This is, however, the one that taught me the most, both about me, and about those I work with. Many people post there strengths on their cube or office door. I found it incredibly enlightening, as I took this rather early in my career. I’ve heard that by taking it again after several years you may see that your strengths have changed.

1. Woo – (Winning Over Others) People who are especially talented in the Woo theme love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over. They derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection with another person.

2. Communication – People who are especially talented in the Communication theme generally find it easy to put their thoughts into words. They are good conversationalists and presenters.

3. Achiever –  People who are especially talented in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.

4. Input – People who are especially talented in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.

5. Connectedness – People who are especially talented in the Connectedness theme have faith in the links between all things. They believe there are few coincidences and that almost every event has a reason.

Accuracy – Wow, it’s like they know me!

So take some time and invest a little in yourself and your team. It’s a nice way to refresh and renew while learning more.

Some day maybe I’ll have my own test our there. The “Turn it up Some Test”!

I’d like to point out that “Turn it up some” is from a Trace Atkins song. My sister told me I was ripping it off and I want to give credit where credit is due. Hey Trace, thanks for turnin’ it up some!

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