'Average' personality is a good thing

Varun 4 years and 3 months ago
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Here at Disqovery I've had some of our awesome beta users asking me:

Varun, why am I coming up as average in so many personality traits?

Don't worry, you're still a beautiful, unique snowflake. Let's talk about what being average means, why it's not a bad thing, and how you should think about it.

What being average means

First, here's some data about Neuroticism and Extraversion from our current users:

StandardDeviationDiagramWithout turning this into a statistics class, know that personality patterns typically follow a normal distribution curve. The data have been normalized on standard NEO PI-R personality scores, and broken into 20-percentile groups. The three middle groups are scored 'average' with low and high groups scored accordingly. The average Disqovery user is more extraverted and neurotic, but still not enough to be categorized as high (top 20%).

Why it's not a bad thing

I was listening to the HBR Ideacast with Daniel Pink a few days ago. He's a journalist and the author of several books including To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others. There were many interesting tidbits on the nature and importance sales, regardless of your profession. During the podcast one bit caught my attention: Dan Pink talked about personality types and proficiency in sales, and he cited a study by Adam Grant, professor at The Wharton School. Professor Grant looked at salesperson performance according to personality type, and the results were surprising; rather than extroverts being good salespeople, extroverts were almost as bad as introverts! The best salespeople are ambiverts, people who are sometimes extraverted and sometimes introverted. These are the people that get average scores on extraversion tests. These are people like you.

How you should think about it

You are not as simple as a few personality scores. You've heard that before, I know. For example, an average extraversion score could be because you are a combination extraverted and introverted tendencies. You might be mostly average but still have one or two traits which are high or low, but those average traits are still an important part of your identity. Unlike intelligence, with personality traits more is not always better.

Hiring managers: don't assume that you always want to hire the most hardcore personalities. Extreme introverts, extroverts, neurotics, non-neurotics, etc. all carry their own advantages and disadvantages. We've seen how extraversion can help sales, but there is still "too much of a good thing."

How Disqovery can help

Disqovery helps you dive deeper. We go beyond just the Big Five personality traits to provide deeper facets of each. For extraversion, we help you understand your assertiveness, activity level, cheerfulness, excitement-seeking, friendliness, and gregariousness. These facets can offer a lot of color to break apart what your 'average' score is really made of.

Disqovery gives you a 'Personality Pattern' as your sixth insight. We look at your two most extreme personality traits figure out what kind of person you are. From 'debonair' to 'humble' there are 40 different personality patterns you could identify with.

Be average. Be proud.
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