It is reassuring to feel that others can know us more deeply than we know ourselves. It is scary to believe that we are the biggest expert on ourselves. We delight in believing an expert might be able to unlock some secret to happiness, contentment, and success that we had been missing all along.

In this way, personality profiles appeal because experts claim to know you intimately. We read them and feel seen, which plays on our deepest human need to not be alone in the world. The insights provided can increase self-awareness, but this mostly only confirms what we already knew.

Individuals read and recognise the comments in the profiles because of something called the Barnum Effect, also known as the Forer Effect. Our mind sifts through the profiles and focuses on those comments that seem to be specific to us and dismiss those that don’t. In short, we want it to be insightful about us to such a degree that we make it work.

Critically evaluating your personality profile can increase your self-awareness and help you adapt to the work environment based on this new insight.

But only if you are encouraged to challenge and question.

Personality profiles are delivered with a persona of scientific and psychological expertise that disempowers us from challenging what we are reading. While some might be capable of defending their sense of self against the force of their knowingness, most would be subservient to what this expert was saying.

At Entelechy, we believe you are the expert, and we are the coach that helps you reveal what you know. We would like to get to know you, though until you tell us about yourself in a lot more detail, we can’t provide insights better than you can provide for yourself. Even when you become our friend, which surely you would, we would only ever ask questions to encourage you to develop your self-awareness.

We reflect your answers back to you, show you patterns in your self-reflection, and guide you to actions that might change this current reality.

We want to increase your expertise and not celebrate our own.

When you are choosing your next HR and L&D profiling tool, consider if your people deserve to have a bigger say in who they are. Discover is a report that shows people what they might do based on the insights they have revealed through our 180 survey. The process of answering the questions increases self-awareness, and our report helps the individual understand what they can do with the findings.

Having an expert who knows you might help you feel reassured; it is an illusion. Individuals should be encouraged to trust themselves and empowered to do something with their insights. This is what Entelechy’s Discover reports do.

If you want to know more, begin your journey by getting to know the Character of your organisation first. Every workforce from the smallest team to the largest organisation has a Character; discovering yours will help you begin to understand what true insight feels like.