Emergenetics: Truth or Trend?

Emergenetics: Truth or Trend?

Posted on December 13, 2016 nerdymind

With so many personality tests out there from Emergenetics to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the DISC assessment, it's hard to tell which one is most beneficial and accurate. Although you might feel tempted to give a few of your less stable employees the Rorschach test, this isn't exactly always possible. So how do you make head or tails of the options and gain the insights you need? The answer may not be as cut-and-dry as you hope.

My feeling on the matter is that pre-judging people based on a standardized test is taking the narrow view. People don't really work that way. We are flexible and adaptable like no other creature on this planet. If you judge someone to be a specific type of person you are essentially leaving out a large part of the picture and may wind up making wrong assumptions about their character.

What's In The Cards?

Think about astrology for a moment. Most people read their chart and agree almost completely with the how they are described. But is this something to base a hiring decision on? Is it criteria for potentially replacing that person? No. It's a tool for gaining insight. So in a way, personality tests are another form of divination. Now everyone get out their runes and tarot cards!

Emergenetics is a test that attempts to transcend the idea that you can wrap someone up in a nice little package by making the measurements more variable, including scales of 4 types of thinking with a 3 types of behavior. It also attempts to compare a person to data of over 300,000 profiles collected into their system, which is a frame of reference in the social sphere. The idea is not to say, "This person is a red person," but rather, "This is how this person tends to think and act." Is this an improvement over previous personality tests? Certainly sounds like it, but my skeptical mind still wonders if this really isn't a way to cater to people's prejudices and ulterior motives.

Labels are for Tools

If treated as a tool in your shed to better craft your understanding of how an employee's (or potential employee's) mind works and what their focus should be then it could be of great benefit. If used to fire an employee you *suspect* is stealing, that is an action which could be morally objectable. In other words, a test is not proof of character.

Only One Constant in Life: CHANGE

The Emergenetics website claims that a person's profile doesn't change over time. But if change is fundamental to our way of life how is it possible that a person can remain constant their whole life? Our experiences and perceptions shape us and reshape us constantly, in both subtle and obvious ways. What if a person has a traumatic experience that introduces a new phobia? What if a person wakes up one day and realizes they are difficult to talk to? Many, many folks work on themselves every day to be better people, whatever that may mean to them as an individual on their own path.

In light of this, I propose that Emergenetics, as well as any other personality test, be used as a roadmap for personal and professional improvement and not as a way to place a label on someone. In a world where we are all growing at a phenomenal rate is it not a good idea to allow others to change?