Guest contributions:

04.22.13  Uncommon Leadership 

04.02.15  Switch and Shift  

05.13.15  Better Practice Team Performance

05.29.15  Better Practice Team Performance

07.08.15  Switch and Shift 

07.14.15  Better Practice Team Performance

10.05.15  Switch and Shift 

Stacey's Reading List...


"Tribe of Mentors" by Timothy Ferriss

"Shortcut" by John Pollack 

"Seeing What Others Don't" by Gary Klein

"Several Short Sentences About Writing" by Verlyn Klinkenborg

"The Birkman Method - Your Personality at Work" by Sharon Birkman Fink and Stephanie Capparell

"Creative Intelligence" by Bruce Nussbaum 

"Improv Wisdom" by Patricia Ryan Madson

"Training To Imagine" by Kat Koppett

"Quiet" by Susan Cain

"Where Good Ideas Come From" by Steven Johnson

"A Whole New Mind" by Daniel H. Pink

"Emotional Intelligence" by Daniel Goleman 

"Rework" by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson  

"The Leadership Pipeline" by Ram Charan, Stephen Drotter, James Noel  

"Life:  Selected Quotations" by Paulo Coelho 

"Deep Change" by Robert Quinn

"The Power of Full Engagement" by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz  

"The Way of the Shepherd" by Dr. Kevin Leman and William Pentak  

"Developing the Leader Within You" by John Maxwell  

"Mr. Peabody's Apples" by Madonna

"Orbiting the Giant Hairball" by Gordon MacKenzie




blog archive

Understanding How You're Wired

Original publication at Switch and Shift (October 05, 2015)

Republished as Guest Commentary in the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal (October 26, 2015)

While no personality assessment can perfectly analyze all the behaviors that make you uniquely you, that’s still no reason to shy away from these insightful tools.  In fact, I would encourage you to take several of them.  The cumulative results from taking multiple assessments establishes credible data points and provides trend markers (positive correlation from assessment to assessment) - which can provide a fairly accurate description of who you are overall.

Here’s what I’ve learned, and keep learning, as a student of behavioral sciences:  An increased understanding of your personal preferences, or more simply, “how you’re wired”, gives you a better understanding not only of yourself, but those around you.  These insights into human behavior are invaluable.  Understanding how we tick allows us to put ourselves in the place of most potential.  Understanding how others tick drives human connectivity. 

The format of assessment data varies widely from instrument to instrument.  Colors, charts and commentary all serve to convey pieces of behavioral blueprints.  While the design of one instrument may appeal to you, the narrative language used in another may resonate more strongly.  This blending of data from multiple sources gives you the most robust view of your personality.  

How we use behavioral data is varied as well.  Certainly it helps us to better understand our core personality.  It also provides significant insights into how others differ from us, what we can do to expand our effectiveness, and what we really mean when we talk about perspective. 

To expand on that a bit: 


Understanding how you’re wired takes patience; being comfortable with what you discover takes grace.  The best version of who you are lives along side the worst version of who you could be – which is equally frightening and freeing.  After all, we are who we are.  Behavioral assessment data simply brings clarity to both sides of that equation.   And once we have clarity of self, we can begin to see others in a more generous light.  



We live in a time of unprecedented human connectivity.  Therefore the ability to understand self in relation to others has never been more important. “Me” behaviors must learn to coexist with “you” behaviors.  While we still need everyone contributing to the greater good in a way that works for them, we also need everyone developing an understanding of that which is different from them.  The brilliance of personality assessments is that they start a conversation – a conversation about how people are different.  We are all wired differently.  We have different interests, different needs, we prefer different environments, we enjoy different interactions, we express different emotions.  Different.  We are all humans.  We are just differently human.  



Humans have an enormous capacity to exhibit a wide range of personal behaviors.  We just tend to gravitate toward our personality preferences. The challenge is that sometimes we need a behavior that we don’t own (that means a behavior that is not a preference). Learning how to “borrow behaviors” increases our effectiveness in navigating a wide array of situations and interactions.  Essentially, it’s learning to be comfortable stepping outside of our comfort zones. A wider range of behaviors creates options and choices.  And choices are powerful.



Assessment data begs the question “is ‘that’ normal…?”.  Unwavering response: “no”.  There is no normal.  Normal operates on a relative continuum.  Our personalities operate on a similar continuum.  Perspective takes us far beyond the simple dichotomy of “I see it this way” and “you see it that way”.  It introduces the notion that between two ends of a scale, there is a spectrum of understanding.  Perhaps ultimately, we learn to replace judgment with curiosity.  In the words of Dr. Wayne Dyer, “If we change the way that we look at things, the things that we look at change.” 


The behavioral sciences landscape has the potential to change even more. What we learn from the BRAIN initiative* could impact the way we view personality. Science has recently discovered that the brain changes throughout life, which suggests we have the potential to learn, unlearn, and relearn.  And that changes everything.  “How you’re wired” may become the basis for every other conversation. 


*  The BRAIN Initiative (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) is part of a new Presidential focus aimed at revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain. By accelerating the development and application of innovative technologies, researchers will be able to produce a revolutionary new dynamic picture of the brain that, for the first time, shows how individual cells and complex neural circuits interact in both time and space. Long desired by researchers seeking new ways to treat, cure, and even prevent brain disorders, this picture will fill major gaps in our current knowledge and provide unprecedented opportunities for exploring exactly how the brain enables the human body to record, process, utilize, store, and retrieve vast quantities of information, all at the speed of thought. Source


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