Scott Hardie | September 20, 2019
We talked about Myers-Briggs many years ago, and of course there are other personality tests out there. And they can be fun! Sorting people is fun, and taking quizzes is fun. But please, I implore you: Do not use these tests at work.

It's one thing to take them for fun with friends or family on a weekend. It's different when people's careers are affected. Once you categorize someone, you start treating them differently, as though the category completely defines their personality and as though it's set in stone. It's the same problem with grouping people by generation: Not all millennials are alike, not all baby boomers are alike, and so on. We do people a real disservice when we apply such broad labels to them.

How can we collectively understand that it's wrong to treat someone differently for being black or Jewish or gay, and not that it's wrong to treat someone differently because they're from generation X or because they're an INTP? This sort of label really damages people's careers by making them miss out on projects and opportunities and promotions, because they're perceived as not the right fit for a particular responsibility solely because of a test they took once, or because they're perceived as having too different of a personality to fit in with everyone else. Our society already has way too much of a bias in favor of extroverts; giving people definitive labels just intensifies that problem.

I've heard from several friends recently whose companies started using these personality tests, but they're a really bad idea in the workplace. If you're in a position of influence at your employer, try to get them to shun these tests. Not only do they allow for discrimination, they're not even accurate about the thing they're supposed to analyze. They're about as useful as taking a Buzzfeed quiz like which Hogwarts house you are.

Do you agree?

Samir Mehta | September 23, 2019
[hidden by request]

Scott Hardie | May 21, 2024
I just learned about the five languages of appreciation in the workplace, which is nakedly just an attempt to port The Five Love Languages into a different context and sell more books. It doesn't even make sense: "Touch" wasn't out of place in the original romantic context, but who only feels appreciated on the job when their boss hugs or high-fives them? The original romantic "five languages" book was bullshit with zero evidence for its claims beyond anecdotes and interpretations of Scripture, Gary Chapman is a con artist peddling as many spin-offs of his bullshit book as he can plausibly pull off, and the people who are now doing management training and morale-boosting exercises that sort their colleagues into these nonsense "languages" demonstrate such poor judgment that they should not be trusted with responsibility. As with the other personality tests that I mentioned above, there is no magic shortcut for human interaction, in which some people are apples and other people are oranges and if you just interact with them according to the made-up rules of their pretend category, you can improve their morale or get more productivity out of them or whatever. Please, people of Earth: Stop with this nonsense already.

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