By: Melanie Gibbs
I had the privilege of participating in last weekend’s Know Thyself Discovery Intensive Course alongside several pregnancy center leaders, and thought I would share a little about my experience.
As a student of personality psychology in college, I love learning about personality and how it can impact a person’s thought process and relationships. Beth’s course combines several different personality models (DiSC assessment, Change Intelligence, Love Languages and more) to help you to better understand yourself as a leader.
I had already reviewed some of these tests on their own with Beth before the course, but I learned so much about how they interact to get a better picture of my strengths and weaknesses.
1) Why people get frustrated with me. I am a fast-moving, big-picture, no-detail kind of person, so I have a tendency to feel like others on my team are moving too slowly or being too cautious in just about everything. Over the years I have learned to appreciate those who slow me down and help to create to a plan before we jump in headfirst.
Something I learned from this course was that others often have valid reasons to become frustrated with my full-speed-ahead approach, and that there are skills I can develop to make sure I am not leaving others behind.
2) It’s okay to have weaknesses. Every leader has a personality that is inclined towards certain strengths and weaknesses, and it can sometimes seem like we are doomed to those weaknesses forever.
In fact, we can even use our weakness as an excuse to never learn those skills! (Or is that just me?) However, you can help to compensate for your weaknesses through training, special tools, and building up your team with those who excel where you don’t.
3) Some personality aspects can be learned. Speaking of learning to overcome weaknesses, Beth explained how certain characteristics can be practiced to the point of becoming a permanent part of your personality. This can even be seen directly on the DiSC assessment! Some of us had shaded portions on our DiSC that indicated we had built up learned skills that was typically outside of our personality type. This was fascinating, and in my case at least, showed how my parents had seen my inherent weaknesses and pushed me to grow in beneficial ways.
4) Spiritual gifts aren’t always feel like gifts. The spiritual gifts section of the course was perhaps the most fun. Some of the other participants had the same gifts as me, while others were completely different, which made the conversation very enlightening. We discussed one of my spiritual gifts, discernment, and how it can often be unappreciated both by the person with the gifts as well as those around her. This definitely rang true for me! It can be frustrating when others don’t see what I do (for example, warning signs in a potential employee or board member), and I often feel like others think I am just imagining things. This section of the course gave me more confidence in my gifts, and showed me that I was not the only one with this experience.
5) There is always more to learn. Going through the intensive course was like opening up a door you didn’t know was there- all of a sudden, you start seeing connections between your personality and your decision, communication and leadership styles. It seems like the more you understand, the more you realize is there to explore.
Bonus: Though mostly unrelated to PMC work, this course also showed how complementary my husband’s personality is with mine. It is pretty clear that God brought us together, since so many of my weaknesses are his strengths, and my strengths fill in where he is weaker. This has already helped so much in supporting one another in our faith and in my ministry work. The KTD course is a pretty great lens through which to look at all of your relationships! Now I will have to get my husband to take all of the tests too…