Recently, I have stumbled on a number of articles in which the authors seek to describe and label personality types, especially in the context of fit into the corporate environment.
The funny thing is, at first, I was looking for my personality traits in some of the descriptions that was when it hit me.
What exactly is a stereotype? One of the dictionary meanings of the word is “A conventional, formulaic, and over simplified conception, opinion or image”. To make matters worse, a synonym for stereotype is cubbyhole or closet.
Meaning, when someone says you are a Type X or something along those lines, that person is in saying “Would you be kind enough to step into this closet so I can lock you up and never have to bother about you again?” And when you agree to be labelled you are saying “I would be pleased to step into your cold, dark closet, thank you for offering”
A stereotype no matter how pretty it sounds or how well it describes some bits of your personality is a label and I personally have a problem with labels one of the reasons being the fact that it cannot fully describe the numerous facets of any one person.
Accepting one places a cap on your abilities, so when you get inspired or challenged to do something new, it says, “Dude, remember your type doesn’t do so and so”.
I understand the place of personality profiling especially during head hunting or recruitment but a profile is not a sum of all a person can be or do so leave some leeway because people are much more than the jobs they do.