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One must wonder what it is to be truly good at what you do. Is it your training? Your experience? Well, all of these play a major factor in the world of business, but the first step is to know yourself.

The greatest figures in history could tell you who they are at a moment’s notice. For example, Sun Tzu said “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.” A little history lesson on Sun Tzu. He was an ancient Chinese general, writer, and philosopher who was born around 545 BCE. He is also the author of The Art of War from which this quote was taken. A book I highly recommend. It is one the first books in history created on how to win! Although it was written in a military context, it can be applied to everything from sports to business. Sun Tzu makes many great points on knowing yourself. Some people will go their entire lives without knowing who they are, while others will go about thinking they are the opposite of who they truly are.

How does one go about finding themselves? Well, there are many answers to that. The voice from your childhood would say to go on some long and arduous journey. If you are spiritual, you would probably say that going into the woods meditating or chanting some ancient scriptures for a few days would do the trick. To the average reader of this blog however, these ideas all sound a bit much right? Well, you are right. We live in a modern age with scientific approaches to this age old question. Who am I?

You all have heard about aptitude tests. The dictionary says the word aptitude is “a natural ability to do something.” This is what these test analyze. What are your strong points and weak points? These tests are different from what you see on Facebook. They are created by doctors, sociologists, and psychologists to properly analyze traits you have and find out who you are. The one test I will be showing you is the Merrill-Reid personality test.

Take the test here: Personality Quiz

If you took the test, you will notice you have been identified as either an expressive, driver, amiable, or analytical. Each of these social styles have their advantages and disadvantages. The following graph shows each style’s traits, strengths, and weaknesses.

The key here is to learn your social style and learn how to adapt to other people’s social styles. If you truly want to conduct business with someone, you must learn what their social style is. You can do this from just looking at them and their surroundings. For example, a driver dresses plainly and professionally with a small hint of control (ex. red tie). His or her office is simple yet elegant.

An expressive dresses very flashily (ex. red plaid suit) His or her office is full of hints of interest such as golf, music, etc. An amiable is the sentimental. You can see an amiable dressing with warm colors or floral patterns. A good example of an amiable is Mr.Rogers! An amiable’s office is full of mementos and family photos.

Finally, you have the analytical. The analytical dresses for function. (ex. shirt pockets) These guys are the brains. You can usually find their office piled with spreadsheets, charts, and graphs.

You can also tell by what job they have. Drivers are usually executives and CEOs. Expressive people make up marketing and advertising. Amiable types mostly surround the human element of business such as human resources and customer relations. The analytical people make up the financial and technological sectors of business such as accounting and Information Technology.

All of these vary by person but for the most part are quite accurate.

There are many other aptitude test out there. It is beneficial (and fun) to discover what these tests will group you under. Learn who you are, learn who others are, and then you can always know how to conduct business in any situation you may be in. I hope you all take the time to discover more about what makes you truly unique.

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