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Last Updated: Jan 10th, 2011 - 11:11:15

Reviews - Books  

The Personality Code- Review
By Cynthia Kirkeby
May 21, 2007, 16:08 PST

A new book called The Personality Code by Travis Bradberry breaks the population into 14 different personality types. Based on a global study of 500,000 people. How does the book stack up to other personality systems? Let's take a look....

The most commonly used and referred to personality test is the Myers-Brigg test which breaks personality traits into Extraversion, Introversion Sensing, Intuition, Thinking, Feeling, Judging, and Perceiving. These personality dichotomies render a total of 16 personality types, and they are routinely discussed in business and psychology classes. It seems as though everyone going through the university system quickly learns whether they are an INFJ or an ESTP, and how that relates to their professors and fellow students.

The Personality Code breaks down the population into 14 groups, each of which has its opposite within the system. The test is not included inside the text of the book, instead it must be taken online. It took a bit of searching to find where the code was for the online test, but the test was easy enough to take.

On their system I turn out to be an Opportunist, which I would usually consider a negative description, but on their system, it's actually fairly complimentary. Only 2% of the population is supposed to fall into this classification, and the famous people they compare me to are Henry Ford and Teddy Roosevelt.

Since there is an opposite to each classification, my opposite turned out to be the Ally. This is the person I'm most likely to butt heads with in business and life in general.

The book is a little light on content. Other than brief overviews of each personality type, there is a short section on how to "handle" each personality type, and how each set of "anti-types" can work with each other.

When you take the test online, you get a PDF file explaining your personality type, however, it is exactly the same material that is in the book. Another drawback to the test is that you must register with your full name and email. On the plus side, they also give you access to a goal setting system with a reminder feature.

All in all, if you are interested in personality types this is an interesting read. I've done the Myers-Briggs personality test and I've gone through classification in the Enneagram system, which is still my favorite type of classification. Each system has its strengths and weaknesses, but all of them are interesting to explore. If you know the personality classification of people around you, this books may help you deal better with some of your acquaintances in business and in your personal life.

In a nutshell: The Personality Code was interesting, although a little too light on information. Its claims to "unlock the secret to understanding your boss, your colleagues, your friends, and yourself" is probably pretty overstated. It will probably only give you a glimpse into what makes them tick. However, looking at this system as another interesting slant on the categorization of personalities, it probably adds another piece of the puzzle. If you take the test, don't bother reading the section on your personality type in the book, because it's a duplicate of what you'll get in the report. Have fun with the test, and perhaps you'll learn something new about yourself or someone you know.

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