Although if used well and guided by experts, there can be some value added in using standardized assessment tools, there is an inherent danger in categorizing people into a few narrow categories that are supposed to apply to the entire population.
People can test differently in different frames of mind and different stages of growth and development. Another key aspect of these tests is that they look at a thin slice of the entire pie of human behavior and focus on a few narrow categories. Human beings are multifaceted, growing, changing creatures and when they think about themselves or others through given labels “I am an x, your are y”, they see themselves and others in this narrow light. This may then prevent them from taking on certain challenges or pushing themselves to grow in areas that could greatly benefit them. This also encourages assumptions about how they and others are going to perform or behave.
It is challenging enough to manage the complexity of human interaction and relationship building without giving ourselves and others labels – even worse, predefined labels. Labels are often used as the easy way out, as when we are able to categorize people, it gives us an escape from having to use our resources and goodwill to actually collaborate with them differently and find common solutions.
If we could get away from trying to categorize the complexity of a human being and begin to approach ourselves and one another with a mind that is open to limitless potential within the construct of each individuals talents and unique make-up, we will have taken a giant stride in opening up possibilities for innovation, performance and results.