Episode 414: Three Assessments to Assess Yourself

Episode Summary

In this episode, you’ll learn three simple yet powerful tools to assess yourself, clearly know how close you are to your goals, and what changes must be made to achieve them. You’ll hear about the DISC Personality Test, a free online tool to help you identify your personality type, your strong and weak points, and the parts of yourself you should focus on to keep evolving.

Rob Shallenberger: Welcome back to our “Becoming Your Best” podcast listeners! Today, it’s going to be—I don’t know—15, 20, maybe 10 minutes? We’ll see how long this goes. What I wanted to do is share with you three assessments that you can use to assess yourself. And if you’re like me, sometimes I periodically like these little check-ins: How am I doing? Where am I at? What are the opportunities for growth or focus? And some of these assessments are simply just about awareness. I’ve shared this often: Sometimes, it’s not what we don’t know that should concern us; it’s what we don’t know that we don’t know. In other words, it’s a potential blind spot. Sometimes, these assessments can help us out, not only with what we don’t know but with what we don’t know that we don’t know. And I’ll explain that a little bit further here in a few minutes.  

So, with that being said, I’m going to share with you three simple yet really powerful assessments that you can do to assess yourself—your personality, what are your defaults, your go-tos—as well as just to check in with yourself: How’s life going? What are some areas that we can focus on that would have a big and significant impact for us? 

So, with that being said, let me start with the first one. I’m not going to put these in order of importance. One’s not more important than the other; they’re just very different. The first one we’re going to start with is personality-focused. The second one really is about our values and our relationships. And the third one is about our self, our health—mental and emotional, physical health. 

So, let’s start with the first one, which is our personality assessment. And I’m going to focus on this DISC test that you may or may not have ever heard of. And if you’ve heard of it, there are different variations of it. A lot of these tests go towards the same thing, just in different ways. There’s the color tests, there’s the “I’m a bear, I’m a tiger, I’m and lion.” So, there are a lot of these that are out there. And they’re really going towards the same thing, just in different ways. I really like the DISC because it’s just really simple to understand, as are others. With that being said, I’m going to give you a website that you can use, and it’s You can click on the “DISC personality test,” and this literally takes 5, 6, or 7 minutes to take; it’s fast and it’s pretty accurate. There are some ones that are out there that are really not accurate; there are some that are out there that are really expensive to take, that may cost you several hundred dollars. This one is free. So, you can take this for free; it’ll give you a nice graphic in the form of a PDF that you can look at or share with others.  

One thing that’s nice about the DISC assessment is, though it might change a little bit over the course of time, this is kind of who we are by nature. Now, I don’t mean to say that as if we can’t change — we absolutely can; that’s the whole point of taking the test. But our default personality is going to be there through the rest of our lives. And that’s what I love about the DISC assessment is it really does give us an awareness into, “Hey, what are the pros and the cons, and my default go-to personality-wise.” 

So, DISC stands for something. You’re going to see that when you get to the website. Each one of us has a different percentage of each one of those different areas. So, it’s not like it’s just 100% D or 100% S; it’s going to say in your assessment: You’re 40% D, 25% I, 16% S, etc. So, we have a different propensity towards these areas. Some people might be very balanced, while others might have a really strong area in one particular area. And that’s good and it’s an area for growth as well. We need to be aware of some things, though, for each area. If you’re balanced, great. I, for example, have a really strong ‘D’ personality. My wife has a really strong ‘S’ personality. We did this with an organization several years ago, and they were like, “Wow, we’ve never seen such a strong ‘D’.” And they looked at my wife and they were like, “Oh, I don’t know if we’ve ever seen such a strong ‘S’.” And that’s great. It’s not that one is good or bad. That does come with some things, though, that we need to be aware of. And that’s what I want to talk about just briefly here before I get to these other two assessments. 

So, first of all, each of us typically has a primary—’D’, ‘I’, ‘S’, ‘C’—and then a secondary. And there’ll be a handful of us out there that are just almost balanced across the board. What you’re looking for is what’s your primary? And what’s your secondary? In other words, what’s your go-to response in your personality? 

Let me explain briefly why each of these matter. ‘D’ is like that driven personality: very focused, get it done, they’re organized, they usually have pretty good attention to detail, but it’s that kind of the driven personality. These are the people where—and this is me—if you’re going to have a conversation with someone, there’s usually not a lot of, “Hey, how are we doing? Let’s catch up. How are your feelings? How are you feeling right now?” It’s usually, we’ll talk for one or two minutes, and then let’s get right to what we’re here to talk about. And it’s just, “let’s get to the point.” All of that is the language of a ‘D’ personality. 

An ‘I’ personality is kind of your bubbly, spur-of-the-moment, idea-creator type personality — the innovators. So, if you’ve ever met that type of person, these are the people that are always coming up with ideas. However, if they don’t have much of a ‘D’ in their personality, that type of personality is a great innovator; they’ll come up with all kinds of ideas, but rarely take them to completion. So, it’s great to have an ‘I’ somewhere on a team, because they’re going to come up with all kinds of ideas that other people, oftentimes, won’t—like a ‘D’ maybe. They’re a driver, they’re going to get it done. That’s who you want as a project manager, but maybe not as an ‘I’ individual. So, it’s great to have an ‘I’ on the team, as long as there’s someone else that can complement that person. So, ‘I’s are fun. They’re the life of the party sometimes, great personalities. Oftentimes, the ‘I’s will be late, though — “Hey, time is not that important. We’ll just free-flow and see how it all goes.” So, if you have a dinner appointment at six, it’s fine to show up at 6:30. Well, that’s fine for an ‘I’ personality, but for a ‘C’ or ‘D’, that may not fly. So, that’s an example of what an ‘I’ personality might look like. 

An ‘S’ — you see a lot of caregivers in the ‘S’: therapists, doctors. These are your people who are really attuned to how people are feeling. They’re really conscious of people’s feelings. And again, that’s not right or wrong. There are some really huge pros to that. I mentioned my wife has a strong ‘S’. We’ll walk away from a conversation, and she’ll say, “You know, that kind of came across a little strong.” And in my mind, I thought it was pretty soft. Well, she’s very attuned to people’s feelings. And it’s really interesting because she’ll approach someone, and oftentimes, five minutes after meeting her, people are dumping their life story onto her. It’s really fascinating to watch. Well, that’s because she has a really strong ‘S’ personality. She’s a great listener, she’s very empathetic, and there’s just something about her that is really conducive to people wanting to share with her. Well, that’s her ‘S’ personality.  

So, that’s typically what you see in the ‘S’ side of things: very focused on how people are feeling, “Hey, I don’t want to step on toes here,” just very conscious and sensitive towards others, which is why it’s great to have in a caregiver role, places where you’re interacting with others, and customer experience type roles. ‘S’ personalities are great for that. 

Your ‘C’ personality—this is where accountants, engineers, really live. In other words, for a ‘C’ personality, the i’s have to be dotted and the t’s have to be crossed. In other words, the details matter. The checkbook has to balance; as an example, if it doesn’t come out exactly right, that’s not good enough for a ‘C’ personality. A ‘C’ personality is awesome to have in something where high attention to detail is important. So again, an accountant? Absolutely, I would love to have a ‘C’ personality as an accountant. As an engineer? For sure, I would love to have a ‘C’ personality as the engineer because you know that they’re going to have high attention to detail. 

So, why does this matter to us? Well, think about this: here are some things that you might see and be aware of. As a ‘D’ personality, there’s a strong potential that if you’re a really high propensity towards ‘D’, and it’s not evenly balanced, you might be the type of person that just railroads others. You’re not really thinking about their feelings. And so, in my case, I’ve got to be really conscious of this; what seems to me to be not very strong can come across really strong. And I’ve learned that. So, that’s been an awareness on my part that I’ve had to learn and be conscious of. 

So, as a ‘D’, it’s something that we need to be aware of. As an ‘I’, we’ve still got to be on time for appointments and respect other people’s times. Not everyone always thinks the way that we do. If you’re an ‘I’, you definitely want to surround yourself with someone that has a ‘D’ or a ‘C’ personality, depending on what the project is. You may come up with some great ideas; you need someone that can drive that to completion. If you’re really a dominant ‘I’, that’s not you. 

An ‘S’ personality—hey, that’s great in a lot of areas. There are other times, though, where we need to get stuff done. And it may not cause everyone to be happy, and it’s not going to sometimes create the best feelings in everyone, but it needs to get done, and a decision needs to be made. And so, that’s where you’ve got to be conscious of that as an ‘S’ personality. 

And the ‘C’ personality—these are oftentimes people where you can’t say to a ‘C’ personality “good is good enough.” That just won’t compute. It’s kind of like saying to a ‘D’ personality, “Hey, you know, rein it back in a little bit,” or “chill out.” Those are not the words they like to hear. So, with the ‘C’ personality, sometimes they may come across as cold because it’s just about numbers, or it’s about making sure that things balance. It’s not that they’re cold; it’s just that their default is that type of personality. So, a ‘C’ can be really nicely balanced with an ‘S’ personality or an ‘I’ or something like that. 

The whole idea is you want to see what you are so that you can have an awareness of how you mesh with other people. If you’re a ‘C’ personality, you’re probably going to be one of those people that it takes a long time to make a decision. It’s nice when you can couple a ‘C’ personality with a ‘D’ personality because the ‘C’ person is going to look at the details, the ‘D’ person is going to be like, “Alright, let’s roll.” So, it’s a nice complement to each other.  

This is a great awareness tool I highly encourage you to go to and take the free DISC personality test. It’ll generate a PDF with a pie-shaped graph of where you are in your different personalities. It’s not exactly perfect, but it’s a really good one, and it’s free, and it literally takes a few minutes to take. So that’s the first one: DISC assessment. Great to be aware of, so that we know what our intuitive strengths are, and what we need to be conscious of and watch for; where we might want to complement ourselves by bringing someone else on the team or in a relationship or something like that. 

Now, we’re going to get more focused on ourselves internally. The second one is a values or relationship assessment. Now, what do I mean by that? As a team, we focus on one principle of the week, every week, as part of the 12 principles of highly successful leaders. It’s when we have our weekly alignment meeting at the beginning of the week. And we take five to 10 minutes, and we rotate who leads the discussion on that principle; we’ve been doing it for years. This week, Clayton led a great discussion on going back to the circle of peace and balance, but he said something that I never before heard, and I thought that was really good. And that was to do a values assessment of ourselves. So, he had us not only take the circle of peace and balance assessment, but he also had us write down our values, and do an assessment on those, and I thought I’ve never done that before. So, one thing that I might encourage you to do is to write down whatever you consider your most important values, as well as your relationships. So, if you’re in a relationship, and you have a husband, or a wife, partner, whatever, write down their name there. If you have three kids, write down each of your three kids’ names, some of your close friends or coworkers, write down their names, and do a quick little assessment on yourself on a scale of one to 10. One is not good. Ten is outstanding. So, do this both first on your values, and then second on your relationships. So, if honesty and integrity are one of the values that are important to you, rate yourself on a scale of one to 10. How are you doing in that area? That can be eye-opening. And it can help center us back on what matters most in our lives. With each one of your values, go ahead and rate yourself. Same thing with the relationship—rate that particular relationship on a scale of one to 10, and then where does our brain automatically go? If we rate ourselves, say, at a six, five, or even a four, three, our brain automatically is going to, “Well, wait a second, what can I do to improve that number, that relationship?” And we start to take ownership. And that’s the whole point of all of our training—Do What Matters Most, etc—is what can we do about it? Let’s start taking action to move the needle and not just sit passively by while things happen. Hence, you will either lead a life by design or live a life by default. 

So that’s the second assessment—this to your values, the ones that are important to you. List each specific relationship that’s important to you in your life, at least the key ones, and then on a scale of one to 10, simply write that next to the values and the relationships. And then think about what can you do to move the number up. It’s a great assessment of where we are today. 

And the last one is very like the values and the relationship assessment, except now it’s very focused on us individually. And what I mean by that is, and you can do this with far more than what we’re talking about here, you can do your own assessment on anything. This is a big deal, though, when I’m talking about number three here in this third assessment, that is our health. And I’ve talked with a lot of people already as we go into this new year, about what are you focusing on this year? “This is my year of health.” For me, that was last year; 2023 was my year of health. I did all kinds of things to learn more about my health. I’m just continuing that journey into this year. For a lot of people, I’ve heard them talk about prioritizing their health, and that’s awesome. It’s good that that’s a priority. Because often, we treat our bodies like a car. When do we take the car to the shop? It’s when we hear the clanking; it’s when we hear, “Ooh, that doesn’t sound right. That doesn’t feel right.” And we take it to the shop. Well, often, we treat our bodies, and our minds, the same way. We don’t proactively do things that can prevent other major issues down the road; and we wait till things start clinking, or clanking, or whatever, and then we’re like, “Ooh, I better get that checked out.” Well, there is a much better approach because that can lead to a lot of issues, taking that approach towards our health. 

So, here are a few things that you could put on your health assessment: 

  1. Sleep: Seven to nine hours. There’s tons of research around this, unless you’re one of the 1% that’s genetically different, seven to nine hours; that is our target. If you’re not getting that, then there’s something going on, and you need to take a look at that. It will catch up to a person later in their life if they don’t.
  1. Heart and Cardiovascular: Do you know your blood pressure, your cholesterol, your calcium score, anything related to cardiovascular health? It’s one of the leading causes of death. And there are so many things we can do proactively to prevent these big things that are taking a lot of people. Heart attacks rarely should ever show up as a surprise; those are things that we can usually see coming — cholesterol, clogged arteries, all of that we could see coming down the track if we’re proactive with our health. Of course, there are going to be things periodically that we just can’t prepare for. But the whole point of this is, there’s a lot of things that we can do. There are a lot of things that we can be proactive about that will prevent issues later down the road. So, sleep—that’s an area to rate yourself; heart and cardiovascular.
  1. Brain Health: Anxiety, depression, reading, learning a new skill. If you haven’t used a program called Brain HQ, anybody that’s older than 30-35 should probably be using this program, or the equivalent of it—and I haven’t found a better one. If you search for Brain HQ on Google, it’s a great program. These are exercises for our brain. We do a lot of strength training and things like that to exercise our muscles. Most people, as I’ve learned, though, don’t think about their brain until something starts clanking or showing up that they didn’t expect. So, being proactive about brain health is so important. My mom passed away from early-onset Alzheimer’s three years ago. I have spent more than 1000 hours learning about the brain over the last decade. One of the things that I’ve learned is, just like the heart, there’s a lot we can do if we’re proactive and start young, rather than wait till issues show up, in which many cases, it’s almost too late when it comes to the brain. So, brain health—rate yourself on a scale of one to 10. How do you feel like you’re doing there?
  1. Cancer, Diabetes: Bloodwork, screening, colonoscopy. If you haven’t heard of the gallery test, I’ve talked about that on a previous podcast. It’s a great way to screen for so many forms of cancer far before anything else would ever catch them. It’s unfortunately not cheap, and insurance won’t pay for it. But if there’s any type of history of cancer in your family, you’d really benefit from taking the gallery test. So again, cancer, diabetes—some of the leading causes of death. Rate yourself; where are you on a scale of one to 10? High risk, low risks, do you feel like you’re pretty on top of it, not on top of it?
  1. Respiratory: Learning how to breathe correctly, the book “Breathe.” Do you know your O2 saturation at night and during the day? If sleep is an issue for you? Have you had a sleep apnea study? Do you know your lung capacity? These are all little things that can have a huge impact over the course of the long term.

And then the last on this health assessment is anything else that might be important to you. There are so many things that we can do about them. So, sleep, heart, brain health, cancer, diabetes, gut digestion—I didn’t really touch on the gut a lot. But gut biome, pro-prebiotics, does everything work in the plumbing like it’s supposed to? The respiratory, and then any other health areas that are of concern to you. 

So these are three quick assessments that you can do, especially as we go into the year, to be aware of. The DISC assessment is fabulous for personality. We know what our strengths are; we know what our areas of improvement are. You can go into that a lot more in-depth if you’d like to; there are books written on it. But just going to that site,, is a great starting point. 

Second is our values. We’re going to be so much more at peace; we’re going to be so much more content with life if we’re aligned with our values, versus if we’re in conflict with our values. And with our relationships? Same thing. If there are things that we can do to improve our relationships, great! There are many times where we can, and I acknowledge there’s a handful of times where we can’t, where a relationship just is not going to work. But in many cases, there are things that we can do about that to improve the relationships. So, the values and relationship assessment. 

And the third is that health assessment. Just write: sleep, heart, brain, cancer/diabetes, gut, respiratory, and anything else you want to put there and rate yourself on a scale of one to 10. And then, the whole point of doing this is, what can we do about it? This coming year via our roles and goals, and pre-week planning, what can we do to start mitigating some of these potential areas of risk for us? What are things that we can proactively do to get on top of our health, to prioritize our relationships, to get back in alignment with our values? 

So, I love these check-ins. Assessments are exactly that; they’re an assessment of where we’re at today. So, I hope this has been helpful for you as you think about what’s important to you in your life. That’s the whole point of these podcasts. This was a quick 19 minutes together. And I hope it’s been beneficial for you as you think about the DISC side of things, your personality, and then all of those other things that I know are important, each one of us. 

So, with that being said, I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day. Thanks for joining us. Have a fabulous week, and we’ll see you back here next time. 

Rob Shallenberger

CEO, Becoming Your Best

Leading authority on leadership and execution, F-16 Fighter Pilot, and father

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