Trainer J and I were chatting this morning after my practice and he mentioned retaking a personality test he’d done several years ago. This topic has been batted around a bit over the course of several weeks and training sessions, but my curiosity was piqued by the idea. My club is in the throes of price increases for personal training and small group training also known as body fit around the club. In my home gym the average age of member is probably about where I am right now at 55 and may actual skew a bit higher. What I know is that when I’m there early mornings, I feel right at home with the majority of the midlife folks.

So when I got home and after M ceased testing a couple of different bluetooth speakers we just purchased with very loud guitar riffs, I too the DISC personality test. Here’s my results:


Perfectionist? Me?

Key word highlights of the perfectionist classification.


And insights about what my classification means.


Essentially, I am pretty boring in my work life. Details matter. I like structure and routine. I am not fond of conflict.

What’s interesting to me is that I feel as if some of the things they describe as improvements to act upon are already things I do or have done. I believe this is just my basic, organic personality in play and that my natural tendencies can be overcome with the right stimulation, rewards, or pressure to perform and produce.

Still, it is very interesting to me. I plan to use this information for writing my self evaluation for that process which is starting next week.

Or so I thought.

We had our holiday party this evening, at a nice restaurant downtown. The food was good, the evening quite enjoyable. There were speeches about what a great year have had thus far and how we foresee it concluding. Holiday bonuses were distributed.

My kids were invited to join us, which surprised me, because if my family was invited why didn’t anyone say anything? Because it was supposed to be a surprise, and I truly despise surprises, even good surprises. I was invited to join the senior associates at the podium, which never bodes well for me no matter how delightful the occasion. I absolutely loathe being the center of attention.

They were very kind, in their words of praise for the hard work this last year and how I have done a lot to elevate the standards and “tone” at the firm. They were even kinder in keeping it short, not too fluffy and flowery and embarrassingly flattering, because I just go to work to do my job to the best of my ability. But morale matters, and so does having higher standards of professionalism with each other as well as with the clients and the work we do. Part of my job approaching some of the more difficult topics – like how we speak to one another, how we interact, how we handle disappointments as individuals and as a firm – and to do so with compassion and empathy rather than blame and shame.

While it’s gratifying to have my coworkers and bosses think highly of me and the work I do, it’s paralyzingly humbling to have them say it out loud in front of my entire family. And then to expect me to speak coherently and in public right after that?

I love my job, and I do know that what I am doing with this firm makes a difference. It’s not about me and my ego; I take no joy in being a manager and have to tell people no, have disciplinary conversations, or even terminate employees. Thankfully that’s just a small slice of the work I do, and for the rest of it, I was born and bred to work hard at jobs and to strive to be successful in my career. I don’t know how to not put forth my best effort, particularly when I work at a place where the fit is so good it is as they write the job description just for me.

So I was emotional, tearful, and very sincere in my thanks to the staff for the special recognition and to the partners for the holiday bonus check I will be writing on Monday. The little booklet they made me and the kind words they all wrote is a major work-related keepsake and I feel so fortunate to be part of such a great little firm.

But I still hate surprises.

4 thoughts on “Testing my personality and unexpected surprises

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