Which Sports Car Are You?

Posted on 10th Nov 2014

There are various versions of this question and you here of them being used in team building and as ice breakers. Which sports car are you? What colour represents you best ... even which of the seven dwarfs are you? Very often these questions leave people grumpy because they're perceived as silly.

Well, they are silly. They can be fun and they can be effective as an ice breaker, to get people talking. Where it all goes a bit wrong is when people think that they provide any sort of valid insight. There are several reasons why they don't; they are not scientific or in any way proven and they tend to put the person asked on the spot. However, the main problem is that they ask a person for their self-perception, or how they see themselves, rather than exploring the more interesting question of how they are seen by others.

There are various assessment tools available. Belbin explores work styles, the work tasks that people are most suited to. Personality profiling tools such as Strength Deployment Inventory and Myers Briggs (MBTI) are more about your personality, strengths and weaknesses, areas of competence and potential blind spots. Most people find them fascinating; who doesn't like to learn about themselves and they can also provide insights for a team as a whole, learning about each other.

All of these tools are useful in starting a discussion. The results of the tool itself will be interesting and useful but it's in the conversation that follows that the real value can be found. Lighter versions, such as sports cars, can make a fun conversation and there will be some benefit in the discussion, but it won't be as deep or as valuable.

For now, though, I can tell you that I'm a classic Jaguar in British racing green, but that's very much my own point of view.

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