Personality Assessments: Five Books to Explore

Getting Started

It might sound like a bandwagon you’d rather avoid or too-cliche to be useful, but personality assessments and personality theory can be incredibly helpful for self-discovery and managing relationships when used for growth, understanding, and wisdom.  Likewise, understanding personalities, and the personality quirks of others can also be used as a weapon leaving someone feeling exposed, misunderstood, and vulnerable if not used correctly or with an attitude of love. Knowledge, while certainly something we all should be continually seeking, without love is pride.  Clothed in love and grace, understanding the core tendency’s of yourself and others gently exposes our masks giving the space to change.   

If you’re just now diving into understanding your personality and the personality of those you’re in community with, here are a few book recommendations for getting started.  

Love Languages

Originally written for spouses who want to cultivate intimacy, The Five Love Languages: The Secret of Love that Lasts, organizes how people give and receive love into 5 common categories.  These categories, also known as love languages, include touch, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and gifts.  Understanding how people show and receive love can help avoid misunderstandings and cultivate greater empathy in all types of relationships.


Gallup StrengthsFinder 2.0 assesses identifies your top 5 strengths and how best to utilize and cultivate those strengths personally and professionally.  Rather than lending energy on fixing shortcomings or weakness, Strengthfinders suggests there is more gratification when natural talents are honed and utilized. Great for environments where a variety of strengths can give individuals on a team a purposeful role.      


As a method to identify deeper motivation, The Road Back to You, exposes our positive and negative personality tendencies using the Enneagram typing system. Understand the deeper why behind how people think, feel, and act with this easy to read book on the 9 types of the Enneagram. 

The Sacred Enneagram, explores the nine ways we get lost and the nine ways we find our true self.  If you’ve ever found yourself in a pattern of destructive behavior, this book helps identify the “why” we believe lies that keep us in cycles of self-defeat.  Understanding your Enneagram number is a start, but gaining greater freedom is the goal. 

Myers-Briggs (MBTI)

Where do you get your energy from? How do you process information? How do you come to a conclusion? These personality indicators, and how we uniquely use them in work and at home, are explained in Isabel Briggs Myers book Gifts Differing

Want to find out your MBTI personality type? Check out 16 Personalities to take a short quiz to get started.

Do you have a favorite personality assessment book? We’d love to hear your recommendations.  Drop us a note in the comments and share the impact it’s made on you.  

Author: Bone+Marrow