Unless you are an artist who never wants to sell your work or an author who writes only for yourself, you have to deal with people. Workplaces are full of a diverse selection of people with personalities that differ considerably. While every person has their own way of expressing their personality, there are four main types that the majority of the world falls into. Knowing these types can benefit you on the job in many ways.
Benefits of Understanding Personality Types
Knowing and understanding the various personality types offers many benefits. These benefits are not only useful in the workplace but can also help you navigate the world outside of work, improving relationships of every type. Let’s take a look at some of the other benefits.
Improve Decision-Making Abilities
Knowing your personality type helps your decision-making skills. For example, if you are more inclined to use your “gut” feeling, trying to make a decision based solely on logic will be difficult and may not result in the answer that fits you best. Conversely, if your personality type is one who uses reasoning, making a decision based entirely on feeling may be unreliable.
Avoid Conflict When It Arises
Conflict arises when two personality types get stuck in their own method of thinking and can’t see a situation from a different angle. Every personality also has both positive and negative traits that determine how they deal with conflict. Knowing that you tend to over-focus on the how and ignore the why in a conflict, you are able to use this knowledge to backup a bit and try to approach the conflict from a different angle. If you know you tend to react without thinking, you can make an effort to think before you speak, realizing how a brash action may make the situation worse.
Learn to Appreciate Diversity
By understanding your own personality type better, you start to realize the reasoning behind why others approach things a different way or respond from what may seem a foreign place in your eyes. You start becoming aware of what personality traits the others around you are operating with and this helps you see things from their perspective easier. It also shows you how approaching things with different reactions or with a different mindset can also have advantages.
Help Align Your Career Path
Every career has a built-in personality type that is best suited to be happy and successful in it. Knowing your own personality type will help you narrow down the choices and enable you to focus on the career that best meshes with your personality. For example, sales requires a personality that loves people, enjoys talking and can be somewhat persistent. If you are a person who likes to work alone and have a “to each his own” mindset, you are not going to be happy selling insurance. On the other hand, a career in computer programming may suit you fine. The person who enjoys being around people and facing a variety of situations would be miserable as an accountant. Focusing on the traits a person needs to perform a certain job will enable you to find a career that works well with your personality and won’t have you regretting facing each day.
As an employer, it is important to know which personality types are the best fit for your positions and your organization so you can make the right hiring decisions. It also will help you to know how best to support, promote and motivate your team if you have a better understanding of both their individual personality types and what works best for each of your positions.
Defining The Four Personality Types in the Workplace
Each personality type approaches their job from a different angle. They solve issues, seek recognition and interact completely differently than the other personality types. You are very likely to recognize your basic personality type after reading the following descriptions. After doing so, try and see if you can figure out what personality type each of your employees falls into.
When thinking about the Analytical personality, think of the scientist. The Analytical person is normally neat and orderly and approaches situations with a fully formed plan. They are quiet and often enjoy working alone. These individuals are often perfectionists. On the negative side, these are the individuals that can appear moody, judgmental and seemingly unable to make decisions. The problem is they tend to over-analyze and take time to make a decision. You can get a better reaction from the Analytical person by keeping your voice calm and asking, rather than telling them, what you want. Then, step back and give them a chance to think about it before they give their answer.
These are the natural leaders that step up and take control. They hate to see something that needs to be done and nobody doing it. The Driver is energetic, positive and the visionary of all the personality types.They don’t give up quickly or easily. With the need to keep busy and keep pushing forward, the Driver can often appear uncaring and is prone to sarcasm. Their manner can appear harsh to the sensitive personalities in the workplace. The best way to get along with Driver is to approach them with the willingness to get to work on the task yesterday. Be willing to acknowledge their strengths and ability and don’t hand them excuses for why something isn’t done.
The Amiable person is often the most-liked person in the workplace. They always have a kind, encouraging word, are quiet and agreeable and try to avoid conflict at all costs. These are the company peacemakers who wonder why everyone can’t “just get along”. On the other hand, the Amiable personality can lend itself to stubbornness when things aren’t as the individual believes they should be. These individuals are the most likely to be passive-aggressive when angry. They rarely express anger directly. To get the best from the Amiable person, be kind and don’t overwhelm them with too much – noise, tasks, anything. Encourage them to take chances.
Often loud, fast talkers, the Expressive personality is the company jokester. They love to have fun and want those around them to join in. The Expressive personality is the one that gathers enthusiasm for a project, convinces investors that a project will be successful and is genuinely interested in being part of a team. The Expressive person is not very organized. They are great idea people and great at getting others involved but they are often at a loss when it comes to knowing how to make those ideas into reality. To gain favor with the Expressive, be willing to laugh at a joke, get enthusiastic about what they are talking about and include them in your projects, both inside and outside the workplace.
Four of the Best Personality Tests
There are hundreds of personality tests out there, but the following four have come to be considered the most accurate.
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
This test divides people into sixteen basic types. Used worldwide, it is based on the teachings of Carl Jung and has been considered one of the most accurate personality indicators.
The MAPP Career Assessment Test
This test uses questions about interests that you answer as quickly as possible in order to get the most accurate assessment. Your answers are then separated into categories and you are given suggestions on what careers fit your interest results.
John Holland’s SDS Test
This test breaks your answers down into six main categories and then gives you a “code” of two or three letters in your top categories. It then breaks the categories down into interest clusters so you can focus on areas that interest you that fall within your personality code. Finally, you can further filter these results based on educational requirements.
O*Net Interest Profiler
This test comes in a variety of forms and can be a self analyzing test or one used with other tests to get a more complete picture. It measures interest in six main categories: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising,Conventional. Once the results are calculated, you can use the online career lists to see what careers are most likely to interest someone with the same results.
How to Get the Most Out of Understanding Personalities
Knowing the different personality types is interesting and can be fun, but they are useless unless you take the time to put this knowledge to use, both towards yourself and towards others.
Start with You: Strengths and Weaknesses
First, consider how the knowledge can make you a better person. Learn your strengths and weaknesses. This will give you the opportunity to find ways your strengths can move you forward and create the kind of environment you are happiest in. Knowing your weaknesses will help you know where you can modify your behavior in order to grow and realize a happier, more successful life, both in the workplace and outside of it.
Learn What’s Important to Other Personality Types
By applying what you know to those who surround you, you gain a better understanding of how and why they do the things they do. This enables you to know how best to approach them and gain their cooperation. It also helps you avoid or lessen conflicts so that productivity and morale does not suffer. By understanding both yourself and your co-workers, you create a work environment that benefits everyone. This is especially true of supervisors. Knowing the personalities of each of your employees will enable you to make decisions regarding them in a more informed fashion. It will help you gain their cooperation and allow them the acknowledgement they seek in order to give their best work.
Learn Your Team’s Personality Types
Learning your team’s personality types will enable you to make a large leap toward greater success as both individuals and a company. The understanding that this knowledge brings will enable everyone involved to see things with greater clarity. They will understand themselves better and will understand each other in a way they didn’t before. It is a situation where everybody wins.