Considerations for an Improved Workplace Culture
Part 1 of 2
Nurture a More Cohesive Team Through Personality Profiling
Have you ever found yourself getting frustrated that the people around you don’t seem to think or behave the same way as you do?
More often than not, this is the result of a lack of understanding of others’ personalities and preferred ways of working. Having an understanding of the people around us and why they communicate, interact, and work the way they do is critical for improving workplace culture and avoiding team conflict.
Trying to understand how other people’s minds work can be extremely complex. However, personality profiling can make the process much simpler.
What is Personality Profiling?
Personality profiling is a fantastic tool that you can use to gain better insight into and a better understanding of your colleagues’ behaviours.
It isn’t about identifying an ‘ideal’ type of personality, but rather understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the different types - no one personality type is better than the other, there is no right and wrong.
Personality profiling has been gaining popularity over many years - studies show that 60% of staff are now asked to take personality tests at work, indicating that employers have found true value in the exercise.
Profiling Tools and Tests
There are countless different personality profiling tools and tests to choose from, including:
- Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
“The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator is an introspective self-report questionnaire indicating differing psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions. The test attempts to assign four categories: introversion or extraversion, sensing or intuition, thinking or feeling, judging or perceiving.”
- The Big 5 Factor Model of Personality
“The Big Five (also called Five Factor) model of personality is the most widely accepted personality theory in the scientific community. The Big Five is so named because the model proposes that human personality can be measured along five major dimensions (openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism). Individuals are typically described in terms of having high, average, or low levels of the five personality factors. Each factor is independent from the others, so someone might be high in Extraversion and low in Agreeableness. To gain a full picture of an individual using the Big Five model, it's necessary to know how they measure up on each of the five dimensions.”
- The HEXACO Model
“The HEXACO model of personality structure summarizes human personality characteristics in terms of six dimensions, or factors: Honesty-Humility (H), Emotionality (E), Extraversion (X), Agreeableness (A), Conscientiousness (C), and Openness to Experience (O). Each of these six factors is represented by many related personality characteristics (or traits), with some characteristics indicating high levels of the factor and others indicating low levels. The personality of a given person can be expressed, in broad outline, by his or her levels of the six personality factors. Each of the six personality factors is roughly unrelated to the others; therefore, a person’s level on any one factor cannot be predicted from his or her levels on the other five.”
- The 16 Personalities Test
The 16 Personalities Test is based around MBTI, and asks users a variety of questions. Based on these questions, the user is then assigned one of sixteen personality types: Architect, Logician, Commander, Debater, Advocate, Mediator, Protagonist, Campaigner, Logistician, Defender, Executive, Consul, Virtuoso, Adventurer, Entrepreneur, or Entertainer.
How We Used DISC at Nine Dots
In last month’s team day here at Nine Dots, one of our aims was to bring our team closer together, and we achieved this by carrying out a DISC profiling exercise.
DISC stands for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance. The questionnaire asks each team member a variety of questions and then, based on their answers, they are given a ‘rating’ for each of the 4 characteristics above. Based on their most prominent characteristic, they are then assigned a personality type.
Within our team, we found that we had a wide range of different personality types and, thanks to DISC, we came away from the team day with a much better understanding of each other and a list of action points to improve the way we work together.
Common Personality Profiling Mistakes to Avoid
Whilst personality profiling is relatively simple, there are a few common mistakes to be aware of and avoid, including:
- Using it as a tick-box exercise
- Putting a label on people
- Seeing some personality types as being better than others
What Are the Benefits of Understanding Each Others’ Personality Types?
Understanding each others’ personality types brings teams a multitude of benefits, including:
- Increased effectiveness
People are much more likely to be effective and productive in a working environment that supports their personality type and way of working.
- Less team conflict
Understanding the reasoning behind others’ actions leads to better understanding and a much lower chance of team conflict.
- Better collaboration
Having an understanding of how colleagues prefer to better work together in a way that suits everyone’s styles
- Improved workplace culture
This improved collaboration and decreased conflict comes an overall better, more cohesive workplace culture
- Identifying potential leaders
If you manage somebody, understanding their personality type and characteristics can help you identify whether they could be a potential future leader
Understanding each others’ differences and similarities and ways of working is especially important for growing teams to ensure that the right people are working together and that all employees are performing to their full potential.
As we mentioned in the previous section of this article, it’s crucial to actually act on the findings of any personality assessments your staff complete. This could involve adapting:
- Communication methods
- Leadership styles
- Delivery of feedback
- The way you present tasks or information to others
- How meetings are run
How Personality Profiling Can Help You Say No
A large part of personality profiling is understanding your own and others’ preferred communication styles. Knowing how to communicate with people in a way that suits them can make it much easier to say ‘no’ to their requests as it allows you to say it in a way that will be perceived well by them.
On the contrary, if somebody has a very good understanding of your personality type, they may be able to ‘sell’ tasks to you in an extremely persuasive way, making it very difficult for you to say ‘no’. It’s important to have a framework for and be confident in saying ‘no’ to people, regardless of how well they ‘sell’ the task to you.
If you struggle with saying ‘no’, our free “Learning to Say ‘No’ to Further Your Career” webinar at 10:30am on Thursday 5th August 2021 could help.
This webinar will cover:
- What is stopping you from saying no
- A four-step approach to saying no
- Creating a practical plan as to how you will put this into action
- The benefits you gain from saying no
To sign up to this free webinar, please click here or click the button at the bottom of this article.
Next time on The Daily Dot, we will be looking at the importance of active listening and how you can ensure that you truly listen to those around you.
Until next time...