Understanding Employee Personality Types for Business Growth and Communication

by | Jul 27, 2022 | MPS Blog | 0 comments

Whether you’re looking to better understand yourself or others, employee personality typing can give you some insight into how people tend to think, behave, and react. And, when it comes to business growth and communication, this knowledge can be invaluable and go a long way to building a strong and healthy company culture. By learning the personality types of your employees, you can recognize how to best motivate and inspire them. What works for one person might not work for another, so it’s important to tailor your approach accordingly. In addition, these assessment tools can also help you improve communication within your organization. When you take the time to learn and understand the different personality types, you can better communicate with each employee and help lead your team by guiding them on how to best interpret behaviours and interact with one another. This understanding should create a more cohesive and productive team, which is essential for any business.

The benefits don’t stop with staff. Personality typing can help businesses to better understand their customers as well. By being aware of the different personality types and what motivates their audience, businesses can tailor their products and services to better meet the needs of their target market. When employees have undergone this process and are trained to identify client types, they can better communicate with your clients and meet their needs while also preventing any conflict that might come about from a simple lack of understanding or mistaken perception.   

Where to start though? No two businesses are alike, so it’s no surprise that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to finding the right employee personality assessment tool. There are no shortage of tests and some business advisors and coaches have even developed their own proprietary systems.  We took a look at 3 popular assessment tools: The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the DiSC Profile, and the Big Five Personality Test.  These are all examples of widely used employee personality typing systems, each measuring a different aspect of an individual’s personality.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is an incredibly popular personality tool, used by everyone from Fortune 500 companies to online dating sites. There’s a good reason for its popularity: the MBTI can give you valuable insights into your own personality, and help you better understand and relate to the people around you.

Here’s a quick overview of the MBTI: it consists of four dichotomies, each with two opposite preference options. These are:

  • Extraversion vs. Introversion: Do you prefer to focus your attention on the outer world of people and things (extraversion), or on your own inner world of thoughts and feelings (introversion)?
  • Sensing vs. Intuition: Do you prefer to focus on the here-and-now and concrete details (sensing), or on patterns, meanings, and possibilities (intuition)?
  • Thinking vs. Feeling: When making decisions, do you prefer to primarily use logic and objective analysis (thinking), or personal values and considerations of others (feeling)?
  • Judging vs. Perceiving: Do you prefer a more planned and organized approach to life (judging), or a more spontaneous and flexible style (perceiving)?

Based on your preferences on these four dichotomies, you are assigned a 4-letter MBTI type code, which can give you valuable insights into your personality. For example, someone with a preference for extraversion and sensing would likely be very outgoing and down-to-earth, while someone with a preference for introversion and intuition might be more introspective and imaginative.

The DiSC Profile is a tool that can be used to help individuals better understand themselves and others. The profile is based on the four different personality types: D-Dominant, I-Influential, S-Steady, and C-Conscientious.

  • D-types are typically dominant and assertive. They like to be in charge and take control of situations. They are often quick-thinking and decisive.
  • i-types are typically interactive and outgoing. They enjoy being around people and thrive in social situations. They are often creative and spontaneous.
  • S-types are typically stable and reliable. They like routine and predictability. They are often calm and patient.
  • C-types are typically conscientious and detail-oriented. They like to plan and organize their time. They are often analytical and thoughtful.

The Big Five Personality Test consists of five dimensions, each representing a different aspect of personality. The five dimensions are Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, and Openness to Experience.

  • Extraversion is a measure of how outgoing and social a person is. People who score high on extraversion are typically more sociable and outgoing than those who score low on the trait.
  • Agreeableness is a measure of how cooperative and compassionate a person is. Those who score high on agreeableness are typically more altruistic and nurturing than those who score low on the trait.
  • Conscientiousness is a measure of how organized and reliable a person is. Those who score high on conscientiousness are typically more disciplined and goal-oriented than those who score low on the trait.
  • Neuroticism is a measure of how anxious and emotionally stable a person is. Those who score high on neuroticism are typically more prone to anxiety and stress than those who score low on the trait.
  • Openness to Experience is a measure of how curious and imaginative a person is. Those who score high on openness to experience are typically more creative and open-minded than those who score low on the trait.

As useful and enlightening as these tools can be, it is crucial for business owners to understand some potential drawbacks of personality testing. If the process and its outcomes are not clarified and understood by employees beforehand, there is the possibility of some harmful prejudgement that is hard to reverse. Everyone needs to be on board and fully accept that there is no right or wrong type and that one is not better or preferable to the other. It must be communicated that any results should only be seen as qualities that make people unique and valuable in their contributions and that it takes a broad mix of personality types to make up a highly functioning team. 

Ultimately, personality typing can help you create a more productive and efficient workplace. When used correctly, it can help you better understand yourself and others, and identify areas of strength and opportunities to improve communication. It can also help you build more effective teams by matching people with complementary skillsets and teaching them to understand and embrace the differences between one another.

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