One thing most of us find most rewarding and challenging at work is the people. Part of excelling with people is understanding personalities. No matter if you work with front line customer service reps or CEO at a Fortune 100 company you are working with a person and each of us is made up of our experiences, emotions, education, habits and personalities. Personality is one thing that you are not going to change with individuals.

Understanding your colleagues’ personalities and how you can best interact with them and then taking action will make you much more successful. Ok that makes sense but how do you identify personalities you ask. Some companies actually have employees take one or more personality tests like DISC or Myers Briggs and then advertise the personalities as a badge of honor. But, most people do not work in such an environment so then it becomes really a three-part process:

  1. Educate yourself on personality types and find out what your personality is using a variety of methods (described more below).
  2. Understand your own personality type and how it influences how others engage you and you engage others.
  3. Observe and engage people and identify personality types.

Identifying personality types will take effort and will include asking questions as appropriate — e.g.” how do you prefer to communicate?” is a safe question and most people will be happy you asked. Determining personality types is something that may come naturally to you and already you are doing it and don’t know it. Or, it might be something that is a little more work but put in the time and do it. Practicing it will pay dividends in your career as you will be more successful working with people no matter what our position as an information worker.

Reminder to Employers, Managers, and Influencers: Take the opportunity to help drive the value of identifying personalities in the workplace and then training people on the value of personalities and how to be more successful working with different personalities. This takes some effort at first but will pay dividends in the long run and your employees will benefit from it and respect you more for it.

DISC Assessment: The DISC assessment is based on the work of psychologist William Marston and put into practice by psychologist Walter Clarke. It focuses on four different personality traits: 1) dominance; 2) inducement, 3) submission, and 4) compliance.

  • Dominance: Person places emphasis on accomplishing results, the bottom line, confidence
  • Influence: Person places emphasis on influencing or persuading others, openness, relationships.
  • Steadiness: Person places emphasis on cooperation, sincerity, dependability
  • Conscientiousness: Person places emphasis on quality and accuracy, expertise, competency

In total there are 8 different DISC personality types. People have a combination of two of the traits above with one generally being more dominant. Take the DISC test and learn more where you fit and then get an understanding how your DISC profile interacts with other profiles.

Learn more about DISC and/or purchase at:

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI): The MBTI is based on the personality theories of psychologist Carl Jung and expanded by Katherine Briggs and Isabel Myers into the MBTI. The MBTI assessment measures psychological preferences on how takers perceive the world and make decisions.

The MBTI assigns takers four different characteristics and for each characteristic it is a choice of two options:

  • Extraversion or Introversion
  • Sensing or Intuition
  • Thinking or Feeling
  • Judging or Perceiving

Taking the MBTI will give you one of 16 different MBTI personality types. However, you will also be given an indicator of what percentage you align with each of the four characteristics that were dominant for you. Some characteristics will demonstrate a strong personality dominance while others will be nearly neutral. For example, I personally end up scoring fairly towards the center on 3 of the 4 characteristics and only extraversion tends to be the strong characteristic.

Note that while some MBTI types are more prevalent than others in society but none are more valuable than another. Take the MBTI and understand your MBTI type and then read more about how your type interacts best with other MBTI types.

Learn more about MBTI and/or purchase at:

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