When we think about diversity, we often think of gender, race, the LGBTQ community. We can forget that diversity also refers to the diversification of thoughts and methods. Personality types are an important aspect.
During diversity training, we looked at unconscious biases. I immediately thought (although kept it to myself) I wont benefit from this, I am not judgemental of anyone for the way they look, speak, their background. However, during the training I learnt that wasn’t true. When interviewing applicants and speaking to managers, I favoured people that had personalities similar to mine. I forged better relationships with applicants that were confident and extroverted, causing me to undersell the quite, introvert applicants. Since the training, I have been very conscious of this, adding new questions to my interviews to ensure biases don’t play a factor in what applicant gets the position.
I believe the above is something leaders often forget about. Anyone in a leadership position should be conscious of different personality types and how best to manage them. By understanding different personality types, leaders can create an environment that will allow their whole team to thrive. For instance, sending out an email after a meeting to allow less vocal team members an opportunity to share ideas. Below are some personality groups that may help you identify and manage your team better.
4 Personality types and how to manage them
The DiSC Workplace – Everything DiSC Workplace | DISCGB categorises personalities into 4 basic types and associates the below adjectives with each personality. It’s important to note that everyone has a mix of all personality types, but we tend to align more strongly to 1 or 2 of the below. Having participated in this training, I would strongly recommend you look into utilising this test or something similar for your team. We will focus on the DiSC 4 basic personality types today, but of course, we are far more complex then that outlined below.
Dominance: Direct, Firm, Strong-willed, Forceful, Results-oriented
Influence: Outgoing, Enthusiastic, Optimistic, High-spirited, Lively
Conscientiousness: Analytical, Reserve, Precise, Private, Systematic
Steadiness: Even-tempered, Accommodating, Patient, Humble, Tactful
We can all recognise a dominate team member (if you can’t, it’s likely you). Typically, dominant personality types don’t often care too much for process. They are results orientated, impatient and assertive. This mindset can make them great leaders, if they learn to consider their actions within a team dynamic. Fast Company suggests you follow the below steps when managing this type of personality:
- Keep conversations brief and stick to the facts
- Put them on projects that allow them to independently problem-solve while making their own decisions
- Giving them feedback is key
I scored very high in this category. We view everyone as a friend. Our highly positive, accepting attitude makes us very likable within the office. However, as we like to be liked, we struggle to make unpopular decisions and dwell on constructive criticism. To get this best from this personality type, Hire Success recommends the below:
- Provide them with recognition. Show this person they are accepted
- Put them in team focused projects
- Not very detailed focused. Provide them with well-defined projects and tasks
A colleague of mine has this personality type. We view tasks very differently which has led to some frustrations on both sides, but for the most part we compliment each other very well. Her attention to detail balances out my lack of attention to detail. Redseed.com outlines this personality in more detail, providing the below tips:
- Make sure you’re well prepared before giving this person a task. They like to have all the details
- Provide them with task-orientated work
- Don’t rush unnecessarily
This person is motivated by stable environments and enjoys providing their team with support. If you have this personality type in your team, Magnovo Training group make some great suggestions for managing this person:
- Change is inevitable within business. Ensure you bring this person along slowly
- Try to give them one task at a time
- Provide them with projects that allow team collaboration
For leaders, understanding a teams personality is crucial for innovation and collaboration. By knowing what drives your team, you can more effectively communicate with members and optimally assign tasks and projects. This will create a happier workforce and lower staff turnover. Who in your team is motivated by hitting goals and who prefers collaboration over competition?
You don’t need to pay to have a team personality test. In yearly reviews and career conversations, consider asking your associates what drives them, what do they dislike and like. These are all indictors into who they are and what makes them tick. There is a place for all personality types in all teams. Through assigning tasks correctly, you will help develop employee skills. What steps are you going to take to increase a high performing team?
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