Have you ever noticed how differently your employees work to get the same task completed? One may have their tasks planned out for the next month while another may not know what they are working on until they walk in the door the next day. Another employee may focus on minute details of a project while another can only focus on the big picture. These differences in work styles may closely relate to their personality types.
There are hundreds of different tests and surveys that can tell you what kind of personality and it may be difficult to navigate them all. Keep reading to learn about the most popular types of personality tests, and how personality types can impact your workplace.
What are the Most Common Personality Tests?
Personality quizzes have risen in popularity over the years. Websites like Buzzfeed made personality quizzes popular as a way to compare ourselves to fictional characters in media based on things like our music taste or zodiac signs. However, there are also scientifically studied personality tests that provide real insights to our inherited traits. Some of the most studied tests include the Meyers-Briggs personality types, the “Big 5” personality traits, and the social styles model.
The Myers-Briggs test was created around psychologist Carl Jung’s theory of psychological types. The survey consists of questions that align with 16 different personality type combinations. Each personality type consists of 4 different letters to describe introversion or extroversion (I or E), sensibility or intuition (S or N), thinking or feeling (T or F), and lastly judgment or perception (J or P). Along with these indicators, there are also names for each different personality type. For example, a person with an INTJ personality may also be called “the architect”.
The Big Five Personalities
If 16 different personality types seems too daunting, it might be worth checking out the Big Five Personalities. The Big Five personality traits consist of the following:
- Openness to experience – Curiosity, creativity and appreciation for new ideas, values, feelings and behaviors
- Conscientiousness – Organization, productivity, responsibility and the tendency to be careful, hardworking, and to follow rules.
- Extroversion – Sociability and assertiveness
- Agreeableness – Compassion, respectfulness, trust and the tendency to go along with others
- Neuroticism – Tendencies towards sensitivity, negative emotions, anxiety and depression
With this theory, personality types are made up of all 5 of these characteristics with varying degrees. Someone may be high in openness to experience but lower in conscientiousness.
The Social Styles Model
If you want to define your personality specifically in a workplace setting, there’s a model just for that! The Social Styles Model, designed by Robert and Dorothy Bolton, was created to describe how someone’s personality can be determined based on how they work and learning about your positive and negative attributes. There are four different types in the Social Styles Model.
- Driver – the driver can be direct, decisive, and determined. The driver is willing to take risks and can work at a fast pace. However, the driver can also be impatient, insensitive, and domineering.
- Analytical – the analytical worker is precise, logical, careful, and methodical. They are the definition of ‘slow and steady wins the race’. While the analytical worker strives for perfection, they may slow down the process on projects.
- Amiable – this worker is warm, approachable, friendly, and inclusive. The amiable worker genuinely cares about their co-workers and their relationship. On the downside, when the amiable worker focuses too much on their relationships in the office, they may not get their work done in a timely fashion.
- Expressive – the expressive worker is energetic, a big-picture thinker, and a visionary. This worker may be excited about their work, but struggles to focus on any particular task.
Similarly to the Big Five personalities, a person can usually be defined by one of these four types, but they can also show different qualities of all of them.
Why Should I Know my Personality Type? How Can it Help Me At Work?
Knowing your personality type can be important for many aspects of life. It can help with personal relationships and work relationships. Identifying your personality type can help you understand your strengths and help you improve on weaknesses in the workplace. Understanding your personality can also be important when hiring to make sure someone is a good fit for the team. When you are intune with your personality and know the personality of your co-workers, work can be done more effectively and collaboratively.
When you understand the personality type of your co-workers, you can cater your interactions to their personality. If one worker is, for example, a driver personality, you know that you should get right down to business and avoid small talk. Understanding personality types can also help to examine differences between co-workers and how those differences can be used to divide up different tasks. In the long run, knowing and understanding personality types can create a more successful and engaging work environment.
Learning about the different personality types can be a fun way to get to know your co-workers while also improving workplace relationships. Not sure how to implement understanding personality types in your office? Check out hug’s demo, a platform that encourages employee communications while also providing holistic, real-time analysis on employee surveys.