Personality types. An intensely fascinating topic of conversation that has been around for a very long time.
The Myers-Briggs questionnaire was developed initially in 1943, with the 16 personality types being introduced in 1960. These questionnaires have spurred many along a journey to better understand their own personality type and the personality types of others.
Ask yourself the following question, how could understanding the personality type of a family member, friend or colleague prove beneficial or insightful?
That is something I wish to dive into in this article. Using the 16 personality types to better understand those we are surrounded with can assist managers and employees alike to create fantastic working environments and cultures. Thus creating a foundation on which you can build a successful and thriving business.
Do you ever wonder why Joe from accounts never seems to lift his head up from the paperwork on his desk? Or why Lizzy from the sales team is always at the centre of every social event, or the instigator of a majority of your office banter? Perhaps you have queried why some individuals are more drawn towards numerically focused roles, and others are drawn towards humanitarian, people-focused roles. Through understanding personality types you may begin to view people in a whole new light. Those funny 'quirks' or strengths/weaknesses may begin to make a lot more sense as you seek to understand those around you.
In our office we recently all took the 16 personalities test. And it has opened my eyes! Whilst it is fun to read the descriptions with each type and laugh over how accurate they were, it has also opened my eyes to understanding the way my colleagues think and act.
“Try to understand men. If you understand each other you will be kind to each other. Knowing a man well never leads to hate and almost always leads to love.”
― John Steinbeck
The 16 personalities are split into four sections:
Within these four sections, there are a further, more specific four personality types that delve into the specific ways people with this personality type think, feel and act.
I obviously can't go into depth with all 16 types...you would very swiftly lose interest! I have pulled one from each and will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each. See if there is anyone in your life who 'fit the mould' as they say.
1) The Executive - ESTJ-A / ESTJ-T
Executives enjoy creating order. They like to follow rules and often work to ensure that the task in hand is completed to the highest standard. Cutting corners and shirking responsibilities is one of the quickest ways to losing an Executives respect! They can often be stubborn, however, they are known for their loyalty and their dedication.
An Executives strengths:
However their weaknesses:
2) The Architect - INTJ-A / INTJ-T3
Architects are a pretty rare personality type...forming only 0.8% of the population! But chances are you have, or will come across an Architect type in your working life. Architects are extremely driven individuals and want nothing more than to meet their goals to the highest standard possible. They enjoy surrounding themselves with people of a similar mindset and who share similar values to them, however they are more independent and prefer working alone. Because of this need for independence, Architects can be frustrated if they are pushed into roles that limit their freedom, and perform best when given the autonomy to work at their own pace, in their own way.
So for those of you with architect personality types in your life, don't forget to give them room to breathe, step back and allow them to do their thing!
3) Mediator - INFP-A / INFP-T
Mediators are found in your diplomat section, they tend to be easy going and sensitive individuals. You will more often than not find Mediators in roles that are centred around working with and helping people. They will prefer to work in roles where they get to interact on a first hand level with clients and customers. Mediators will gravitate towards roles that they can be creative in! That is where they tend to be happier.
4) Entertainer - ENFJ-T
The entertainer...we all know one! Whether in the office, in your family, or in your social group, there is always that one individual that thrives in the spotlight! The Entertainer has an innate desire to make the work environment as friendly and enjoyable as possible. They tend to be successful in using a social/relaxed attitude to get everyone on board with practical tasks. The Entertainer personality type responds better to being given more freedom and autonomy, they are fantastic at brainstorming new ideas and running with them. They tend to love creativity and enjoy trying new things!
Whilst they bring high levels of enthusiasm to any conversation, be careful not to be overly critical, because they will become defensive under fire and are easily upset. Entertainers are fantastic at preventing conflict and encouraging relaxed and enjoyable workplaces. A fantastic addition to any team.
I recommend going to the 16 personalities website (https://www.16personalities.com/) and having a look through the different personality types! Have a go at the questionnaire and see what your answer is. It may open your eyes to your own characteristics and attributes.
Every organisation will have a variety of different personalities, but that is what makes us tick. You couldn't have a company entirely full of Entertainers, or Logisticians or all Debaters! We each bring our different strengths and weaknesses to the table, and that is what helps the world go round.
Written by Leah Heward, Marketing Manager at CPI