Capable leaders understand that harnessing the positive attributes while neutralizing the negative attributes of various personality types among their subordinates can mean the difference between success and failure. Sociologists and psychologists have developed advanced models for classifying different personality types using diagnostic models. Here are a few common personality models which break down types using criteria specific, as well as tips for correctly interacting with them to produce positive results.
Katharine Cook Briggs, an early 20th century pioneer of personality study, invented the Myers-Briggs test in collaboration with her daughter. The test, based on the teachings of German psychologist Carl Jung, attempts through self-reporting via questionnaire to diagnose one of four ways that humans interact with the world around them – feeling, thinking, intuition, and sensation – and pinpoint which is most dominant in an individual.
Based on their answers, each respondent is assigned one of 16 possible personality types using a four-letter acronym, for example, ESFI or ISTJ. The general consensus among business leaders is that introverted types (those starting with “I”) are the most difficult to predict and, therefore, difficult to manage consistently.
The DISC personality assessment categorizes respondents based on the pace of their activity and how trusting they are, broken down along the following lines: fast-paced/moderate-paced and accepting/skeptical. There are additional criteria often used for more finely parsed personality categorization, but these four are the essential modes of delineation.
The dominant and conscientious types, while efficient performers, can be difficult to manage due to inborn stubbornness and closed-mindedness associated with these groups.
The Wimbush Assessment is arguably the most popular modern personality test that employers use to analyze the suitability of applicants’ personalities for their respective work environments. The focus of this test is on the personality, work style, and overall attitude of the respondent, which all contribute to and predict success or failure in the workplace. in terms of interpersonal relationships between coworkers.
The expressive/social personality type generally does not react well to rigid structure or social isolation, and too much of these kinds of tasks may generate attitudinal conflict. The opposite personality type, the Analyzer/Logical, for example, is less interested in social interaction and prefers highly structured situations.
These three tests, although not absolute, supply insight that organizational leaders can and should utilize when deciding which potential or current members have the most upside and which are overall net negatives. As well, they are valuable tools for decoding complex interpersonal issues by exploring the motivations of people along different lines of classification in each test.
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