Valuing All Personality Types in the Workplace
Hello everyone! My name is Lindsey Scorey and I am a senior Scholar of Communication for the Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship. I am a Communication Studies major, as well as a Women’s and Gender Studies minor at Wilkes University. In addition to my role as a Kirby scholar, I serve as the Orientation Coordinator for the First-Year Student e-Mentor program and as Executive Director of Zebra Communications, our student-run PR firm. I am the Social Media Coordinator for WCLH 90.7 Radio and an Honors Program student.
Since I work so closely with both small and large teams for the work I do, I have learned quickly how important it is to cultivate strong relationships between individuals of all different personality types. I have taken a plethora of personality tests for both personal and professional needs and the following blog incorporates some of my favorite take-aways from watching different personalities at play.
What are Personality Type Tests
There are a wide variety of personality tests out there, including Myers Briggs, Enneagram types, color category tests, and many more. These tests tend to focus on aspects of personality that impact how people behave in personal life, but they can also tell us important factors that play into professional settings and how these types thrive most depending on circumstances presented.
It is important to note that personality types are not meant to place us into narrow categories or boxes, but rather to see what areas we thrive in best as people. Personality types are constantly evolving and growing with us. If you choose to take one or a few, make sure to take from them what positives you can but do not assume one type can quantify the magnitudes you contain as an individual.
How to Fulfill your Personality Needs in the Workplace
Once you get a better understanding of your personality needs and motivations, it becomes a lot easier to create habits and boundaries that allow you to thrive. Do your research into your personality type(s) and try to become self aware of what motivates you versus what distracts you.
For instance, my personality tests usually reflect my qualities of extroversion and a need for socialization, but I am also a very task-oriented person who can get overwhelmed if not given adequate time to work on things. For this reason, I find it best to make conversations still to boost my mood, but to get to work afterwards. I also do work with people near me to fulfill that need for socialization while perhaps using headphones to stay focused. Oftentimes I will choose to collaborate on a team or form study groups as it is productive and social at the same time. I can still make plans to stay on task while meeting my need for shared company.
How to Cultivate Strong Bonds within Varied Groups
Knowing yourself and your needs is one thing, but knowing how to lead or collaborate with personalities other than your own is an invaluable skill to possess in the workplace. When working with introverts, extroverts, people pleasers, nit-pickers, and so on, I find these following tips to be useful:
Understand the motivations of your team and create objective goals for each individual
It is important to know your team members as people and to create realistic goals for each person based on their personality needs. Give each member of your team a task or responsibility that you know they are both good at and also enjoy doing. Perhaps give them a challenge every once and a while to get them out of their comfort zone, but realize that each member can contribute something special to the larger end goal.
Promote positive communication
It is critical to foster teams that can communicate both effectively and in a manner that respects all persons. If someone does a task in a different way than you would have, remember that there are multiple avenues to achieving the same goal. Aim for self-awareness and applaud others for their contributions even if it is not how you would have done it. Communicate through shared work and make sure everyone feels secure in their assigned tasks.
Utilize differences as strengths, not weaknesses
This one is rather self-explanatory, but recognize that all personalities can be successful in different fields and in different ways. Leadership and work ethic respectively need to be fostered in different ways based on the individual. Meet people where they are at and above all recognize that homogenous teams rarely meet as successful ends as those with many perspectives and personalities to utilize.
Thank you all for reading my blog and I hope you learn to or continue to foster your personality for all of its beautiful capabilities.