graphicAre you a Persuader, Controller, Stabilizer, or Analyzer?

The truth is, we all have a little bit of each of these workplace styles in our personalities. Trying to determine which best explains yours is an interesting exercise of which the Class of 2014 took part at the Opening Retreat.

The Class used an abbreviated version of the Effectiveness Institute’s Personality Test, “As I See Myself,” in a fascinating group exercise that was not only fun but practical. The test is used by companies and organizations all over the world to help employees and members interact with each other and work most effectively together.  The Effectiveness Institute describes its profiling exercise as detailed enough to describe human behavior but simple enough for use in the “real world.”

Why is it important to identify, at least on a broad level, your own personality type and your colleagues’?

Understanding personality styles can be the foundation for building more effective communication, reduced tension and ultimately more productive work relationships.  The most effective organizations are comprised of people who work well together and respect one another. This respect typically starts with a deep understanding of and appreciation for team members’ strengths – and differences. In other words…their “personalities.”

When you understanding your personality type you can look deeper into your behaviors, leverage your strengths and work on your weaknesses.

Of the four categories offered, I found myself best identified as an “Analyzer.” Our facilitator assured me that the labels are often misinterpreted, and are meant to provide a general summary of a person’s overriding tendencies.  I found many of the listed attributes accurate and in line with my leadership style, particularly the summarizing line that stated my Major Focus is ensuring ‘quality, accuracy, perfection” and that my Driving Need is “to get it right.” It also pointed out some “Blindspots” that Analyzers like me should be aware of and perhaps work on, such as losing sight of the big picture, getting out of the either/or mindset, or taking action immediately.”

Understanding others’ personality types helps you to recognize what drives the people who work with and for, so you can try to predict and manage the impact your actions will have on them, and learn how they might respond to you. You can also anticipate how they might perceive you, and how you can potentially leverage or change that. An individual’s behavior tends to be predictable.  As the Effectiveness Institute puts it this way: You talk, gesture, choose words, make decisions, solve problems, face challenges and interact with others in consistent ways which form your behavior patterns or “Style.” Much of the conflict you experience with other people is due to a collision of Behavior Style. Most “difficult” people you experience are actually just “different” or opposite of you in their “Behavior Style.”

The bottom line is that it takes all types for an organization to succeed. An article in Inc. magazine pointed out that: “By thinking of your team only in terms of roles, you risk building a group with homogeneous cultural attributes. This is an easy trap to fall into, as we tend to hire like-minded people, often in our own image.” It goes on to say that companies that do that often bypass the “crucial ingredients for success by passing over candidates who just might be the difference makers.”

Jennifer WheelerTake the time to think about your personality type and the traits that go with it. It might improve interactions with co-workers and even family members. For more information visit the Effectiveness Institute at www.effectivenessinstitute.com.

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Jennifer Wheeler

Executive Director, Leadership Seacoast

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