Getting to Know Personality Types for Better Collaboration and Career Growth


You’re used to focusing on promoting your skills and finessing your resume when it comes to getting a job, but what about evaluating your personality type?

Not everyone is going to work in the same way or feel comfortable in the same roles. Your differences, thoughts and behaviors shape your personality — they’re natural facets of who you are. Your personality is something you should be aware of so you can apply your strengths and talents to your current role.

By knowing your personality, you can seek a job you enjoy or strive to become a better leader. By knowing the personalities of your colleagues, and you can collaborate better knowing how to best communicate with them.

Keeping personalities in perspective will work in your favor, as more and more businesses use personality tests to make sure they have the right people in positions where they’ll excel and collaborate with others well.

Take a Personality Test

Truly understanding your personality and the personalities of your coworkers can do wonders in the workplace. To get insights, you’ll want to start with taking a personality test. The most popular of these tests is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator questionnaire, which you can take online to figure out your exact personality type.

There are 16 types — each type is a combination of your energy style, values, life and cognitive preferences. The types are codes made up of four letters that correspond to the choices you made while taking the test. You’ve probably seen these personality types around, or heard others identify as an INFJ or an INTP.

According to a study done by Truity Psychometrics, there is a range of differences when it comes to personality types and things like job satisfaction, salary and managerial duties. The subtle personality differences between people can make a huge difference in these areas. For example, their sample of 738 ENTJs resulted in finding that their average salary is over $58,000, while their sample of 907 ISFJs average just over $38,000.

Many people focus on personality as simply being an extrovert or an introvert. While this factor is important, especially in a work setting, there’s a lot more to personality than this.

Someone who focuses on the logical solutions and goes with their mind is going to do things far differently than someone who uses feelings and compassion and tends to follow their heart. People have very different mental models that shape how they look at the world by the experiences they’ve had. Reading others’ personalities and mental models helps you understand why they are the way they are and why they react a certain way to things.

All of these little things have an impact on work performance and things like job satisfaction. For example, feeling types are more likely to want to be stay-at-home parents. This is going to lead to them wanting a long maternity or paternity leave to be satisfied, and either flexible hours or the ability to work from home so that they can spend time with their children.

Know Yourself and Your Strengths and Weaknesses

By knowing the type of personality you have, you’ll know the environment you’re going to do the best work in. For example, if you’re an extrovert, you’ll do great working in the office on a team of people. If you’re an introvert, you might feel more comfortable working alone in an office or from home. If you’re what’s called an ambivert, or you have both introverted and extroverted characteristics, that just means you’re more flexible when it comes time to find a job.

Using tests like the Myers-Briggs test or a career personality test from Psychology Today gives you insights to consider for improvement, and opportunities to pat yourself on the back when you’ve successfully worked through a project with someone whose personality and communication style is much different from your own.

“Knowing thyself” gives you a better understanding of your skills and strengths and where you’ll be the most productive in the workplace. It doesn’t just help you find a job where you’ll be the most comfortable. It also helps you find the one where you’ll be able to contribute the best work, leading the company to benefit.

Understanding your personality and taking time to evaluate yourself helps you know what kind of a leader you’ll be. You’ll know your strengths and weaknesses and how to play to what you do well. You’ll understand more about how you come across to other people. And since everyone doesn’t react the same way, you’ll be able to productively process their reactions better if they have a personality type that’s different than yours.

Get to Know Your Coworkers

Knowing — really knowing — your coworkers can make work life so much easier. If you know their personalities, you’ll know how they’ll react to certain situations, letting you make sure the situation plays out in the right way.

The Platinum Rule, a popular book that describes four basic business personalities, says that you should “treat others the way they want to be treated.” It enforces that you understand what others want so you can give it to them. Like personality tests, the book divides people into different categories. In this case, those categories are directors, socializers, relaters and thinkers.

If you know what your coworkers want and how they work best, it makes it easier to cater to their needs. Their personality might be very different than yours, so it’s important to try and make things a bit easier on them if you know your personalities clash. While it might be tricky to adjust yours, it’ll definitely make whatever you’re working on go a lot smoother.

This empathy also helps you learn how to communicate with them better in general. If there’s something they’re doing that you don’t like, it’s important to realize whether it’s something that’s an actual problem or something that annoys you because they do it differently than you do. If they’re still being productive and getting their work done, that may be a sign it’s just something that’s in your head. There’s no need to confront them then.

Communicating in a way that you know that they’ll respond to helps overall workplace productivity. If you can give feedback and recommendations in a manner that isn’t going to offend and will also get your point across, your colleagues aren’t going to be upset by what you said and they’re going to work to make it better.

Understanding your coworkers is just as important, if not more important, than understanding yourself. They’re the ones you have to work with every day and you need to be a cohesive unit in order to stay productive.

Use Your Knowledge to Collaborate and Communicate

Knowing personalities helps a lot more in the workplace than some might think. If you better understand yourself and your coworkers, you’ll be able to get more work done and go farther in your career. You’ll be able to find a job that fits your best self and to get along with coworkers better than ever before. Seems like a no-brainer!

About the Author:

Sarah Landrum is the founder of Punched Clocks, a career and happiness blog. As a freelance writer, Sarah enjoys writing about a variety of topics from career and business to healthy living. Catch her on Twitter @SarahLandrum for more great advice.


Photo Credit: Pixabay

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