MBTI. ENFP. DiSC. What does it all mean? See how personality profiles like these are helping organizations like yours build stronger teams.
Do you ever wonder why a team at work is just not gelling? Or why you always have problems with that one client? Or why you just can’t find the right person for the job?
It doesn’t take long when you’re working with other people to realize that each of us sees the world very differently. Our values, priorities, and even how we absorb and process information can vary wildly. Sometimes it feels like we need a psychology degree to understand the people we work with.
Thankfully, the people who do have psychology degrees have developed tools, using personality and behavior profiles, that can help us understand ourselves and others in the workplace better. These tools can improve communication, build stronger teams, and make for more effective workplaces.
There are a number of different approaches to workplace personality tests — here are three of the best:
1. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Have you ever heard someone say something like, “I’m an ENFJ”? They were telling you what their Myers-Briggs type is.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a popular tool that looks at how you experience the world around you. By learning about your preferences from a questionnaire, the MBTI groups you into one of 16 personality types, based on four sets of pairs: Extraversion vs. Introversion, Sensing vs. Intuition, Thinking vs. Feeling, and Judging vs. Perceiving.
Many people use the Myers Briggs tool in their own career development to find out what sort of roles they would thrive in, and to maximize their success in the workplace. The MBTI can be used by companies to better manage staff, to develop leadership skills, in conflict resolution, coaching, and change management.
The MBTI is widely used by 89 of the Fortune 100 companies, as well as top colleges, universities, and institutions around the globe. Backed by over fifty years of research, the tool helps these organizations to maximize individual and team effectiveness as well as career development.
The DiSC model measures four factors of your personality and behavior to produce your profile: Dominance (how you deal with problems), Influence (how you relate to people), Steadiness (your temperament), Conscientiousness (how you organize yourself). Typically, you will be dominant in one factor, but you can adapt your behavior and bring other factors to the fore to suit different circumstances and scenarios.
So as a manager, you can choose to use a type of behavior you know will be more effective with your team, rather than the one you’re most comfortable with. Or if you are in sales or service, you can adjust your approach to a customer based on what behavior type they are displaying.
DiSC is used to improve work productivity, teamwork and communication by individuals and a wide range of organizations, from Fortune 500 companies through to non-profits. It is helpful in training a sales force, improving customer service, assessing prospective candidates, and developing effective managers, supervisors, and leaders.
3. Belbin Team Roles
Belbin Team Roles are based on how you work with the other people in your team. Your Belbin profile could look a certain way when you’re working with one group of people, but quite different based on how you work with another group of people.
Each person in the team answers a questionnaire about how they see themselves, and others within the team also answer a questionnaire about working with that person. Belbin generates a report based on these answers to rank the individual’s strengths and weaknesses on their own, but also how those strengths and weaknesses play out as they relate to particular people in the team.
An ideal team has a balanced mix of all nine Belbin team roles. In looking at the makeup of the team, it is easy to spot any gaps within the team, which is especially important when recruiting new employees.
Build Better Teams with Workplace Personality Tests
As you can see, there is a wealth of knowledge out there on personalities and behavior that can benefit your organization. No matter which approach you use, taking the time to understand personality and behavior types will reap a host of benefits, creating well-rounded and productive teams, and encouraging every employee to fulfill their potential at work.
Have you ever used personality profiles with your current employees or prospective candidates? If so, let us know how in the comments below.
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Rebecca Jee is a writer for Open Colleges, one of Australia’s leading online education providers. As a “multipassionate”, Rebecca loves helping people find what they’re passionate about, too.