Understanding Personalities in the Workplace to Build Stronger Teams
By Mandy Lucci, Corporate Logistics Coordinator
Understanding the personality traits of team members can lead to higher rates of group satisfaction, job performance and overall effectiveness. As a leader, the skill of identifying an individual’s personality traits can help to predict behavior and shape a group into a high-functioning and productive team.
Two famous personality models are the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and The Big-Five Model.
The Myers-Briggs Type assessment is the most widely used personality instrument. It classifies individuals into 16 personality types and highlights their strengths and weaknesses, areas of interest and potential career paths. This tool can indicate what tasks an individual will excel at, what types of work will motivate them and what work style is best suited for them.
The big five model examines five traits and their relevance in the workplace. It explains how traits such as extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability and openness to experience.
Diving into the big five model, we will take a closer look at what each trait can offer in the workplace. An emotionally stable individual has less negative thinking and fewer negative emotions, this often correlates with high job satisfaction and lower stress levels. Someone who is extraverted will have better interpersonal skills, greater social dominance, and is usually more emotionally expressive. Extraverted people often make great leaders. Openness leads to increased learning, more creativity and greater flexibility and autonomy. These individuals are often very adaptable to change and have high training performance. When a person is agreeable, they are often sympathetic, affectionate and more compliant and confirming. This leads to lower levels of deviant behavior. A conscientious person often has more drive and discipline, is better organized and puts in greater effort and persistence.
As diversity, globalization and new technology are emerging as dominant values in the workplace, understanding individuals’ different needs and interests becomes essential. Creating an environment that employs the team player's skills and strengths can build a high function team. Knowing your team members personality traits allows leaders to shift target goals and incentives based on their understanding of what motivated the team members.