3rd installment of a 5 part series:
Personality affects how you show up to work. It’s what other people see because it determines how we behave. And each of the four major personality styles shows up differently because they have different priorities, motivations and emotional needs. We’ve probably all experienced the coworker with the constant negative vibe or the overly positive one. Or the teammate who never speaks up in meetings even when the topic is important to them. And what about the coworker who uses words and physicality to intimidate others? These types of behaviors can wear on your last nerve, but have you ever considered why people behave the way they do? Most people don’t. Instead, they make quick judgments about other people based on what they do, not why they do it.
Research indicates that personality is influenced by genetics and life experiences, and that this combination accurately predicts behavior. Personality itself can’t be changed, but with the right tools, training, and practice, we can all learn to modify personality behaviors. When individuals understand their own personality as well as that of their coworkers, the result is better connection and community in the workplace. This is why personality development is the foundation of the Brilliant People™ continual learning model.
Personality Diversity at Work
Learning how to modify behaviors that are holding you back, and strengthen those that will propel you forward is the key to success in the workplace. That and learning to work with other personality styles. Diversity adds value to almost everything, and that includes a diversity of personality on your team and in your organization as a whole. But, it can be difficult to work with those that differ from us. We tend to fall into the belief that if other people operated like we do, things would be so much better.
So, let’s look at how this might play out. We’ll use the Dominant personality style as an example. This type tends to prioritize results, action & a fast pace. They’re also strong-willed and can be domineering, so the reality is that this office culture would live by the motto “it’s a dog eat dog world.” They’d be great at meeting deadlines and making their numbers because they’re highly competitive. However, in their rush to be first, they can be weak in planning and prioritizing. This often leads to mistakes. The Dominants also often run into trouble when soft skills like collaboration, empathy, or flexibility are required. In time, the result is a high stress, high stakes atmosphere with high burnout rates.
If employee retention and customer satisfaction are top concerns for an organization, then hiring all Dominant personality types would be a disaster. Of course, this is true for any of the personality styles. Homogeneous grouping is not a recipe for success. Instead, it’s important to mix personality styles so that one personality style can fill another’s gaps.
Communicating With Different Personalities
Once a diversity of personality exists, people need to learn to communicate with each other effectively. And the advances in technology over the last 20 years have actually made this more difficult. Smart phones, tablets and laptops have bred a collective impatience. We want what we want now, and so we choose the quick email or text over a face-to-face interaction or phone call.
The problem is that a written message cannot accurately and effectively communicate our thoughts and feelings. Tone of voice, inflection, body language and facial expressions are significantly important to the art of communication. In fact, only 7% of communication is derived from the actual content of a message!
Personality adds an extra layer of complexity to the communication issue. If the different styles don’t understand why each of them shows up the way they do, they won’t know how to interact with each other nor come to any consensus. To communicate effectively with others, we need to know their priorities, motivations, and emotional needs.
Bringing Personalities Together
To build a cohesive team, you need to bring a group of diverse personalities together and teach them to communicate with each other. They have to learn to speak the language of the other personality styles. This is totally possible because we are all capable of creating new habits and breaking old ones. This is a human superpower! You may not be able to fly or breathe underwater, but you can modify your behaviors to get the most from yourself and others at work. In today’s workplaces, this is a game-changer. And at Brilliant People, it’s what we’re passionate about.
Our proprietary personality programming is specifically targeted at three things; helping individuals understand why they show up the way they do, how to modify behaviors that are holding them back, and how to develop or strengthen behaviors that will propel them forward. Then we provide employees with the opportunity to take that knowledge and utilize it to improve communication abilities.
Get in touch with us to bring The Diversity of Personality™ and The Language of Personality™ to your workplace and start your own culture (r)evolution today!
Up Next: Part 4: Supercharge Your Workplace with Connected Teams
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