Personality tests, Love languages, MBTI, Enneagram—chances are, you’ve heard of at least one or two of these before. Maybe you’ve heard about them in regard to how you act, how you feel, what matters to you, or who/what you connect with.
But what about in the workplace?
As a business leader, CEO, executive, or somewhere in-between, there’s value in understanding how personality types influence communication styles. Learning the differences (in both yourself and the people you work with) will help you connect, develop deeper relationships, and strengthen your overall team rapport.
Let’s start with personalities.
The 16 Personalities is a continuation of the MBTI research on personalities to better define and explain each category (and help you create self-awareness and other awareness). At its core, the 16 Personalities assessment takes an in-depth look at how you think and act, why you do the things you do, and how you’ll most likely react to situations. For business leaders, this information is crucial — not only for understanding you, but those you work with too.
You’ve probably seen or heard someone describe themselves with a 4-letter acronym like ENFJ. Maybe not at the parties you go to (#nerdalert over here) but I digress…
16 Personalities adds another dimension, so their assessments give you 5 letters.
The five letters of these acronyms each refer to a specific trait, with certain trait combinations forming various types and type groups.
These traits are:
Extraverted (E) / Intraverted (I)
iNtuititive (N) / obServant (S)
Thinking (T) / Feeling (F)
Judging (J) / Prospecting (P)
Assertive (A) / Turbulent (T)
And the type groups are:
Analysts: These are the team members who are driven by intelligence and curiosity. They’re logically-minded, focused, and often the inventors of the group. This type group includes the following personality types:
- Architect (INTJ-A / INTJ-T)
- Logician (INTP-A / INTP-T)
- Commander (ENTJ-A / ENTJ-T)
- Debater (ENTP-A / ENTP-T)
Diplomats: These are the more creatively-aligned individuals, who constantly strive for stronger connections and opportunities to think intuitively and openly. This type group includes the following personality types:
- The Advocate (INFJ-A / INFJ-T)
- Mediator (INFP-A / INFP-T)
- Protagonist (ENFJ-A / ENFJ-T)
- Campaigner (ENFP-A / ENFP-T)
Sentinels: These individuals are, above all else, dedicated and passionate about the work they do. Their beliefs center on the factual, and they approach situations with loyalty and purpose. This type group includes the following personality types:
- Logistician (ISTJ-A / ISTJ-T)
- Defender (ISFJ-A / ISFJ-T)
- Executive (ESTJ-A / ESTJ-T)
- Consul (ESFJ-A / ESFJ-T)
Explorers: These are the team members who enjoy experimentation and the promise of new ideas and opportunities. They are energetic, perceptive, and often the most spontaneous. This type group includes the following personality types:
- Virtuoso (ISTP-A / ISTP-T)
- Adventurer (ISFP-A / ISFP-T)
- Entrepreneur (ESTP-A / ESTP-T)
- Entertainer (ESFP-A / ESFP-T)
Curious about your personality dimensions? Take the free 16-personalities test!
Understanding personality types will inevitably change how you view the people around you. When you understand someone’s personality, you’re less likely to take offense to their words and behaviors, more likely to give them the benefit of the doubt (that’s just how they are), and are able to collaborate more effectively and efficiently.
But having rapport with others isn’t solely based on personalities. We can gain greater self-awareness (and understand the impact we have on others too) through other assessments as well…
The Enneagram is another personality assessment, but unlike 16 Personalities, it focuses more on how people conceptualize the world (meaning how they understand the thoughts and emotions of others, as well as how they interpret different events).
Using a nine-point diagram, the Enneagram test breaks people into types: Reformer, Helper, Achiever, Individualist, Investigator, Loyalist, Enthusiast, Challenger and Peacemaker. Knowing where you fit on this test can help you understand what roles you typically take on and where you can improve as a leader.
One of my favorite accounts on Instagram is Enneagram and Coffee where the author, Sarajane Case, does a beautiful job of breaking down each type and how they would show up in various scenarios.
This test combines your birth information plus ancient practices of astrology, the Chakras, Ching, and Kabbalah, to calculate your ‘Human Design Chart.’ This chart is a detailed graphic illustration of the energy flow throughout your body and how that can impact—positively and negatively—your work productivity and alignment. Human Design touts itself as a user manual for us to better understand ourselves and others, based on our unique chart.
The DiSC, unlike the other personality tests, is a behavior assessment with four main categories: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness. This assessment focuses on your normal or preferred behavior patterns, as well as the typical behaviors you express and how these are not only interpreted by others, but how you perceive yourself, too.
Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation-Behavior (Firo-B) hones in on interpersonal relations above anything else. Unlike the other tests that provide scores, Firo-B looks at three categories—Inclusion, Control, and Affection—and gauges your comfort within each of those areas.
Founded on the idea that ‘people need people,’ the Firo-B looks at your behavior, both expressed and desired, and helps you understand where (and if) you’re getting those needs met in your workplace, as well as how you’re meeting the needs of those you work with.
So, why is it important to know how different types & styles influence communication styles?
We don’t always have a say in the various personalities we have to interact with at work, but as a business leader, once you know your personality traits and preferred methods of communication, you’ll be able to more accurately conflict-manage, align your goals, and lead your team to success.
Knowing who you are, who your people are, how you can best work together, and how to assess your personality and emotions in relation to others can help you improve communication and foster a healthier and happier workplace environment.
Have more questions about personality types? Interested in my Community workshops to help you build a stronger team?