A good day, or night to all our LA 65 readers. I am sitting here in a classroom taking a leadership class that my place of employment has graciously offered. It’s lunchtime right now so I thought I would share something I have just learned with our community. Part of being a leader is to understand the people that you lead. Each person has different personality traits and knowing what kind of personality a person has will help leaders interact with those people. One of the personality tests someone can take is called the DiSC profile.
The easiest way to think of this is you would need to take a self-assessment questionnaire to see which personality profile you associate with. Kind of like the sorting hat in Harry Potter. The second part would be to learn how to identify the personality of the person you are associating with. The first part is relatively easy. All you have to do is Take the DiSC Personality Test and evaluate your findings. The report will let you know your strengths and weaknesses, along with what traits and methods you feel are most important to communication and work projects.
There are four main profiles someone can fit into and several sub-profiles depending on what your secondary traits are. Someone can also rate strongly in more than one area. The four main profiles are:
- (D) Dominance – Dominant personalities are direct, results-oriented, firm, strong-willed, and forceful.
- (I) Influence – Influential personalities are outgoing, enthusiastic, optimistic, high-spirited, and lively.
- (S) Steadiness – Steady personalities are even-tempered, accommodating, patient, humble, and tactful.
- (C) Conscientiousness – Conscientious personalities are analytical, reserved, precise, private, and systematic.
A Tailored Approach
I noticed my mindset changed after taking the personality test. With this new information, I look for clues in the people I collaborate with to see if I can figure out what kind of personality they are. I do this because some personalities are more compatible with others depending on what goals are sought after. For instance, D personalities do not plan the way C personalities do. One personality tends to do too much analysis in order to ensure they are highly accurate. The other person will prefer a 60% or 90% solution.
In order for one person to work effectively with other personalities, they need to adapt their style, this is called “flexing”. You have to be able to meet others halfway on the best ways to approach a task in order to get the desired outcome. This holds especially true for large teams of people. Someone who does not tailor their approach to the personalities they work with could become a detriment to the team and make things uncomfortable or run the risk of being isolated. Some personalities like S or I can flex fairly easy while other personalities might have trouble.
An effective leader will take the time necessary to understand the people in their organization. This requires the leader to be actively engaged and assess how people excel at different tasks they are given and with what teammates they work well with. Understanding these dynamics can make or break an organization. Failure to understand this concept will lead to low morale and poor team performance.
A manager who understands the personalities on their team can leverage their people’s strengths and suppress their weaknesses. For instance, if a lot of analysis needs to take place and the due date is relatively lax the manager can assign a C personality to the task. If a particular task requires a focus on customer sales then someone with an I personality would be perfect for the job.
Personality management also makes a great case for any organization to build dynamic teams. A team that is not built with this flexibility in mind will most likely stagnate and become inefficient. This even holds true for teams that need similar skill sets, such as engineering. Just because everyone has an engineering degree does not mean they approach all problems the same way. Some engineers might have amazing personalities and work well with others, while other engineers are amazing at math and prefer to work alone. Again, an efficient manager should be able to build cohesive and dynamic teams if they take the time to understand the DiSC methodology.
I wish someone taught this concept to me a long time ago. I can think of numerous times throughout my life when having this knowledge would have been beneficial to me and the approach I took with people. I honestly don’t know why they don’t teach it in school. Personally, I think too much emphasis gets placed on academics and very little on life skills. Emotional intelligence is something that people would use on a day-to-day basis and yet we make kids take tests every year for algebra competency. Something they might use once a year when they get out of school. I am also willing to bet this holds true for any country in the world. Regardless if I am right or wrong please feel free to post your comments below.
Thank you for reading my post and visiting LA65.