To be able to address problems with people, it helps to understand them. Understanding a person is not the same as agreeing with the person, or agreeing with his or her behavior. It simply means:
With this understanding we can address the problem closer to the source and thus, more effectively.
There are many interesting assessments that evaluate personality types. While some assessment center on relationships and others on vocation, there are many that center on the workplace. Some of the more familiar profiles and assessments used in the workplace include:
Through these personality assessments we can recognize each person's unique personality, which exhibits both strengths and weaknesses. By teaming together different people with varying strengths, productivity can be increased tremendously.
Conversely, if people are teamed together in such a way that their weaknesses are exhibited and these personality traits are not kept in check, a great deal of harm can be done to employee moral and the productivity of the company.
There are 14 personality types defined by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in their DMS-IV diagnostic system. By taking this assessment, one can learn:
Below is a chart with the personality types and behaviors one might observe in their stronger state.
|Personality style||Extreme style||Extreme behaviors|
|Self-confident||Narcissistic||Self-inflation, lacking empathy|
|Devoted||Dependent||Feels helpless, clings to others|
|Dramatic||Histrionic||Exaggerated emotions, seeks attention|
|Sensitive||Avoidant||Unloving, feels unlovable|
|Leisurely||Passive-aggressive||Says one thing, does another|
|Adventurous||Antisocial||Non-empathetic; not bound by rules|
|Idiosyncratic||Schizotypal||Disconnects from reality|
|Solitary||Schizoid||Disconnects from people|
|Self-sacrificing||Self-defeating||Random acts that block success|
|Serious||Depressive||Feels hopeless, sad|
This chart shows the wide variety of personalities which express themselves in many ways and to many degrees. When the strengths of each are channeled positively, this variety adds to the creativity and productivity in the workplace.
The goal here is not to try to psychoanalyze people; we leave that to the experts. Rather, we want to be aware of the many personality types we see in the workplace, and we want to be aware that these personalities present themselves in varying degrees in both positive and negative ways.