Personality Types

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Personality Types

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:

  1. We can identify the negative behavior and the effect of the behaviors.
  2. We realize why people act out as they do.

With this understanding we can address the problem closer to the source and thus, more effectively.

Personality Types

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:

  1. Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory
  2. Keirsey Temperament Sorter
  3. DISC Profile
  4. StrengthsQuest Personality Assessment Inventory

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.

DMS-IV Personality Types

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:

  1. What a person's predominant traits are as defined in one or more personality style.
  2. The characteristics common to that style that are demonstrated as strengths.
  3. The more extreme characteristics common to that style that are demonstrated as weaknesses.

Below is a chart with the personality types and behaviors one might observe in their stronger state.

Personality style Extreme style Extreme behaviors
Conscientious Obsessive-compulsive Destructive professionalism
Self-confident Narcissistic Self-inflation, lacking empathy
Devoted Dependent Feels helpless, clings to others
Dramatic Histrionic Exaggerated emotions, seeks attention
Vigilant Paranoid Suspicious
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
Mercurial Borderline Unstable
Self-sacrificing Self-defeating Random acts that block success
Aggressive Sadistic Abusive
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.