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What is your personality at work?

Being differentiated or inclusive enough to accommodate the wide range of behavioural styles, attitudes and needs associated with various personality types will result in higher productivity levels and motivation of the employees, says Business Psychologist Michelle Hunter

April 28, 2013 5:39 by

People are, by far, an organisation’s biggest asset.  However, ‘people’ differ in so many ways, and management struggle to find ways to motivate and effectively synchronise their workforce/team’s activities. Often, this is due to their approach to management not being differentiated or inclusive enough to accommodate the wide range of behavioural styles, attitudes and needs associated with each of these.  Equally individuals working in groups or within close proximity of another may find it difficult to get along, leading to disharmony and incongruence in their shared tasks and responsibilities at work. Much of this can be explained by the fact that they are different ‘types’.

So, how many types are there? And, which one best describes you?

‘Styles’ or ‘types’ serve to distinguish one individual from the next. It is what makes them unique, as they stem from within the individual and remain fairly consistent throughout life; These features define what is termed ‘personality’.

In any given workplace, you will find that it is filled with people who have different personalities. Personality types are useful for understanding what motivates the behaviours of different individuals. Management can benefit from such information in that they will be better reach all employees within a company. However, in as much as one would like to think that people fall neatly into one of the several personality types, they may well display characteristics across the different types.  (personality type depending on the situation and their personal needs.)

So, what are the different types?

Type A

Type As are not necessarily focused on, and bothered by details; for them, it’s the big picture that counts. Goal orientation and pragmatism is the approach they take to problem solving. This aspect is what makes them very competitive. Such individuals are likely to be leaders and pioneers of change, posses entrepreneurial spirit and a resilient attitude – they are prepared to take risks. People who work with type A personalities report that it can be difficult because they tend to be bossy, impatient, and take on more than one challenge at a time. The problem with this, is sometimes they expect others to mirror their behaviours. However, these individuals get results and are high achievers – management benefit from their approach and way of working, particularly in terms of meeting business objectives.

Type B

Type Bs are people who thrive from being accepted and appreciated by others. For this reason, their behaviours are characterised by being highly social and good at building relationships. They value being recognised for their accomplishments. People who work with these types, report that they spend more time socialising with co-workers rather than completing work. The inability to focus may also characterise their personality. However, they are enthusiastic and have a natural willingness and ability to influence others and to accept change. Type Bs excel in roles that enable them to sell and market products and services, which could be an aspect of most job roles.

Type C

Type Cs are detail conscious. They are likely to be less competitive compared to both type A and type B personalities. Type Cs are governed by the desire to be ‘right’. Great effort is expended to ensure accuracy. Asides this, their approach to problem solving combines logic and rationality, above all else. People who work with type Cs report that they strive to control their own behaviour, as well as those of others. As leaders, type C personalities prefer to have all information made available to them prior to making any decisions.

Type D

Type Ds have a preference for stability and routine. For this reason they may be most resistant to change, when compared to the other personality types. Engaging in a role or duty that involves them having to undertake repetitive tasks for long periods of time tend not to phase or cause annoyance to Type Ds.  Those who work with type Ds report that they are good listeners, team players and thorough. Besides this, they tend to be organised and would struggle to thrive in work spaces that are  disorganised and cluttered. Type Ds are very good at masking their feelings and may avoid expressing their emotions, even when others are trying to ridicule or take advantage of them.

Personality tests are useful for understanding more about the way you think, interact with others, and cope under stress.

Please note that what has been presented above is only one perspective of how personality can be assessed – there are a few more approaches on offer.  Either way, ALL afford individuals with the opportunity to learn more about themselves and how they relate to others. Not only can this information prove useful in our personal lives, it helps out in our occupational and professional lives too.

If you would like to try out a personality test, there are many available online. However, you should always consult a psychologist for best advice, guidance and feedback regarding such tests. A basic version of a personality test can be found via the link below:

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