Kate Ward graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Michigan State University and has more than 20 years of experience in training development. She has authored dozens of programs, first for CareerTrack and then for TreeLine Training as Senior … Read more...
Have you ever wondered why it is that you seem to get along with some people and not with others? Or why it is that you can’t seem to get through to another? The answer lies in your personality style, a predictable set of behaviors that defines how others see you as you go about doing what you do. Your style -- a preference for behaving one way rather than another -- governs the way you lead others, participate in teamwork communicate, make decisions, and manage change; it even governs the way you learn. Personality style influences the type of work you enjoy and the people you like to be around. But when people with diverse personality styles have to work together, well, that can be a recipe for real problems.
Maybe you get frustrated when things change too slowly, while the rest of your team thinks you move too fast. Or maybe you prefer detail, while your colleague is one of those big-picture idea types -- all sizzle and no steak. Perhaps you prefer to take things in and consider all the options before making a decision, yet you work for a boss who’s a mile-a-minute ball of energy and demands a quick response to everything. Or maybe social interaction is important to you -- it’s one of the reasons you enjoy your work, after all -- and it irks you that you don't hear so much as a "good morning" from your coworkers at the start of each day.
Sound familiar? It should, because conflict, miscommunication, leadership failure, lack of engagement, high turnover, quality problems, and even poor individual and team performance can all have as their root cause a difference in personality "fit" between coworkers.
If you want to reach your full potential as a leader, manager, supervisor, or team player, you have to learn to work effectively with everyone. But there are some people whom you get along with more easily than others. The research into personality style gives clues as to why this is so. When you interact with people who share your style, you’re on the same wavelength, so to speak, and you develop an almost instant rapport. But when you interact with people whose style is different from your own, that’s when things can begin to unravel. Understanding your own style is the first step toward figuring out ways to work more effectively with others. And when you know others’ styles, you can more easily adapt your behaviors in order to create more harmonious and fruitful working relationships.
Your personality style also influences the kinds of careers and environments (cultures) in which you are likely to thrive. When you use your strengths, you tend to feel more energized and satisfied with your work. But if you’re not in an ideal environment, knowledge of personality styles will show you how you can adapt to the climate in order to minimize its negative effects on your job satisfaction.
This blog will be devoted to helping you recognize the four personality styles, identify your own style, and perhaps most importantly, provide tips for maximizing teamwork and productivity while minimizing conflict and misunderstandings due to personality style differences.
So, what are these styles?
The HRDQ Personality Style Model is built upon a long history of personality investigations, research, and theory, and it has been tested and applied in corporate and business settings around the world for many years. It is based on two dimensions of personality, assertiveness and expressiveness. The assertiveness dimension is the degree of effort you make to influence others, while the expressiveness dimension is the degree of effort you make when revealing your emotions to others. When put together, these elements form a quartet of personality dimensions, and it is these four quadrants of personality that are the basis of the HRDQ Personality Style Model.
Direct: high assertiveness and low expressiveness
Spirited: high assertiveness and high expressiveness
Considerate: low assertiveness and high expressiveness
Systematic: low assertiveness and low expressiveness
Direct: A Direct personality style is a combination of high assertiveness and low expressiveness. Those with a Direct style make a big effort to influence the thoughts and behaviors of others and control their emotions when relating to others. You might recognize someone with a Direct style by his competitive, decisive, and risk-taking nature. Those with a Direct style take the initiative and are motivated by power and authority. They also thrive on new challenges and resist routine or mundane tasks. Those with Direct personality styles may also avoid listen to the opinions of others.
Spirited: A Spirited personality style is a combination of high assertiveness and high expressiveness. Those with a Spirited style make a big effort to influence the thoughts and behaviors of others and display emotions when they relate to others. You might characterize someone with this style as enthusiastic, optimistic, talkative, impulsive, and emotional. In addition, someone with a Spirited personality is a great problem solver and very persuasive in motivating others. Spirited personality style people thrive on recognition, popularity, and praise that they receive from others. And they don’t like structure or too many rules.
Considerate: A Considerate personality style is a combination of low assertiveness and high expressiveness. Those with a Considerate style make little effort to influence the thoughts and behaviors of others, but do tend to display their emotions when relating to others. You might describe someone with this style as a loyal team worker who is also supportive of others, a great listener, friendly, reliable, and dependable. You may also notice that someone with a Considerate style tends to resist change and can be overly sensitive to criticism. Those with Considerate styles dislike conflict and go to great lengths to maintain harmony, even sacrificing their own needs to achieve it.
Systematic: A Systematic personality style is a combination of low assertiveness and low expressiveness. Someone with a Systematic style makes little effort to influence the thoughts and behaviors of others and controls his emotions when relating to others. A description of a Systematic style might include the words conscientious, careful, analytical, and accurate. You may notice that someone with a Systematic personality style is excellent at implementation and follow-through (as long as a clear goal is articulated) and doesn’t require much social interaction. Those with Systematic styles tend to avoid arguing and may give in to avoid conflict. Still, they are motivated by achieving the highest standards of performance.
So, those are the four personality styles. Future articles will help you spot areas of potential conflict, show you how to use your knowledge of personality styles to influence others, help you work better with your boss and on a team, and even provide tips how to choose or improve your work environment.