The office is often a complex matrix of different personalities, which you have to navigate in order to perform your job well. Besides competence, your ability to work as a team is a key driver of your success and happiness.
Great teams are made up of personalities, not just skills. You may have the Midas touch when it comes to your skills and expertise, but if you don’t have the right personality to fit in with your team, you may not achieve the results and satisfaction that you want.
Also, understanding your personality may give you a clue as to why you are underachieving or feeling dissatisfied at work.
The reason why you are not performing optimally could be because you’re not given the right tasks. Sometimes, all it takes is a slight switch of roles and duties and you may just move from the sideline into the spotlight.
Fortunately, there’s a scientific way to simplify the complexities of personality management. The Myers Briggs Type Indicator, or MBTI, is the most widely used personality inventory, that can help us better understand the different personalities out there and how you can approach your working relationships with them.
Being aware of the character traits of your team-mates makes it easier for you to ask for favours or approach difficult situations, which is all part of working together.
Here are some personality types that you may recognise amongst your team-mates, and how you can work with them.
Analysts: Thinkers, not robots
What they like: A good challenge. Rational and logical, Analysts are most willing to try their hand at difficult tasks.
What they dislike: Following others’ footsteps. Independence isn’t just a characteristic, it’s important for their self -image.
How to work with Analysts: Believe in their competence. These personalities are driven to understand and create, so work alongside with them to come up with creative strategies and inspire them to explore things deeply.
Diplomats: Compassionate and caring
What they like: Helping and connecting with others. Because of their sensitivity, empathy comes naturally to Diplomats.
What they dislike: Injustice and wrongdoing. They believe it’s possible to create a kinder world and strive to do so every day.
How to work with Diplomats: Earn their trust and respect with authenticity, not materialism. They are driven by altruism and compassion, so if you can help them stay true to their big dreams and ideas, they will return the favour.
Sentinels: Hardworking and dutiful
What they like: Order, security, stability. They work hard and never want to let anyone down, expecting the same of others.
What they dislike: Drama and inconsistency. It can be difficult for them to accept people who lack their conscientiousness.
How to work with Sentinels: Define your roles and responsibilities right from the start. They prefer to follow established best practices and enjoy taking things from start to completion, rather than putting their fingers in different pies.
Explorers: Curious and fun-seeking
What they like: Spontaneity and risk-taking. They live for the thrill of handling uncertain situations on the fly.
What the dislike: Monotony and being tied down. Comfort zones are not their favourite places in life.
How to work with Explorers: Give them space to explore the unknown. They love being on the leading edge of things and are best suited for projects that allow them to discover and share the latest and the greatest.
If you’re thinking about switching to a completely different role, knowing and understanding your personality type can make a huge difference to how you plan your next move. It certainly helps to learn more about the types of jobs that are suitable for your personality type, so you can transition with confidence.
If you haven’t already done the Myers Briggs personality test, you can do so easily In less than 12 minutes. It’s a truly insightful way to find out more about your strengths and weaknesses, and to make your personality work for you, instead of against you.