Leaders Understand and Value Different Personality Types

Last week, we discussed insecurity and how our insecurities affect our lives and our work. This week, we’ll discuss the importance of understanding personality differences, and how that can enhance culture and build trust. You can download Dr. Mark Scullard’s short ebook, The Invisible Drain on Your Company’s Culture, for free here.

Insecurity can be overcome by a culture of trust.

“Some of the most effective and lasting tools for building trust on a team are profiles of team members’ behavioral preferences and personality styles. These help break down barriers by allowing people to better understand and empathize with one another.” ~Patrick Lencioni

Scullard, M. (2019). The Invisible Drain on Your Company’s Culture. Hoboken, NJ. Wiley & Sons, INC.

When you think about the people you work with, it’s not difficult to notice how each person is different in their approach to, well, everything. Janice responds to emails with one, maybe two sentences tops. In contrast, Francis begins her emails by asking about your day and includes no fewer than six exclamation points. Darren is overly helpful and a little passive, while Cameron is blunt, to-the-point, and seems engrossed in his own work. Karen talks all the time; Von doesn’t speak unless spoken to.

Personality styles make a difference in how we interact.

And yet, even though we know this to be true, we still get frustrated with Francis’ overly-enthusiastic emails. Our insecurity asks why Janice doesn’t like us; have we done something to offend her? We think Darren needs to have an opinion about something, and Cameron should chill out a bit. Karen is annoying, and Von is stuck up.

When we do this, we are looking at everyone through the lens of our own personality style and asking why they’re not more like us. In essence, this lens puts barriers on our ability to trust and empathize with others.

Different doesn’t equal bad.

In fact, we need personality diversity in our organizations. Teams need people who are conscientious, challenging, and enthusiastic. They need people who create spaces for harmony, collaboration, and stability. And, of course, they need people who focus on results and action. All of these priorities are essential to a high-functioning culture. When we trust each other and understand our personality differences, we peek out from behind our own lens to see the value others bring to the table.

So, then we realize that Janice’s responses aren’t about us personally; she’s just leaving out clutter and getting to the point. Francis isn’t trying to clog up the email with unnecessary information and flowery punctuation; she just values personal interaction. Darren values creating harmony in the workplace. Cameron cares about the team, but he’s also focused on getting results. Karen prioritizes building relationships by verbal communication; Von connects by listening.

“It’s where people can grow not only through cerebral and cognitive means, but by speaking to their instincts, where slowly their gut is telling them that maybe it’s okay for me to be flawed around these people…Their flaws don’t define them.” ~Dr. Mark Scullard

Scullard, M. (2019). The Invisible Drain on Your Company’s Culture. Hoboken, NJ. Wiley & Sons, INC.

Trust allows you to let go of our insecurities.

At Group Dynamic, we specialize in Everything DiSC® personality assessments that help create a culture of trust in organizations. Understanding ourselves and others is the key to building stronger leaders and tighter teams.

Thanks for reading,

Alan Feirer

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