Discover Your Personality

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Introductory Narrative

This is an exciting module where you will learn more about yourself by identifying your personality profile, and how you behave and are perceived in a working environment. How you react to others on a one-to-one or group basis will be influenced and determined by your corporate persona (personality at work). Identifying your personality characteristics and understanding others will help you to cope better with people dynamics and more productively manage and influence situations at work.

My experience of interviewing and coaching has identified four personality types:

  • The Supporter.
  • The Influencer.
  • The Creative.
  • The Analyst.

We all have these traits in different measures.

The four personality types are innate and have individual personality traits and characteristics. Your personality does not normally change, though you will frequently modify your behaviour to conform to situations. You may consider yourself to be a shy person, but enjoy giving a prepared presentation to a public group.

From my experience, most people will have a dominant and a secondary trait that influence their behaviour.

Every individual will possess a degree of all four characteristics. When I am interviewing or coaching candidates, they find it fascinating as we discuss their dominant trait and its implications. Conducting an analysis of their career to date and demonstrating how their performance and skills historically match and are facilitated by their traits as I define them, tends to be a revelatory road of discovery for them. The coaching facilitates future informed career choices.

This self-help and self-validated type of testing and the opportunity to make a self-analysis of your personal strengths is unique in the market. The personal validation makes it practical, usable and highly relevant to today’s work climate. Use it and gain the benefit.

This group and descriptor of types is based on my personal analysis of the many thousands of one-to-one interviews I conduct when I have the unique opportunity of contextually assessing and categorising behaviours, and thereby develop psychological models.

Building your Personality Profile

To help you to identify your dominant personality profile, I have described the psychological characteristics of each type, including their management style and how they interact with each other.

Some people are predominately one type, whilst others will be a combination of types. There is no golden rule. The types pre-empt behaviours which, when applied in a commercial environment, will help you to better understand how you should interact at work in relation to people and tasks. It will help you to understand why, historically, you did not enjoy certain work tasks and, conversely, why you were so successful in fulfilling certain roles.

Read the descriptions of the four personality types and discover your dominant and secondary characteristics.

Self-validation and evaluation is always difficult. Be as objective as possible and refer to historical events as a benchmark for evaluation. For example, if you organised a charity event, what were the aspects you enjoyed the most – the people interaction, achieving a high level of donations, or perhaps enjoying the benefits the fund made to a particular worthwhile cause?

In order to help you to apply your personality type to the work environment, I have included a paragraph at the end of each type that is a summation of your particular skills.

The Creative type is overlooked

You should know that the particular grouping of personality types is the result of my personal research. The inclusion of the Creative as a prominent type is unusual.

I believe that the Creative type is not given the prominence it requires within traditional personality analysis and categorisation. When I am coaching or recruiting Art Directors or other Executives requiring unique creative skills for the role, the candidates demonstrate clear characteristics that endorse their artistic and design talents not found in other personality types. When you think of art in terms of music, theatre, painting and sculpture, and when you realise that our physical environment is the result of purposeful architectural designs (not forgetting products, i.e. cars, mobiles, computers, etc.), creative design will have influenced the appearance and functional use in our day-to-day life.

Museums and art galleries in major cities throughout the world exhibit works of art that are a perpetual endorsement of creative talent: Picasso, Turner, Leonardo da Vinci, Monet, Bacon, Rothko; the list is extensive. Famous orchestras perform music – renditions of artists revered for their unique talents. Creative talent is demonstrated by so many job disciplines including architects, product designers, playwrights, songwriters, copywriters and authors, etc.

The thought processes of Creatives are highly individual and I have described their personality type through the identification of their unique traits. I believe that there are defining behaviours which are highly individualistic, separate and unique only to the Creative and, therefore, justify a standalone status.

You are not born a leader

A further deviation from common personality type grouping is not to nominate a director/leader as a distinct category. I agree with the American President, Barack Obama, when he stated in his inaugural speech, ‘Power grows through its prudent use.’ A director or leader is often categorised as a personality type. My experience leads me to form the view that a director or leader is a description of behaviour that is not innate but transient and reactive to situations. The leader profile is sometimes confused with aggressive or bullying behaviours, which are influenced by emotions and not personality traits.

All four types I have categorised can adopt a management and leadership style behaviour if required for their role. The Analyst may be a non-active participant at meetings, yet when they are chairing a meeting, they are highly structured and proactive. Behavioural adaptation is common in all types.

Many architectural practices will be successfully managed and directed by the Creative type. A Hospital Trust may be managed by a Supporter. Entrepreneurs will frequently fit the Influencer personality. Research and pharmaceutical organisations may be managed by the Analyst type.

The change of work culture from people to task, emphasised in the introduction, has also had an impact on management styles. The stereotypical perception of the corporate leader as a dominant ‘follow me’ extrovert with an amazing ‘can do’ attitude to all problems is now outdated.

The Analyst type now commonly manages corporations in today’s climate where the understanding and application of technology and the formulation of sophisticated strategy is critical. This observation endorses my previous contention that leadership is not a personality trait, but an acquired or adopted skill to suit a situation. All four personality types are potential leaders.

The emerging nations have dramatically influenced the work environment. The commercial culture has had to adopt a fast-forward mentality. The life cycle of many products from design and development to production has been dramatically reduced. Companies are competing more on a world stage and globalisation has almost become a cliché. Technology has facilitated this change and we take for granted the fact that we can buy an airline or railway ticket without human interaction. Process drives organisations and employees follow the processes. Employee to employee interaction is reduced and many tiers of decision-making are being performed and superseded by computers capable of processing data and presenting it in coherent conclusive report form.

The emerging nations have stimulated the outsourcing and off-shoring markets and the growth of computer technology and telecoms has facilitated a short-term ‘now’ culture, where the task rather than the people is the dominant focus.

This change in the commercial climate has an influence on the application of personality profiles. It means, for example, that the Analyst can be a successful entrepreneur, using the Internet to market their products on a world stage. Historically, they would have been dependent on the Influencer to sell their products and services.


Instructions to the Questionnaire:

The first exciting stage of your journey to secure that ideal job is to discover which of the four working styles matches your individual personality at work.

Complete the questionnaire which will identify whether you are a Supporter, Influencer, Analyst and Creative, and then apply the results to reviewing your options in terms of industries and job roles.

I would recommend that you decide on three choices which at this stage matches the strengths outlined in your dominant personality at work.

The result of the questionnaire will indicate your dominant and secondary personality type. Your dominant type is the one which best determines your adaptive skills, which you apply to particular situations and circumstances. For example, of you are analytical with a taciturn persona you may give a highly animated performance to create interest in your conference speech.

Today's working environment is very conducive to skills transference and I would advise MBA students to treat this stage as an exercise to review their employment opportunities from a broad perspective rather than a narrow mindset.

You can always change and adjust your career choices as the mindset itself develops and changes.

This stage will help to complete your job profiler and lead you into the CV Builder, Applying for the Job, and Interview stages.

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