Managers play a critical role in the overall success of a business, with one of their most important tasks being the motivation, inspiration and leadership of employees. Poor management, on the other hand, can directly impact employee enthusiasm and reduce productivity.
In the UK alone it’s been estimated that over 800,000 management jobs will be created between 2010 and 2017. Considering the impact this role can have on the performance of a company, Instant Offices took a closer look at something all good managers have in common: knowing how to deal with different personality types at work.
The Importance of People Management Skills
When it comes to work personality types, the more a manager knows the better, and the easier it becomes to motivate and inspire people around. From something as simple as knowing the individuals at conflicts, to a deeper understanding of team members’ aspirations and emotional drivers, an effective manager should aim to know as much as he can about the people is his team.
While employers have used personality tests for decades to streamline their hiring process and screen prospective candidates, there’s been criticism on the fairness of using tools like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or the Jung Typology Profiler for Workplace (JPTW), among others, especially if it means the results are used to screen out job applicants.
While these tools may not be ideal for pre-employment, they can be valuable in getting to know existing team members a little better. By learning more about employee drivers and goals, a manager is in a better position to develop talent within the company.
See: HRs Must Know: The Common 8 Personality Types at Work
There are multiple tests that can be used to gain insight into an individual’s personality. According to inspirational speaker Allison Mooney, all humans can be categorised into four personality types:
In reality, a team made up of a mixture of all personality types across the spectrum is ideal.
Classifying people into four different personality types is simple, so how do we find out more about an individual’s strengths and weaknesses? Apart from one-on-one sessions, general interactions and observations at work every day, another way to get to know team members a bit better is to incorporate ‘personality type education’ into your management strategy.
Something as simple as giving team members the option of taking a free online test and sending you the results is a great start.
Here’s a great one to try: 16Personalities has combined the philosophies of both Meyers-Briggs and Carl Jung to develop a personality-test model that incorporates the latest in psychometric research with age-old concepts.
They’ve developed five personality aspects that work on a scale system, with neutral in the middle. Each describes a person’s category, as well as how strong their preferences in that category are. By taking the test you can find out more about your team members in terms of:
How to Cater to Different Personality Types at Work
Working with different personality types is a chance to learn, teach and experience life from a different perspective. By engaging with various personality types differently, a manager can form stronger bonds with a team and ultimately fulfil a higher level of potential.
Whether visually, through practice, with instruction or on their own, once you determine how an employee becomes most engaged when learning something new, you’ll be able to communicate with them more effectively going forward.
Ensure your office space is set up to cater to the needs of different personalities on your team. One size most certainly doesn’t fit all, and some businesses create breakaway areas, entertainment areas and quiet spaces within the office to give individuals a change of pace, while others choose flexible offices which are already set up to accommodate their needs.
By learning how a team member communicates best, you can start to understand how messages are interpreted by them, and work towards developing more effective channels of communication.
When considering how to manage people, there’s no single solution to make the process easy. Different personality types require different types of management to thrive, and understanding a team better is just one of the things, a manager can do to make a positive impact.
Author credit: The Instant Group
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