It’s been said ad infinitum that people are our greatest resource. Why not invest in getting to know your people better and helping them better understand each other? In Episode #57 of the John Maxwell Executive Leadership Podcast, Perry Holley and Chris Goede discuss 4 well-known personality assessment tools. Today, we’d like to get into the nitty-gritty of those 4 tools and what they can bring to your team.
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) applies the theory of psychological types described by Carl G. Jung. The MBTI is not specifically designed for the workplace, rather intended to help individuals better understand themselves. However, we believe that greater understanding of oneself and others can lend to stronger team cohesion in the workplace and optimized use of your team’s strengths and weaknesses.
With the MBTI, everyone falls under 1 of 16 personality types. The 16 types are composed of four dichotomies. There are 1) Extroversion (E) vs. Introversion (I), 2) Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N), 3) Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F), and 4) Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P). We all lean one way or the other within each dichotomy. For example, if you are extroverted, prefer relying on impression over reality, trust feelings over logic, and prefer to decide rather than stay open to new options, your Myers-Briggs personality type is ENFJ.
There are many ways for your team members to determine their Myers-Briggs personality type. They can take an online test or have a certified practitioner in your area administer the test in person.
Management By Strengths (MBS)
The Management By Strengths (MBS) program, on the other hand, is designed for the workplace. It centers on company team building, with specific aims of increasing productivity and employee morale.
What sets the MBS program apart is that it does not divide people into categories. The MBS Profile Report lays out one’s strengths (not weaknesses), communication style, and unique motivations. By not categorizing and pointing out weaknesses, the MBS uplifts and unites individuals, educating everyone on how to work best with others.
The MBS Survey is a 10-minute, multiple-choice assessment that results in a MBS Profile Report, which describes an individual’s temperament, including unique strengths, communication style, and motivations.
“We need to understand how we’re wired, because at the end of the day, we all get under pressure inside organizations, whether it’s a quota, a deadline to change a process…As leaders, we need to be aware of our team members’ true natures so that we can coach them through those times.”
—The John Maxwell Executive Leadership Podcast
The DiSC Profile also focuses on the workplace. It categorizes individuals into one of four categories, labeled with colors: Green, Red, Blue, and Yellow. Green indicates Dominance, meaning an emphasis on accomplishing results. Red indicates Influence, meaning an emphasis on influencing or persuading others. Blue stands for Steadiness, meaning an emphasis on cooperation and sincerity. Yellow stands for Conscientiousness, meaning an emphasis on quality, accuracy, and competency.
Though the thought of categorizing your team can arouse concerns of stereotyping, the idea behind the DiSC model is the creation of a common language on your team. Your team can use these easy color labels to better understand themselves and to adapt their behaviors with others. It can help you, as a leader, improve working relationships by recognizing the communication needs of team members and manage more effectively by understanding the dispositions and priorities of employees and team members.
The test takes 15 to 20 minutes (though there is no time limit). There are a total of 80 questions in which one responds to a phrase on a scale from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree.”
RightPath 360 Leadership Assessment
The last personality assessment tool we’ll cover today is one that we here at the John Maxwell Company implement often. The RightPath 360 Assessment is designed specifically for company leaders, giving them the opportunity to hear feedback from their team that will help them develop into great leaders.
Here’s how it works: Participants invite co-workers to provide anonymous ratings related to their leadership skills. This feedback comes from participants, managers, direct reports, peers and others. Raters spend approximately 10 minutes to numerically rate the leader on 64 leadership characteristics. The feedback is compiled into a report that clearly shows which leadership behaviors are already effective and which need improvement. The results are organized into the following categories: results, relationships, EQ (emotional intelligence), trust, and development of others.
There you have it: all you need to know about these 4 popular personality assessment tools. Whether you’re looking to develop yourself as a leader or create understanding and cohesion among your people, there’s an assessment tool for your team. Remember, no matter what business you’re in, you are also in the people business! Take the time to understand your people.
“People are our greatest resource.”
—The John Maxwell Executive Leadership Podcast