By Ashley Boarman, Account Supervisor
When our newest employee, Sarah, came on board she asked me if I’d ever taken a personality test called 16Personalities. I’d heard about it before, but never actually sat down to do it. Turns out it’s free, completely online and takes about 12 minutes to complete.
As an account supervisor, I saw the test as an opportunity to better understand one another’s personalities right from the start. I answered questions like “You try to respond to your e-mails as soon as possible and cannot stand a messy inbox” and “You consider yourself more practical than creative.” Each question is answered according to a sliding scale of “agree” or “disagree.” I heeded the advice to answer honestly – even if I didn’t necessarily like the answer.
Before I knew it, I was looking at my results: ESFJ.
Okay, what the heck does “ESFJ” mean? I eagerly began reading up on “The Consul” personality, which truly captures my essence:
- “Consuls are the cheerleaders and the quarterbacks.” Check.
- “Consuls like organizing social gatherings and doing their best to make sure everyone is happy.” Check, check.
- “Consuls may have trouble stepping outside their comfort zones.” Ouch. Okay check.
I combed through my results, which are broken down into helpful categories like “Strengths and Weaknesses”, “Career Paths” and “Workplace Habits”. This information I learned was pure personality gold.
Sarah and I shared our results with each other, which gave us both a good sense of how we could build a successful workplace and mentor/mentee relationship. I learned powerful tidbits like what projects motivate someone with her personality type, as well as what role she likes to play on certain team assignments.
I invited other LCI colleagues to take the test and share the results. It was then that a few light bulbs started illuminating in my head: I soon realized that the management style I used with person A wouldn’t necessarily work with person B. This was a breakthrough learning moment for me, and one that I was ready to address immediately.
Good managers (and companies) know that the secret to driving engagement and increasing productivity is to work with each person’s strengths and key attributes as much as possible. At the end of the day, we all work better when we get along, contribute our fair share and ultimately feel valued. The 16Personalities quiz can indeed be used as a stepping stone in creating a strong office ecosystem. In an industry like public relations, managing (and working successfully) with myriad personalities is an important key to success.
I encourage you all to spend a few minutes taking the test and sharing the results with your friends, family and coworkers. A little time spent on this exercise now can go a long way toward demystifying office relationships.
Feel free to share some result highlights in the comments section below, or you can email me directly at [email protected].