Personalities make a difference in the workplace

By Marette Hahn
GCU Career Services

In the workplace, understanding that people are different — from their communication, learning and leading styles to their strengths, weaknesses and personalities — can help employees learn to work together toward common goals.

At some point in your education or career, you may have taken a personality test, such as Myers-Briggs. It rates people on their:

  • Extroversion (outer world) vs. Introversion (inner world)
  • Sensing (focus on basic information) vs. Intuition (interpret and add meaning to information)
  • Feeling (consider people when making decisions) vs. Thinking (utilizing logic to make decisions)
  • Perceiving (staying open to new ideas) vs. Judging (making hard and fast decisions)

After taking the test, you will be placed into one of 16 groups, such as INFP (Introvert, Intuition, Feeling, Perceiving) or ESTJ (Extrovert, Sensing, Thinking, Judging). Not only is it a good idea to understand your own personality, you also may want to create a “Type Table” that maps the personalities of everyone on your team. That way, tasks can be delegated more efficiently, and the team members’ strengths and weaknesses can be maximized.

Understanding each other’s personalities can help in a variety of areas. For example, there are significant differences in communication skills of extroverts and introverts. Extroverts prefer to immerse themselves in the outer world and are rejuvenated by interacting with other people. Introverts are more contemplative and may be refreshed by spending time alone, reading or being in nature. Extroverts and introverts tend to communicate differently and may end up miscommunicating if they don’t understand their differences.

Understanding your own differences can improve your self-awareness and strategies for handling different tasks. Understanding the talents of your co-workers can improve your collaborative skills and the overall effectiveness of the organization. Doing so also may strengthen your relationships with your colleagues.

To learn more, contact GCU Career Services. Stop by our office in Camelback Hall, call 602-639-6606 or visit www.gcu.edu/careerservices to use our online tools to identify your career path, build your resume, research career options or apply to current job postings.

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Bible Verse

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)

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