How to Use Personality Tests to Motivate, Inspire, and Show Up

Have you ever taken a personality test to learn more about your strengths, weakness, and leadership style?

The Common Types of Personality Assessments

There are dozens of different personality tests out there, but two of the most common are the DiSC assessment and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

  • The DiSC assessment mainly looks at behavioral and personality traits, and is inspired by the works of 1920s psychologist William Moulton Marston. It breaks test-takers into four categories: D personalities (confident, with a focus on bottom-line results), I personalities (open, with a particular focus on building relationships and influencing others), S personalities (dependable, cooperative, and sincere) and C personalities (focused on quality, accuracy, expertise, and competency).
  • The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) focuses more on worldview and perceptions. This test was designed by Katherine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs in the early 1900s, and was inspired by the work of Carl Jung. It sorts test-takers into 16 different personality types, and each type includes some combination of introversion/extraversion, sensing/intuition, thinking/feeling, and judging/perceiving. For example, someone’s personality type could be ISFJ, or introversion, sensing, feeling, and judging.

Other popular types of leadership assessments include the Saville Assessment, Gallup Strengths finder, Personality Dimensions, and 360 degree feedback, which involves gathering feedback from colleagues. There are even some that assign animals to different personality types, like powerful and result-driven lions or easy-going, conflict-avoidant golden retrievers.

Using Personality Assessments to Change How You Show Up

While there is no “wrong” answer in a personality test like DiSC or MBTI, a person’s personality test results can be used to better understand how they navigate the world and behave the way they do. For leaders, they can be a valuable tool for connecting with their team members, especially when it comes to conflicts and miscommunications. They can also help leaders understand their own gaps and improve how they show up everyday to inspire and motivate their teams.

This was the topic of a recent episode of my Mindfulness Manufacturing podcast, featuring guest Christy Smallwood. As a speaker and author who helps leaders “supercharge” their organization and find their own ways to make a positive impact, Christy knows a lot about personality tests, and shared some insights leaders can use to make the most of their results.

Christy emphasized the importance of understanding your team member’s personality. This might mean learning their personality type through a test like DiSC or MBTI, or simply just taking the time to genuinely interact with your team and seeing how they behave and react to different situations. By understanding someone’s personality, you can:

  • Find the best way to communicate with them
  • Understand why they react the way they do, especially in times of tension or conflict
  • Know the best ways to inspire, motivate, and encourage them

For example, if you know that a team member tends to react in a very emotional way, you might approach a conflict by calmly stating an issue, then giving them the time they need to reflect and control their options.

Learn More on the Podcast

To hear more insights from Christy Smallwood and learn how to find the best personality assessment for your team and organization, listen to her episode of the Mindfulness Manufacturing podcast here.

Bonus Information: My Favorite Personality Assessment

When working with manufacturing leaders, I use the Personality Dimensions personality assessment. This dynamic model helps leaders find and understand their core strengths, values, and motivators, as well as shows them their ideal working style. Using their test results, I’m then able to work with them to find the best ways to strengthen their leadership, shift their behavior, and change how them show up every day. If you want to learn more about my leadership coaching and how I utilize Personality Dimensions, click here or contact me.

At Manufacturing Greatness, Trevor Blondeel works with manufacturers to connect the top to the shop floor. If you’re ready to improve your own organization, contact Trevor to learn how Manufacturing Greatness can help you build stronger leaders and develop a dynamic, high-performing workplace.