Companies use personality and skill assessments to screen candidates before hiring them. But if a company is interested in identifying the best candidates, wouldn’t it make sense to use the same tools to understand those who already work on their team?
Experts say that understanding our personalities can actually help us become better workers and leaders. “If you’ve never done an assessment for your organization, do it, even if it’s just at a leadership level,” recommends Ariel Cope, human resources director for The Next Step. “It will bring different things to light. You will learn a lot about yourself and a lot about how the team is going to work.”
The DISC profile is a popular assessment tool that measures four dimensions of personality: Dominance (D), Influence (I), Conscientiousness (C) and Steadiness (S). Similar to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), it identifies four core traits, but it is more straightforward. Another assessment to consider is Six working geniuses, developed by Patrick Lencioni.
There are many benefits to using personality assessments at work, including:
- Identifying strengths and weaknesses
- Understanding how you relate to others
- Improving communication skills
- Improving team performance
According to Steph Altom, employee testing and engagement specialist at The Next Step, there are some essential things to remember when using assessments. When everyone completes the assessment—including leaders—and the results are shared with the team, that helps build trust.
Assessments can be a powerful tool to help promote understanding of different work styles, but it’s critical to remember that they are only a tool. Altom urges caution about making personnel decisions based solely on the results of an assessment. She also reminds executives that using an assessment like the DiSC is most useful when one understands their value and uses the information to improve working relationships. Cope believes that it’s helpful for employees to be aware of others’ working styles and that assessments help employees connect their areas of strength to the organization’s values.
Personality assessments can help us understand our co-workers and employees, which is valuable. But perhaps more importantly, they can help us understand ourselves.