In today’s dynamic workplace and changing world, understanding and connecting with the diversity on a team is crucial for fostering collaboration and optimizing performance. Personality tests can be powerful tools in achieving this understanding, building team trust, collaboration and success. 

 

With a $7 billion dollar global market, personality tests are without a doubt the go-to resource for HR, leaders and business owners when it comes to tapping the human capital in their organizations, big and small.

 

However, their effectiveness relies on how they are implemented and integrated into team dynamics. Here are five dos and 3 don’ts to guide you in using personality tests to build team collaboration and performance.

 

5 Dos:

#1 Identify Diverse Strengths:

Do use personality tests to identify the diverse strengths within your team. According to a Harvard Study, teams that tap deep into and leverage cognitive diversity outperform their counterparts. Leveraging diversity of thinking allows the individual to shine and becomes a key organizational advantage.

 

#2 Encourage Open Dialogue:

When you understand the similarities and differences in the thinking styles and personalities of your colleagues, you are more willing to engage in open dialogue, creating inclusive communication. This simple understanding of how we all think and form opinions and ideas, creates an environment where team members feel comfortable having the challenging conversations and healthy debate necessary to move the team and the business forward. 

 

#3 Promote Cross-Functional Collaboration:

Personality assessments are a great tool in fostering cross-functional collaboration. Research shows that when diverse personality styles come together the ideas and solutions generated are more meaningful and long-lasting. But, this can only be achieved when there is respect and understanding of each other’s differences, instead of a desire to “go along to get along.”

 

 

#4 Facilitate Professional Growth:

Do use personality tests as a tool for facilitating personal and professional growth. Identify areas where team members can benefit from development opportunities and support them in enhancing their skills and capabilities. When you have a deeper understanding of how you and your team think, make decisions, and creative-problem solve you are better equipped to focus development efforts on the areas that will make the biggest impact. 

 

 

#5 Model Adaptability as a Leader:

Understanding yourself and how you navigate change, chaos, and complexity means you can model it for your team. When team members see their leaders embracing change and adjusting strategies when necessary, it sets a positive precedent for adaptability within the team. When your team knows your personality style, they are also more open to your leadership style, especially when it’s different from their own. 

 

3 Don’ts:

#1 Overlook Experiences

Don’t judge team members based solely on their personality test results. Humans are dynamic. We are a combination of our natural talents, habits, experiences and learned skills.  Avoid constraining individuals within predefined roles and expectations, recognizing that growth and potential are a combination of all of the above. A personality test is a big piece of the puzzle and will help you see how all the pieces fit together. 

 

#2 Overemphasize Weaknesses:

Don’t overemphasize individual weaknesses revealed by personality tests. The mistake I often see is a total focus on the weakness, while overlooking the incredible strengths the person and team bring to the table. It’s important to make sure the weaknesses identified aren’t sabotaging you or your team, but the real impact is in focusing on leveraging and building the strengths that give you the competitive edge. 

 

#3 Launch and Abandon

Personality tests can energize and motivate a team. I’ve seen numerous occasions where teams have enthusiastically embraced their personality styles in a one-day workshop or strategic retreat and then never speak of them again. All of the energy and understanding in taking the test and self-discovery only gets pushed away. If you plan on using a personality test, make sure to reinforce the learnings, follow up on the implementation and build a culture that respects diversity of thinking for more than a day. 

 

 

In business and life, personality tests can be a powerful tool in helping you build high-performing teams that thrive in change, chaos and complexity. The right personality tests that are dynamic and value-add will not only tell you who you are, but how to bring out your best self, and the best in each other. 

A client favorite is the Innovation Quotient Edge assessment that has helped tens of thousands across the globe elevate their performance, strengthen their adaptability and become strong innovators. Of course, I’m a little biased, but I think every team should know their Everyday Innovator personalities and team patterns. It’s a powerful tool that allows everyone to go further, faster.