How Leaders Can Use Myers-Briggs, DISC and FIRO-B Tests to Drive Corporate Culture
Ensuring everyone understands each other's personality types can help create a culture of cooperation and self-awareness.
Nobody wants to work in a business where they feel like another number or a disregarded team member. They want to feel included and heard, and they want to get along with the other people on the team. So if you really want people to be productive and present for the long term, you absolutely must build a cohesive, positive culture.
How do you do that? Modeling what you want workers to do and emphasizing transparency is a great start. But you can also use personality tests like Myers-Briggs, DISC and FIRO-B to help create an atmosphere everybody can be proud of.
Understanding your options
Myers-Briggs, DISC and FIRO-B tests all try to assess what a person’s main characteristics, needs and preferences are. But they do have differences, which influences how you apply them for a powerful working culture in your office.
Myers-Briggs is a relatively long test of about 90 questions that is more introspective. It separates people into 16 personality categories. DISC has about 20-30 questions and just four categories (dominant, inspiring, supportive and cautious). It’s more about people's inherent personalities rather than how they think. FIRO-B is all about interpersonal interactions and figuring out how somebody might act externally in a group of people.
How personality tests can support your business
Personality tests can drive a positive culture in four main ways:
1. Hiring for fit
Personality tests can indicate the type of position in which a candidate might do well. For example, if somebody has fantastic soft skills and sees building relationships as super important, then they could thrive in human resources or marketing. By putting people in the position they have the right personality for right from the start, you can tap their natural skills to complete the full range of tasks your business demands with minimal stress. It can be easier to figure out who to approach for specific types of assignments after hiring, too. As they have more and more successes, they’ll become more confident in themselves and each other. Utilizing personality tests to screen the candidate pool before final hiring can eliminate potential work performance issues due to a mismatch in personality and duties.
2. Communication and minimizing conflict
When everybody on your team has a grasp of what makes everybody else tick, it becomes so much easier to communicate with real transparency. Each person knows how to approach other team members without ruffling too many feathers, and they can head off potential misunderstandings by tailoring what they do and say. Overall, this can mean less disagreement and more efficiency. People are more likely to feel valued if they see that others are hearing their ideas and responding appropriately to each other’s personality styles.
A great product or service is critical for your company. But people have to be in the right job for their personality if they’re going to represent that product or service to other people well. A receptionist who only cares about the bottom line or doesn’t ask any tailored questions, for example, can be abrasive. They can give the impression to your customers that there’s no reason to get excited about what you’re offering.
When people on your team know their personality type and the personality types of others, they can refer customers or clients to anybody on your team with confidence. This helps give the impression that your employee believes in both their teammates and your company. It verifies that individual abilities are sufficient and appreciated, and everybody recognizes how each person contributes to achieving the company's goals.
Some personality tests that focus more on what goes on internally, like Myers-Briggs, can help a person understand who they are and what they need to thrive as they go through their career. That increased self-awareness can make it easier for them to know their limits, ask for help and go after opportunities that will really benefit them. They can be better models for self-accountability.
Myers-Briggs, DISC and FIRO-B all have slightly different focuses, so they can help develop your culture with different insights. Using them together can paint a full picture of how to transform your work environment. Whether you’re just getting off the ground or already have hundreds of workers, keep them in your arsenal to protect your future and establish a company culture of emotional intelligence.
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor