The basic ingredients of a personality can be put together to create a full representation of an individual.
How your communication is received is just as important as what you are saying. Understanding your personality will assist you in communicating better.
We all have the capacity to build our interpersonal communication skills. A great mirror for the self is to understand your own personality type, and how you come off to others. Only then can you learn how to interact most effectively with the other personality types.
WHY UNDERSTAND YOUR PERSONALITY TYPE?
Personality type has been studied for thousands of years. Roots of Western personality development begin with Hippocrates (ca. 460 BC - ca. 370 BC) who divided individuals into four groups based on fluid volumes in the body:
Understanding your personality type will assist you in understanding your motivations, and why others are not always on the same page. The insight into why others act the way they do gives you an edge in all situations.
Personality Dimensions is the best personality assessment to begin with, as it divides all people into four different colours:
- Inquiring Green
- Organized Gold
- Authentic Blue
- Resourceful Orange
We are all a blend of the four colours; however, we all have a preference that dictates our communication style. These four designations relate to the four used by Hippocrates, but with a modern perspective. Personality Dimensions is completed with an assessment using cards and questionnaire.
MYERS-BRIGGS TYPE INDICATOR (MBTI)
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) divides the population into sixteen different personality types. These sixteen personality types further expand the four personality dimensions groups into four groups of four, though with different verbiage.
The indicators used to define type are:
- Introversion vs. Extraversion
- Intuition vs. Sensing
- Thinking vs. Feeling
- Perceiving vs. Judging
A fundamental understanding of personality types is beneficial when understanding the MBTI results. A previous assessment in Personality Dimensions is useful if you do not have education in fundamental psychology principles.
The Enneagram is built from another ancient symbolic system. The Enneagram has nine personality types that do not map to Personality Dimensions or MBTI as easily as those two work with each other.
The nine personalities found in the Enneagram are:
- The Reformer
- The Helper
- The Achiever
- The Individualist
- The Investigator
- The Loyalist
- The Enthusiast
- The Challenger
- The Peacemaker.
These nine represent the strengths and challenges of the assessed. For example, The Investigator may be great at solving issues in the office. The downside for this type is that they are always uncovering problems that need to be solved. If The Investigator can not learn to hold back their opinions some of the time, they distance themselves from others.
ONCE YOU HAVE A FRAMEWORK
Use the understanding of personality to assess the individuals around you. You will make mistakes to learn from. Look at members of your family and match them to personality types. You may find that it was your lack of understanding of others that caused conflict, and that it was your expectations of others that were the issue. Promote better communication strategies for better communication and relationships.
Understanding yourself is the first step in better communication. Gaining insight into your own intrinsic needs and values, and how the needs and values of others are different, not wrong. Work with a coach trained in personality assessment to help guide you in this process.