Knowing personality types helps at work

HELPFUL TIPS: The finalists of My Paper Executive Search 2014 listening to Dr Wong at a workshop on building good working relationships in the workplace.


    May 16, 2014

    Knowing personality types helps at work

    KNOW thyself. This ancient Greek maxim is just as relevant in today's workplace as it was all those centuries ago.

    For understanding your own personality traits can help you better manage the relationships within an office environment, said Ernest Wong, founder and master trainer of Learning Mastery.

    At a peak performance workshop for 20 finalists of the My Paper Executive Search contest, he told the participants that maintaining good working relationships with colleagues and superiors by understanding personality types is an important aspect of office work.

    The workshop, which was titled "Achieving Peak Performance - DNA, Personality and Character", focused on using personality analysis and also discussed the use of tools such as personality tests.

    "You can relate better to your co-workers and subsequently see things from their point of view. You can also size them up for the best way to deal with them during a conflict," he said.

    Executives could also assign subordinates to the right tasks if they understood their personalities better, said Dr Wong.

    "When you know your people's personalities well, you can place them in positions which best suit their talents and character traits," he said.

    However, Dr Wong warned against being fixated on personality types.

    "You run the risk of pigeonholing yourself," he said, adding that versatility in developing different skills is crucial.

    For example, an introverted "observer" who learns to interact with his co-workers can subsequently network better.

    Personality types are also not cast in stone. You can still hone your best traits while correcting flaws, said Dr Wong.

    For example, "performers" could retain their competitiveness but tone down their tendency to be vain and deceitful, he said.

    To determine their personality types, the finalists took a profiling assessment where they selected statements they agreed with, for example: "I like to be clean, polished and well-dressed."

    They were then split into nine personality types according to the number of statements they selected within a category.

    Each finalist wrote down what they thought of themselves and how others perceived them. Members of each personality type then consolidated their work and sent a representative to present their conclusions.

    Ms Charmayne Yeo, 35, compliance vice-president of State Street Bank and Trust Company, was tasked to present for her group of fun-loving "epicures".

    When asked what she took away from the workshop, she said: "I deal with many different kinds of people, but the personality test made me more conscious of possible gaps in communication. Now, I can better understand my co-workers' concerns."