Understanding personality types impacts us, and our teams | TSLN.com

Understanding personality types impacts us, and our teams

Lynn Gordon
for Tri-State Livestock News

Understanding personalities will mean more smiles, less grimaces for those who work together. Branding photo contest runner up by Tottie Hotchkiss

Wouldn't it be great to simply know how to interact effectively with others and be part of a team or work setting where communication flows easily and openly. Having the ability to determine and interpret the preferred behaviors and personality styles of your co-workers, your boss, other committee/association members and even your family can recharge you and the working environment.

Fortunately, there is an assessment tool that will allow us to learn about personality styles. The program, I utilize in my training divides people into four general personality styles. Each of these styles is associated with a color — primarily to make it easier for people to remember their identified style rather than a long technical term. A person assesses and identifies their own personality style and will learn about the additional three styles. Taking the step to learn about a person's personality style is critical in bridging the gap that may occur within areas such as communication and team work. Everyone can benefit by knowing more about their personality type. Relationships are more effective, it reduces conflict and improves your professional work abilities.

What does it mean for you?

Learning your personality type heightens your self-awareness and can as a result:

a) Make you more confident in yourself and your role at work, with teams and family members. Once you know your type, you gain new knowledge on how you react in your own behavioral patterns and how you react to others

b) Help you identify your strengths, and brings awareness to areas you may want to work on to strengthen, or in some cases we refer to these as overdone strengths. For example, if you always want to be the person in charge of a project, maybe once you let another person take the lead role. Your overdone strength may be wearing others out.

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c) When conflict occurs, if you understand yourself and your personality style, you will be able react in a way that will result in the most positive outcome and reduce tension.

d) In your career (no matter what it is) you will develop solid professional relationships because you understand yourself and will learn to appreciate and accept the differences of others.

What does it mean to others you work with?

Knowing more about the people you interact with can benefit you by:

a) Being viewed more positively by others because learning about personality styles helps you build leadership skills and be a better team member.

b) Learning how to recognize the strengths, overdone strengths and common characteristics of others. As a result, adapting your ways in order to meet someone of a very different style — more in the middle. You understand the dynamics of working with others.

c) Improving communication because you better understand others' and why they act or react the way they do. For example, if your boss is very direct and prefers to not hear all the details and emotions involved in your decision making process on an issue, once you understand his/her style of communication, you will learn to present your issue in a succinct and direct manner.

Time to learn your style

In one of my previous personality assessment trainings, a participant sent me an email about four weeks after the session, which her and her husband had attended. She told me 'this is the first time in 30 years working alongside my husband in our beef cattle operation, that we truly understand each other and are working together better.' For this agricultural couple, learning their personality styles, truly made an impact and I would guess based on her comment, a less stressful and overall more enjoyable situation for them.

This is a short summary about why I believe in the effectiveness of learning about your personality styles. As a part of the SDSU Leadership Initiative "Inspiring Ag Leaders," if your association, organization, agricultural or family farm/ranch business, etc., is interested in learning more about personality types and having an assessment training conducted contact me at lynn.gordon@sdstate.edu.

Lynn Gordon is an SDSU Extension Ag Leadership Specialist. F

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