3 Reasons You Need to Know Your Personality Type

January 21, 2013 in At Work, Skills Development

What’s my number? I’m a six!

In-depth personality profiling has grown in popularity dramatically over the past few years and even many of the sceptics have been won over, but how exactly does it help to know what personality type* you are and does it really make a difference?

With the use of tools like the Enneagram we are able to identify our base personality profiles and can then begin to understand our core motivations for doing things and the fears that hold us back.

“The Enneagram divides personalities into nine groups, 18 wing subtypes, and three instincts. It is a tool that helps you to make the best choice available based on your own definition of success.”

While there are innumerable benefits to understanding your personality profile, it can help you right now in the following ways:

1. You become able to avoid negative behaviours and reactions as you pay closer attention to your habitual behaviour and “catch yourself in the act”.

Generally what people do is go about their business acting in accordance with the typical style of their personality profile, e.g. a three (the Achiever) is always striving towards success, accomplishment and status in whatever way they may perceive these goals. Unfortunately one of the consequences of this is that they tend to ignore messages from their minds and bodies that they may be overdoing it, putting terrific strain on themselves in the process.

Being aware of this trait allows a three type to stop such negative and damaging behaviour before it affects his health, work or personal life.

2. We become able to better manage different personality profiles.

By understanding our own ways of managing people and by being able to identify their personality profiles as well we gain a clearer understanding of how to manage these individuals, and indeed teams as well.

According to the Enneagram Institute website:

“The Enneagram helps managers and personnel at every level understand that there are nine different points of view, nine distinct sets of values, nine different communication styles, nine ways of solving problems—and so forth—and that they are all equally useful and valid.”

3. Making career / study decisions becomes easier.

How often do you hear people complaining about their jobs? Extroverts stuck in cramped offices…Introverts wishing they could just get away from the crowds of people they deal with daily…

Learning to understand who you really are, what motivates and drives you, what you envision as success and what fears hold you back enables you to more clearly see why or why not particular jobs (or fields of study) are more suited to you.

For example a type six (the Troubleshooter) who is by nature highly analytical, might go into computer programming as his or her profession, but, being an introverted six, he/she may find trusting their clients’ expertise a real challenge, and that the necessary communication required to establish this trust is too difficult at the time.

However, truly understanding yourself and the depths of your personality profile make long-term decisions like the one above just that much easier to make, and by knowing yourself you can be sure of being comfortable with the results.

*It should be noted that personality profiles are not meant to “box people in”, but rather provide insight into potential thinking and behavioural patterns.

Find out more about the Enneagram or contact Staff Training at (021) 839 3021 or at info@StaffTraining.co.za

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