Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, DiSC Profile, StrengthsFinder, Kolbe Index--have you utilized a personality assessment in your business? With multiple ways to identify our personalities, it's how we leverage the test results that counts. As entrepreneurs, learning about ourselves and employees to implement strategies that improve interpersonal communication and overall efficiency are a key to success. In Part I of this two-part series, we explored how personality assessments identify strengths, weaknesses and improve communications. In Part II, we asked Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) members to share how personality assessments have impacted their companies and leadership styles. Here's what they shared.
Do personality assessments play a role in your hiring process?
"We've done a lot of personality appraisals over the years, and now incorporate them into the hiring process. It helps us to find personalities that fit well with our team, especially when they bring something we are currently lacking," said Terry Segerberg, CEO of Mesa Industries and EO Cincinnati member.
"We've long used personality tests in our hiring process to help evaluate fit for the role, and recently went a step further with our staff to also identify strengths and put each person in a position that best utilizes them," said Ian Morell, EO Seattle member and CEO of Caliber Real Estate.
"Over the years, I've learned that one needs all kinds of people to run a successful enterprise. Personality assessments are useful to our talent acquisition team as they identify the innate strengths of a candidate and map these to the role they are hiring for," explained Rishi Khanna, CEO of ISHIR and EN08, and EO Dallas member. "We try to create a mix of different personality types on each particular team to gain a 360° perspective and well-rounded sensibility."
How have personality assessments impacted your company?
"As an entrepreneur and CEO, I'm a big fan of the DiSC personal assessment tool and use it with the companies we coach, to help team members understand communication styles, workplace behaviors and the road to positive culture. Team members from at least one of our client companies even post their individual DiSC profiles on their office doors, setting a friendly reminder for approaching colleagues," said Andy Bailey, CEO of Petra Coach and EO Nashville member. "Knowing how each individual on a team prefers to communicate is a huge asset in business and can help individuals overcome any challenge or personal conflict."
"I had my entire team take the StrengthsFinder 2.0 test and brought in a facilitator to help us identify what the results mean and how we best work together," Ian Morell continued. "We restructured our entire organization. The result has been a large improvement in production and financial performance, and a greater overall enjoyment of everyone's roles with the company."
"Understanding how people communicate and bringing to light their strengths and weaknesses helps our team avoid any conflict that arises from different communication styles and assists with building effective teams as our business continues to grow," said Randy Gerber, founder and principal of Gerber, LLC and EO Columbus member. "Knowing how each team member works best in their 'natural state' and not constantly feeling like they are going against the grain not only helps individual employees but improves the overall function of the team."
"We find it valuable in capturing the broad personality strengths and blind spots of each team member, allowing individuals to quickly see not only that they are different, but that they respond to different types of communication and different incentives. Our front desk staff now understand why our salespeople are so different, and vice versa," said Steve Wangen, co-founder and CEO of IBS Treatment Center and EO Seattle member. "The entire office communicates better, which leads to a happier and healthier culture, and happier customers."
How has personality testing changed your leadership style?
"My business partner and I applied personality types to our organization chart―now called an accountability chart―with the goal of aligning staff accountabilities with strengths," said Denise Blasevick, CEO of The S3 Agency and EO New Jersey member. "For example, since my strength is creativity and its opposite is organization, I'm now much more focused on visionary items, creative challenges, and inspiring our team. Others in the company with strong organizational skills now shine even more brightly. As a result, the frustrations of trying to shove a square peg into a round hole are significantly diminished. We're all doing what's best for the team."
"We utilize personality appraisals during team-building meetings as well as strategic planning. It's amazingly insightful for each of us as individuals and as team members," Terry Segerberg continued. "I frequently remind people to think about the strengths and personality style of their coworkers, especially when they don't understand why they aren't syncing with someone else."
"It's been helpful in revealing how to interact with different personality types, what job responsibilities individuals tend to like and dislike, what gives them energy and what saps it," said Vivek Puri, owner of Classic Homes Virginia and EO DC member. "I have used these assessments not to change people but rather to help restructure roles or provide assistance where personality type indicates they may not be very strong. As a leader, it has helped me blame less and help more."