One of our standard practices is to have new team members complete personality tests. With the intention of cooperating well together, we take the results of these tests into account when forming teams.Agile approaches, such as Scrum (which our company has used) , place much more focus on the individual than the formerly-used cascade model.That’s why, for agile-functioning organisations, it is important to pay close attention to the personal comfort of team members. Moreover, in order to sustain successful cooperation,internal conflicts must be solved effectively, mainly under the guidance of Scrum master. It is precisely these moments where the knowledge of personality types may prove to be a useful tool.
At Stylers Group and Braining Hub, new hires complete two types of tests: a DISC assessment and inner drives assessment. The former is based on a theory from an American psychologist, Dr. William Moulton Marston. The acronym consists of the assessment’s four expressions: Dominance (Red), Influence (Yellow), Steadiness (Green), and Compliance (Blue). The latter assessment reveals an employee’s inner drives,motivations, and needs – including which roles and working environments inspire them.
Senior team members may also need to complete these tests repeatedly. Over time, test results may change (especially for the inner drives assessment). As we face new phases in life, our need for safety and financial recognition may rise and new ambitions might emerge.
Judit Halász, the HR Associate of Stylers Group, has addressed some questions regarding this topic:
Why exactly are these personality tests used?
We like DISC because it is fairly simple and it only differentiates four types(so they are easy to remember) Yet, it also provides information about the individual and their team members – this helps us understand how to best communicate with one another. Keep in mind that these tests are simply data, so they cannot be regarded as ”good” or ”bad”, and one should never feel that there is something wrong with their results. Each person possesses all four types however, we differ in our prevalence (or lack) of certain traits.
On the other hand, the inner drives assessment has a slightly different approach to the personalities. It allows you to clearly see who engages in which activities, what are the personal expectations towards the team, and which personal needs must be fulfilled so one can feel good in any given environment.
There is a wide range of various personality tests, such as the Myers-Briggs type indicator (MBTI) which classifies an individual into one of 16 personality types. However, with a large staff, it would be more challenging to keep 16 various types in mind – this is why we prefer the DISC and inner drives assessments.
What kinds of conflicts can be sorted out by identifying the DISC types?
Friction can happen within teams of very similar personalities or even teams with completely different personality types. A new team member with a dominant personality may also cause tension if they expect to lead the existing team – to the disapproval of other teammates..
In these cases, we understand that a teammate’s actions are not rooted in bad intentions – it is simply their true nature. That is why it is absolutely useful to know personality types – they allow us to better handle these cases and build teams accordingly, depending on the available opportunities. Should a Scrum master come to a standstill in handling some conflict, it is much easier to intervene with all the available data .
Can the personality types give rise to stigmatisation?
It is definitely not good if one is stigmatised as, for example, being blue. As mentioned earlier, this is a person’s true nature,so we pay special attention to avoid such situations. On the one hand, information must be handled confidentially, but on the other hand, awareness should be raised that these data cannot be labelled as good or bad – they only provide a snapshot of our personality, which promotes a deeper understanding of ourselves and those around us. You can never make the other feel that there is something wrong with the way they function. Once a new hire completes the tests, they are evaluated individually with all employees, so the data can gain meaning, and nobody is left behind from the new knowledge that can be put into perspective.