No to crowdminding at work!
Updated: Apr 23, 2020
I am an individual, not a crowd.
I have identified 4 distinct personality types. I have described each type in The Psychology of Career Planning. These 4 individual types are the Influencer Supporter Analyst and Creative.
This typology is unique in that it describes the individual's strengths in the workplace which can be directly applied to the skills specified in job descriptions.
The need for strong analytical skills is the Analyst’s strength.
Strong graphic design skills is the Creative’s forte.
The need to develop business is the core skill of the Influencer.
Building synergistic teams and training are the Supporter‘s strengths.
The Influencer is good at sales, a good persuader with a ‘can do’ attitude and a predominant people focus. The Supporter is also predominantly people focused but from a help, train and understand perspective.
The Analyst is task focused logical, rational and scientific in their outlook and thinking construct. The Creative too is task focused and deductive like the Analyst but with an imaginative aptitude which can design and perceive issues and subjects in a new context.
Frequently I listen to radio debating issues such as what makes people happy at work or does nightshift work reduce our lifespan or is it nature or nurture which influences our development? All these discussions are basically flawed because they treat the subject as a collective and ignore the obvious individualism. The 25,000 plus candidates I have interviewed and coached have all been individuals with no two the same.
My research though has demonstrated that in terms of typology there are four different personality behaviours manifesting distinct perspectives and modus operandi particularly in the workplace. I have also endorsed this distinction in my blog “What makes people happy at work?”
The Supporter personality type will enjoy work when they are a key part of a happy, motivated team but for the Analyst type the criteria for enjoyment will be the technical challenges that new firewalls constantly present. The happy atmosphere is of less importance to them.
Similarly when we approach the nature/nurture debate which tries to determine if it is the environment or the genetic make up which decides our personality, we mistakenly treat the audience as a crowd. These discussions have a biased focus when they seek a definite answer rather than considering the individual. From the perspective of my 4 personality types the Supporter will be greatly influenced as a child by their environment. A stable, happy home will create an excellent atmosphere for balanced development and the corollary will mean that an abusive environment can have lifelong negative effects. The Analyst will be less influenced by their environment and their personality will be predominantly determined by their genetic make up.
And the extension of treating work colleagues and friends as individuals and not as a crowd, means that we are more tolerant and less judgemental. We understand that the workplace needs different skills and strengths which will be personality related. We don’t expect the ‘geek’ to be an amazing sales person and we don’t expect the supporter to be an amazing graphic designer and we don’t expect the goalkeeper to be a good goal scorer. We can now value situations as different rather than being right or wrong. We can have a better perspective on our working environment and manage our life better as we understand we are not all the same but individuals with unique talents, behaviours and strengths.
The understanding of the 4 personality types will develop stronger communication skills which are so important to the workplace. We can now empathise with friends and colleagues as individuals and not as a crowd.