How to Use Personality Type for Building Better Teams

This blog post is part of our Truity at Work series for those who are new to people management. In these posts, we’re creating useful content for managers and teams alike, helping you to understand personality, improve communication, and navigate conflict and change with ease. For an overview of the series, start with our introductory post here.

Type is a great way to get teams talking. It gives people a language to talk about behavior in a way that isn’t confrontational or blaming. It gives people words to explain why they like some of their colleagues more than others. And, it explains why they clash on the same issues again and again.

This is why including type as part of your team-building efforts can be very beneficial for your team. Type provides each employee with deeper insights about their own motivations and understanding, maybe even compassion, for why other people see the world so differently. 

There are many ways to use type for team workshops. It can be used in sessions around responding to change, conflict resolution, group decision making and troubleshooting projects. It can also simply be a conversation about type.

When it comes to deciding who will run the workshop, the key decision is whether your team benefits from you, in your role as manager, running the workshop or participating in it. Because you can’t really do both at the same time. 

So let’s take a look at some of the options and where using type can help with team building and team performance. 

Introduction to Type

This workshop is useful for a team who has recently completed their chosen type assessment and needs to understand it in more depth and in the context of their teammates. In this session, your team will learn about what their individual preferences mean, what their colleagues' types mean, and some of the benefits and challenges around working together. 

It also includes looking at the team profile, discussing the team's strengths and what it may struggle with. It is also a useful opportunity for less-common types to talk about their experience in a team, how they may often feel overlooked or like outsiders, and how the team can make them feel more included. 

Team Charter

This session is useful for teams who have gotten a little distracted and need clarity around how they work together and their overall operations. By using type as a way to discuss key strengths, blindspots and motivations, the team can discuss who should be doing which tasks in a way that aligns with natural talents. Basically, it’s a way to clarify roles and responsibilities in a more collaborative way. 

It is also an opportunity to discuss team processes such as: how meetings will be run, how information will be shared, how decisions will be made, and how often reviews will take place.  Teams can also use type to discuss their blindspots and how they will cover them. 

Managing Conflict

Differences of opinion or conflict is part of any team. High-performing teams don’t ignore conflict, they recognize it as an essential part of achieving great results. Some types are hesitant to engage in conflict and other types engage in it too much. 

Personality frameworks can provide an excellent base for recognizing and appreciating these differences. In this kind of workshop, type is used to define conflict from different perspectives, how different types deal with it and what resolution means to each person. Those insights can open the door to learning conflict resolution skills that the team can continue to apply, knowing the ‘why’ behind each person's approach. 

Navigating Change 

Change can be a stressful experience for many people, but we all react to it a little differently. A workshop on change can help your team understand what stress looks like in different people. 

But the biggest challenge around change is communication, and whether people believe change is needed or not. Workshops on change provide people a chance to see how their type reacts to change and what they need to navigate it, but also a chance to talk about how they are feeling about it and how they can support themselves and others through the process. 

What’s next?

Type can be used in many different ways to help teams improve their performance, whether that’s providing tools to navigate change or conflict, improving communication, or clarifying roles and responsibilities. Type simply helps people talk about what they need at work and what they enjoy doing, and to find better ways of working together. But that only comes from bringing people together with the tools and frameworks to talk things through effectively. 

Ready to get started on your team-building journey? The Truity at Work Platform empowers managers to easily administer our personality assessments to individual employees or whole teams—no setup fees or training required. For a deeper dive into your team’s results, together with insightful growth exercises, Q&A and more, book a virtual workshop today.

Samantha Mackay

Samantha is the Lead Trainer at Truity and will shortly be a certified Enneagram Coach. She believes our personality is the key to navigating life's strangest hurdles. Despite her best efforts Samantha is an ENTP and Enneagram 7, who is always surrounded by a pile of books, a steaming cup of tea and a block of her favourite chocolate. Samantha is currently studying with Beatrice Chestnut and Uranio Paes of CP Enneagram Academy undertaking their Professional Enneagram Certification. Currently located in Auckland, New Zealand. Find her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/samanthamackay/. Check out her course "Unlocking the Power of Your Personality" at www.truity.com/training

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Myers-Briggs® and MBTI® are registered trademarks of the MBTI Trust, Inc., which has no affiliation with this site. Truity offers a free personality test based on Myers and Briggs' types, but does not offer the official MBTI® assessment. For more information on the Myers Briggs Type Indicator® assessment, please go here.

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