PR and Personality Tests: How Can We Work Together Better?

Nov 01, 2016 admin

I may be a PR pro, but I’m also something of a self-help junkie, fueled by side-gig as a soul-searching yoga teacher (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it). So, when I found out that the whole InkHouse East team would be taking the Keirsey Temperament Sorter (KTS), you can imagine my delight.

KTS is a self-assessed personality questionnaire geared toward helping people better understand themselves and others. It’s one of the most widely used personality assessments in the world - and major employers like Bank of America, Allstate, IBM and Coca-Cola put it to use. David Keirsey developed the assessment to expand upon the temperament studies of Hippocrates and Plato, breaking the results down into four major temperaments:Guardian, Artisan, Idealist and Rational.

The results at InkHouse were really interesting - who knew there’d be only one rational person among us! Here are a few helpful insights and tips on each of the temperaments and how to work with them, courtesy of our HR director, Brian McCluskey:

  • Guardians are respectful of authority and value established processes, proven methods and proper channels - they want to eliminate unnecessary risk than can cause chaos. Guardians are loyal to their organizations and likely put the needs of the organization ahead of their own and the people that they work with. When they’re stressed, Guardians worry and need alone time, but they also need respect and recognition to feel motivated.
    • How to get along with your Guardian boss: pay attention to what they see as important and act upon orders.
  • Artisans respect results and getting things done - and they don’t let obstacles stand in their way - being extremely utilitarian, the ends often justifies the means. There is very little patience for bureaucracy, hierarchy, or tradition if it’s perceived to be holding them back. Artisans love the thrill of competition and winning is important. Though less prone to stress, Artisans don’t like to feel contained/structured, which can result in them acting out or losing their temper.
    • How to get along with your Artisan boss: be hyper-aware of what is going on in the here-and-now and be ready to act fast in an emergency.
  • Idealists respect cooperation and diplomacy, viewing the workplace as an arena for interdependent effort. Idealists are likely to praise generously and see the potential in all people and ideas - and personal connection is critical. Harmony and individual growth are important to Idealists - they’re less concerned with concrete facts and believe a motivated team will produce excellent results as a matter of course. Idealists are loyal to the needs of the individual and dislike practices/processes that negatively impact well-being and overall morale. Idealists need to feel respected, trusted and valued and can be sensitive to feeling overworked.
    • How to get along with your Idealist boss: show a positive, we-can-do-it attitude.
  • Rationals respect competency in people above all other traits, and they do their homework so that they’re able to defend their conclusions and recommendations to others. They expect others to see the logic of their reasoning, but are open to having their minds changed - even if the argument comes from the most junior member of a team. Rationals are always questioning the status quo, looking to make things more efficient and effective. They’re dedicated to finding the most effective solutions, and do not view friendships, personal loyalties and organizational hierarchy as compelling reasons to pick a solution with less merit than an alternative. Although they can act compulsively when stressed, Rationals like things to make sense/feel logical, and they can handle tough criticisms.
    • How to get along with your Rational boss: be open to new ideas for improving the systems in place.

Does It Matter?

There are many theories on these kinds of tests and the role they should or shouldn’t play in the workplace. Some believe they’re completely pointless, as they may be based on outdated thinking. Others say that they can help build stronger companies because they allow managers to have a better understanding of an employee’s strengths, weaknesses and how they perceive or process information.

I offer you what I believe is the real point: being self aware and aware of the personalities around us can only make us better as individuals, teammates and communicators. Not only will our work lives flourish, but our personal lives as well.
Topics: Employees, Leadership, teamwork, PR, Team building

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