Fiona Buckley kicked off the fourth ICBE lunchtime webinar with a clarification on the webinar title changing the word ‘difficult’ to ‘different’ and focused on the ‘Power of Personalities’.  In the world of personalities words and labels matter and can easily change perceptions.

We all present various masks in our lives but the theory behind personality type is that we are born with, live with and die with our type.

Before outlining the various personality types Fiona explained that understanding ourselves is crucial quoting an old African proverb that said:

“When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside can do you no harm.”

In highlighting the complexity of personality types that exist in a work setting Fiona demonstrated the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) personality inventory which describes  16 distinctive personality types that result from the interactions among the 4 levels of individual preferences from Extraversion to Introversion; Sensing to Intuition, Thinking to Feeling and Judgement to Perception.

She also introduced the notion of Ambivert – someone who is a mix of extrovert and introvert and the complexity it presents when people view the personality swings as being ‘moody’.

The lesson from Fiona was clear  – by understanding your own personality, the personality of the person you are dealing with, the traits that drive them and how those traits interact with each other can radically change how you engage and perceive other people in the workforce.  Even the mere awareness can avoid misunderstandings.

A simple exercise advocated by Fiona was to carry about a SWOT analysis of ourselves as we are so familiar with this construct in business.

Understanding personality can have profound negative and positive impacts.  Poor relationships lead to conflicts, clashes, derailed projects leading ultimately to lower turnover while enhanced relationships can unlock creativity, diversity, better team dynamics and improved productivity.

Wrapping up the session Fiona shared her top 6 take away tips:

  1. Assessments, training and awareness
  2. Know both your own & others preferences
  3. Adapt & encourage others to adapt
  4. Read body language more closely
  5. Develop your blind spots
  6. Encourage diversity and respect differences

In responding to a question about further reading Fiona suggested:

Click below to see the recording of the webinar.