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Different styles of personality

Do you know your personality style? Are you aware of the different models to help you find out your style? Sign up to the course to learn more.
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There are many different models which can help you think about your own style as well as that of others.

These models provide a kind of framework to understand the key differences between people, and can also be used to look at a) what might be a suitable role for a particular personality type, and b) what negative behaviours a particular personality type might demonstrate when they are under pressure (we always show our worst side when we are under the weather or stressed).

Here I will outline the most well-known models, which you can look into further in your own time if you find the topic interesting.


The website summarises the background to this comprehensive and well-established personality test and indicator as follows:

“In developing the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator [instrument], the aim of Isabel Briggs Myers, and her mother, Katharine Briggs, was to make the insights of type theory accessible to individuals and groups. They addressed the two related goals in the developments and application of the MBTI instrument:

  1. The identification of basic preferences of each of the four dichotomies specified or implicit in [Carl] Jung’s theory.
  2. The identification and description of the 16 distinctive personality types that result from the interactions among the preferences.

Excerpted with permission from the MBTI® Manual: A Guide to the Development and Use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®

Favorite world: Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or on your own inner world? This is called Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I).

Information: Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning? This is called Sensing (S) or Intuition (N).

Decisions: When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances? This is called Thinking (T) or Feeling (F).

Structure: In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options? This is called Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).

Your Personality Type: When you decide on your preference in each category, you have your own personality type, which can be expressed as a code with four letters.”


This framework of (nine different) personality types is often applied to teams, and organisations may use it in training exercises where people actually experience the manifestation of their typical role, and that of others, in action.

The site says:

‘Dr Meredith Belbin defines a ‘Team Role’ as one of nine clusters of behavioural attributes identified by his research at Henley as being effective in order to facilitate team progress. “The types of behaviour in which people engage are infinite. But the range of useful behaviours, which make an effective contribution to team performance, is finite. These behaviours are grouped into a set number of related clusters, to which the term ‘Team Role’ is applied.”

Meredith Belbin’s research showed that the most successful teams were made up of a diverse mix of behaviours. To build high-performing teams, we need to represent each of the nine Belbin Team Role behaviours at the appropriate times.

What are the nine Belbin Team Roles?

The nine Belbin Team Roles are: Resource Investigator, Teamworker and Co-ordinator (the Social roles); Plant, Monitor Evaluator and Specialist (the Thinking roles), and Shaper, Implementer and Completer Finisher (the Action or Task roles).’


DiSC provides a common language for people to get to understand each other better, and says:

“DiSC is an acronym that stands for the four main personality profiles described in the DiSC model: (D)ominance, (i)nfluence, (S)teadiness and (C)onscientiousness.

People with D personalities tend to be confident and place an emphasis on accomplishing bottom-line results.

People with i personalities tend to be more open and place an emphasis on relationships and influencing or persuading others.

People with S personalities tend to be dependable and place the emphasis on cooperation and sincerity.

People with C personalities tend to place the emphasis on quality, accuracy, expertise, and competency.”

There are of course other models and frameworks out there, but they all have in common the fact that they allow us to find a language which describes ourselves as well as others, and that can be very useful in life, and is a great asset for any leader. Without a common language or understanding, it is far more difficult to understand diversity and to work out ways of building positive relationships with people very different from yourself.


This is a ‘system’ we will cover in greater depth later, but basically it sets out your top five strengths out of a list of 34, and only focuses on the positives, i.e. it tells you what you are best at, without any comment on the other 29 strengths, which could all be equally good, for instance. The beauty of this model is that it explicitly sets out to be very positive and motivational. If you use StrengthsFinder in you team you can potentially see more clearly who should be allocated which task in their objectives, dependent on the particular strengths they exhibit. You can also see if there are areas where you’d like a particular strength which you don’t have as a top one yet, and when recruiting take that into consideration – hence ensuring greater diversity in the group.

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