DialogueDirect is a diverse organization with a hiring strategy that targets individuals with strong and passionate personalities. We have seen firsthand how strong teams can be if you take character traits into account as you build a team.
How do you identify personality traits relevant to team building? And what is the best way to combine those personalities into a cohesive whole?
We use the Marc Accetta color personality test, and I'll show you how to apply the test to your own team building.
The Importance of Qualifying Personality
Marc Accetta, business developer and motivational speaker, hosts the test on his website, www.marcaccetta.com/personality-test.
Personality tests as teambuilding tools are still a fairly novel concept. A few high level tech companies, especially Google use personality tests to identify talented applicants and place them appropriately within their company structure. Yet this practice has been slow to catch on in other organizations. Why?
Often, it's because the tests are unavailable, too complicated, or too expensive to implement. The Accetta test sidesteps those problems, and puts a robust personality test at your fingertips. This test is not the ultimate personality test by any means; all of the principles of this article can work with a more traditional Meyers-Briggs test.
The Accetta test gives you a broad understanding of personality traits, and it's shorter than most. However, it is complex enough to help you understand the motivations, strengths and weaknesses of your team, while being simple enough to apply quickly and easily, once you understand the logic of the test.
And it serves a dual purpose. As the Accetta test helps you identify winning traits within your team, it will also help you understand your own strengths, weaknesses, and motivations, and how those affect your role. The first step to getting the most out of the test is to take it yourself, and get a good look at how your traits can best compliment your team.
Personality in Color
The basis of the Marc Accetta's test is simple: personalities are made up of traits from four categories, organized by color: Green, Red, Blue, and Yellow. The test will identify which traits are strongest in your personality, and give you a percentage breakdown of your foremost colors. A few things to note:
-No color is right or wrong, superior or inferior; they denote different ways of thinking, learning, and acting. Every color is necessary for a well-rounded team.
-No one displays qualities and traits of just a single color. Usually, two are dominant, and we all have characteristics of each color within us.
- Outliers will always exist. A laid back, team oriented person has many "blue" qualities, but if they love to win with their team, then they're showing a hint of "red" (more on those terms below).
Without Further Delay: The Colors
Fun-loving, energetic, spontaneous, and team oriented, Blues are often the "life of the party." They naturally follow strong leaders and provide support to their team. They excel in collaborative projects. Their tendency towards spontaneity makes them great brainstormers and thinkers, but poor in drafting and executing plans. They can also struggle when tackling projects alone, rather than with their team. They often need structure from an outside source to thrive.
Data-oriented, organized, rational and calculated, Greens are the thinkers and planners of their team. Greens prefer to make plans ahead of time, create structure, and are meticulously detailed. They keep their emotions in check and act based on rationality, and they typically perform well under pressure. Their rigidity can mean that changes to structure can frustrate them. They make decisions based on data, and so have a tendency to second guess their own instincts if the numbers don't back them. They can come off as emotionally aloof, though they are usually just keeping their emotions to themselves.
Competitive, driven, challenge-oriented and confident, Reds are natural leaders. Reds love to lead teams and they love to succeed. They thrive on challenging themselves and their teams, make decisive choices, and always look for elements that will give them a competitive edge. They often see themselves as leaders even if they are not officially, and struggle to take criticism or direction. Their individualism can help them thrive in solo projects, but hurt them in a team environment.
Compassionate, family-oriented, loyal and emotionally intelligent, Yellows are the "shoulder to cry on" on their team. Excellent team players, Yellows often fill a support role and prefer to make decisions with ethics first in mind. They are in touch with their own emotions and have a high level of emotional intelligence. They are often peacemakers in tense situations and strive to create harmony in a team. They dislike confrontation or arguments however, and will often compromise in the face of confrontation rather than meet it head on.
Teams with lopsided personality colors will struggle. Teams dominated by Reds often result in a "dog eat dog" atmosphere, with each individual fighting for control over the team. Blue teams are collaborative and welcoming, but often disorganized and directionless. Green teams put data and efficiency before all other considerations, and have difficulty adapting to changes or obstacles. Yellow teams will often let their emotions rule their decisions, and back away from high pressure situations, compromising their vision.
To function at peak efficiency, teams need a spread of personalities. As a leader, you can analyze your team's personalities to inform you on how they do their jobs, how they are motivated, how they are trained, and how they are rewarded.
We will examine each color in depth in the following weeks. We'll discuss how to identify these colors in your team, how to bring out the best in those personality types, and follow up with examples from our own team.
Your homework for next week; take the quiz and map your own colors!