How Much Does Your Personality Affect Your Business?

How Much Does Your Personality Affect Your Business?


Running a business that takes such a huge percentage of your attention, and if you have not already hired multiple people, you may be considering bringing more people into your small organization as employees or even partners. But you may have had bad luck in the past with finding people who are a good fit. Perhaps you have skipped a step jumping straight into hiring… 


Especially when your business is small, you need to be extra cognizant of the types of people you bring into your circle. Who you will work well with is not just dependent on what hobbies and achievements they have, but also on who you are. Are you a ENFJ personality? A Architect personality? A Type C personality? Oh wait, that one is an Apple computer cord type…

Rather than use vague methods like type A vs. type B, left brain vs. right brain, I prefer something more like the Big Five Personalities from 16Personalities. If you have taken a Myers Briggs test before, this is very similar, but “unlike Myers-Briggs or other theories based on the Jungian model, we have not incorporated Jungian concepts such as cognitive functions, or their prioritization. Jungian concepts are very difficult to measure and validate scientifically”. You should go take the test nowand get a very impressive and comprehensive telling of who you are, along with categories relevant to both your personal life and your work life. Note: They also send emails now and then with more valuable information relating your personality type to different subjects and areas of life, but you can always turn that option off.

Like a Peeping Tom

According to 16personalities assessment, I am an ENTP. I find this so interesting to read because it feels so right on. Not like reading a 4 sentence horoscope that tells you your lucky number, that you will meet someone new, and that your career will take a hit this month. No, this feels like 16Personalities has done an in depth study that included sending Tom, their “researcher” to my house to peep in my windows all day (remember, I work from home).

Note:  Their description of what this means will be different from what you remember of the old Myers-Briggs version. 

ENTP – The Debater

Taking a certain pleasure in being the underdog, ENTPs enjoy the mental exercise found in questioning the prevailing mode of thought, making them irreplaceable in reworking existing systems or shaking things up and pushing them in clever new directions… ENTP personalities love to brainstorm and think big, but they will avoid getting caught doing the “grunt work” at all costs. ENTPs only make up about three percent of the population, which is just right, as it lets them create original ideas, then step back to let more numerous and fastidious personalities handle the logistics of implementation and maintenance.

… If there’s anything ENTPs love, it’s flexing their mental muscles, and any environment that lets them devise new approaches, new ideas and new projects, that allows them to push the limits of their creativity, will benefit strongly from what ENTPs bring to the table.

Granted, the above is certainly only a piece of what they have to say, but I assure you their write-up is not lacking in your likely weaknesses. Still, as someone with imposter syndrome, I thoroughly enjoy reading through this assessment now and then to help me remember and find confidence in my strengths.

I’m not suggesting you push all your applicants to take this long assessment before you interview or hire them, though I have certainly seen employers do things like this with their online application process. There are other ways you can assess who would be a good fit for your empty positions.

Better Prepared

Let’s start by assessing what the role you are trying to fill needs:

  • Would a someone in this position do better who is introverted or extroverted?
  • Does the position require any specific soft skills such as empathy, intuition, assertiveness, curiosity, thoroughness, speed, or quick deductive reasoning?
  • Will regular training be required to keep their skills up to date, or is this a stable monotonous position that requires someone content with mastering a skill and improving their speed?

You can uncover a lot more information about a person with more carefully chosen questions and situations than “Tell me about a time you got angry or failed at something.”

  1. Use the in-person interview as an opportunity to put the candidate in front of a real work situation, even if it is a past project. Or allow them to listen to a customer service call and react with improvements.
  2. Allow other team members that will engage with the person directly and daily to have some conversation and see how they relate. Does the candidate shrink back shyly with barely a hello, or do they inquire about the atmosphere or clients or work?
  3. For sales positions, ask people to create a video of themselves explaining why they would like the position. If they can’t sell themselves well for a position they really want, they likely won’t sell any better for your product and your company.

Keep in mind that in all of the interviews and hiring you do, you may meet a real winner who is just not “cut out” for the position you are trying to fill, but that person may be a perfect [fill in the blank] when you open up that new role in six months! Make good notes on your impressions, and be enthusiastic when sharing your impressions with the candidate and your thoughts on the matter, and remember to check back with them over time, especially when you start a new hiring process!

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