Using Personality Assessments to Develop Your People and Build Stronger Teams

Personality assessments can be vital in growing your teams into more collaborative and innovative groups, which can lead to more revolutionary outputs and more sustainable companies.

Building a high-performing team is essential to the success of any organization. Teams can make outputs more effective and influential. If a team isn’t functioning, the work often suffers. Creating an effective team, however, requires more than just putting together a group of skilled individuals. It involves understanding team members’ personalities and communication styles to ensure they work well together. This is where professional assessments can be valuable tools for building high-performing teams.

Whether you use professional assessments during the hiring process or as part of your internal development programs, they can be vital in growing your teams into more collaborative and innovative groups, which can lead to more revolutionary outputs and more sustainable companies. So what are professional assessments? And how can you find the right one to take your team to the next level?

Types of Assessments

Simply, a professional assessment is a tool that is used to measure an individual’s skills, abilities, and personality traits. These assessments can take many different forms, including aptitude tests, personality assessments, and 360-degree feedback surveys. They typically are administered by trained professionals, such as Human Resources staff or external consultants.

For the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on one of the most common types of professional assessments: the personality assessment. Personality assessments are designed to measure an individual’s personality traits and communication styles. They can provide valuable insights into how an individual interacts with others, as well as their strengths and weaknesses. By understanding these traits, individuals can deepen their self-awareness, making them more effective and intentional in the work they do and how they do it.

Taking Assessments as a Team

While most personality assessments are designed to assess an individual, they are rarely used and often applied in isolation. Developing an individual is only the critical first step in developing high-performing teams. When team members are able to grow and develop their skills, they become more effective in their roles and are better able to contribute to the success of the team as a whole. Additionally, when individuals on a team take an assessment together, teams can identify areas of strength and weakness for the team as a whole.

For example, a personality assessment can help team members understand their communication styles and how they can work more effectively with others on the team. If a team of five takes an assessment that measures communication styles and they learn that four out of the five have a confrontational communication style, knowing that will not only help the four confronters think more intentionally about how they communicate, but it might also help the one non-confronter voice their opinions and ideas in a newly open environment.

For managers and team leads, one of the most valuable benefits of personality assessments is that they provide a structured approach to development. By identifying areas where team members may need support, managers and team leads can create a targeted development plan that addresses those specific needs. This can include training sessions, coaching, or mentoring. By providing targeted support, team members are able to develop their skills more quickly and effectively, resulting in a more productive and effective team.

Identifying Potential Leaders

Another benefit of personality assessments is that they can help identify potential leaders within the team. Many of these assessments help identify leadership skills that often are missed by other types of assessments (aptitude tests, for example). By identifying individuals with strong communication skills, problem-solving abilities, and leadership potential, you can create a pipeline of talent that can be developed and groomed for future leadership roles. This can help ensure the long-term success of the team and the organization as a whole.

Fostering Continuous Improvement

Lastly, personality assessments also can help foster a culture of continuous improvement within the team. By regularly assessing team members’ skills and abilities, you can create an environment where learning and development are valued. This can help encourage team members to take ownership of their development, resulting in a more engaged and motivated team.

4 Personality Assessments to Consider

When it comes to deciding which personality assessment might be right for your team, there are a number of things to consider. The most important is: What are you trying to measure?

If your goal is to measure the personalities of your team members in a way that fosters more collaborative communication, something like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) will give you a standard typology that identifies where individuals fall on four spectra—Introversion/Extraversion, Intuitive/Sensing, Feeling/Thinking, Perceiving/Judging—to help your team efficiently identify the kinds of personalities that make up the team.

If your goal is to identify the specific strengths and weaknesses of your team members when it comes to their natural tendencies in how they approach work, an assessment like CliftonStrengths (formerly StrengthFinders) might be right for you. This assessment will uniquely rank an individual’s strengths from the 34 strengths identified by the assessment.

If you’re looking for a way to predict and understand the behavior of your team members, the DiSC Profile might be a good option. This behavioral assessment provides a snapshot into individuals’ behavioral profiles, identifying each person as falling into one of four categories—Dominant, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness.

If your goal is to make your teams more innovative and agile, the Resilience Innovator Type Assessment (RITA) might be the right assessment for your team. This assessment measures an individual’s resilience and innovation potential and provides a typology, a ranked list of traits, and a behavioral analysis that communicate a person’s ability to solve problems under pressure.

There are more personality assessments to explore, but these are four that are commonly used by teams of all kinds for different purposes. Finding the personality assessment that’s right for your team and your organization will take some research, but developing your individuals will lead to stronger teams and, ultimately, a more sustainable organization and impactful work. No matter what assessment you choose, developing your teams is essential in helping your workplace thrive.

Nia D'Emilio
Nia D’Emilio is a professional who is motivated by the growing need to develop unique teams as the world of work changes rapidly in the 21st century. She is currently the Learning & Events Coordinator for Epicenter Innovation, an emergency management consulting group that specializes in training, staffing, and professional development. In this role, she oversees the company’s Resilience Innovator Learning Lab, which includes designing workshops, writing courses, and moderating virtual learning events. Before her time at Epicenter Innovation, she worked in the entertainment industry in a variety of roles in film and theater, and she has several production credits in both mediums. She has a B.A. in Religion from Denison University and an M.S. in Leadership for Creative Enterprises from Northwestern University.