Personality Analysis Tools…by Amy McNeeley

My first foray into the personality analysis arena was 18 years ago. I worked for an ERP software company at the time and the post-Y2K hangover was on the horizon for my industry. Rightsizing, restructuring, and lean were the daily buzzwords around the office.  In effort to assist management in keeping not only their best players, but also creating optimized teams, we were all put through a series of personality tests.  Although, a bit annoyed by the “mouse in the maze” feeling, I confess that I was impressed with the accuracy of the results. And, let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to see the results of their own personality test? It’s like peeking into a window of ourselves.

So why does this matter in our present day? Because building better, faster, and stronger teams through work style diversity makes a significant impact on our bottom lines. Too often when we think of diversity we think only of race, gender, or gender identity, but we ignore the most impactful diversity of all – the diversity of personality. While race, gender, etc. are characteristics that impact who we are, they do not define us or what we bring to the table.    Our personality traits ultimately are what determines how we interact with others and how each individual contributes to the team or to a engagement.

For example, if you put three dominant people (Team A) on one project and three steady individuals (Team B) on another, it’s very likely Team A will finish first, but Team B will deliver a much more solid result. Additionally, Team A is likely to have personality clashes, while Team B struggles with decision making. A blending of these two teams would yield the optimum result of a solid product, delivered on time with less conflict and little to no “analysis paralysis”.  Most of this know this, but aren’t sure how to get there. The result?  A comeback of personality profiling as a hiring and/or customer engagement tool.

Being the information junkie that I am, I had to check out what the wonderful world of technology has brought to us in this arena since I last dipped my toes in these waters. I’ll skip the painful encounters and share with you the three that stand out most from their counterparts.

CrystalKnows.com

  • Uses the DiSC Profile methodology
  • Free Version gives quite a bit of information in the resulting personality profile. Great if you would like to run the tests for your internal resources, depending upon staff size.
  • Fee based services include options for crawling through LinkedIn and Gmail to analyze your contacts, and can integrate with some CRMs. Pulling information from email, social media, and websites, this version gives a high level of insight on how to most effectively communicate with the person.  This is particularly helpful if you are trying to analyze the personality traits of potential and existing customers.

I like CrystalKnows.com because:  Best tool available for analyzing using social media and website information rather than requiring the subject to take a test (not realistic for customers) and because the tool analyzes the customer (or employee’s) own communication to determine how they prefer to communicate. 

Gallup StrengthsFinder (CliftonStrengths)

  • Bring a snack – it’s a 177-question assessment
  • No free version
  • Good for analyzing potential employees, but no functionality to analyze and provide information on your client base
  • Additional services, such as coaching and books are available.

I like CliftonStrengths because:  The assessment includes details on how to develop individual strengths and provides 34 personality indicators. 

Myers-Briggs Personality Assessment

  • Online or paper tests available
  • Consulting and training services available
  • Analyzing 16 personality types
  • Strong reputation as one of the most reliable tests
  • No free version available
  • Good for analyzing potential employees, but no functionality to analyze and provide information on your client base

I like Myers-Briggs because:  Myers-Briggs has been around for several decades and has a proven track record as an effective assessment tool.

Whether you’re evaluating a potential job candidate or trying to identify the best way to engage your customer at an individual level, the need to know preferred behaviors, and subsequently guide interactions, is stronger than ever.   Whatever direction you go, don’t miss the opportunity to leverage technology options when trying to build a diverse, successful team or when building lifelong relationships with your customers.

Have a favorite personality profiling or online presence analysis tool?  Drop me a line and let me know all about it at amy@hmscs.com.