Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Would You Change Your Personality to Advance your Career?

Interesting article below... I've taken Myers-Briggs several times throughout my career; results are always the same. DISC Profile, says that you can't change your personality. What do you think?

Would You Change Your Personality to Advance your Career?

~Anthony Portuesi

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been on the road quite a bit and with each flight I find some needed time to catch up on industry journals, books, and whatever I can get my hands on. My last trip to Chicago proved to be just such an occasion, yet this time I found myself grazing the most recent issue of Spirit (Southwest’s in-flight magazine). Flipping through the pages, I came across an interesting article by Executive Editor Brad Cope, pondering an interesting question – is it possible to change your personality type to advance your career?

While there is no single personality type that can be label the “best” or “most successful,” it’s no secret that certain personalities seem to excel in the business. If you’re familiar with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), you will find that “ESTJ’s” or those labeled as - Extroverted, Sensing, Thinking, and Judging - are among those most frequently on the fast track for the corner office.

“More executives and managers are ESTJ’s than any other personality type,” says Rich Thompson, divisional director of research for CPP Inc., the organization that publishes the Myers-Briggs test. “ESTJ’s are the preferred personality of America’s business culture.”

To provide a little background, the MBTI enables one to discover and understand their personality preferences. Not necessarily a concrete picture of your every action, but in general, the natural preferences that make you who you are. The theory contends that:

An individual is either primarily Extraverted or Introverted
An individual is either primarily Sensing or iNtuitive
An individual is either primarily Thinking or Feeling
An individual is either primarily Judging or Perceiving
The possible combinations of these basic preferences form the 16 different Personality Types of which we all possess. (To learn more about each personality type visit the Myers-Briggs Foundation website.)

While I won’t ruin the fun of Doug’s adventure in changing his personality, his article brings to light the importance of understanding our own behavior, how we are likely to deal with different situations, and in which environments we are most comfortable. This understanding of our strengths and weaknesses will aid us in becoming a better leaders. Conversely, learning about others’ Personality Types help us to understand the most effective way to communicate with them, and how they function best - essential pieces to creating a winning team.

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