Making it Personal: How Workplace Relationships Can Be Forged from Understanding Personalities


They say that opposites attract in terms of friendships and relationships, but does the same apply to workplace relationships? While some people get on well with those who are diametrically opposed, others do not. This suggests that management could indeed look closer at the personality types of their employees when putting together teams for projects.

Personality is Key
Facet5 is an internationally recognised personality test which looks at five main features as the basis for understanding and judging personalities. The five aspects considered in this test are: will, energy, affection, control and emotion.

The understanding of different personality types can help managers work out how to create teams not just of like-minded people, but people with differences that can have a positive effect on others. For instance, those who keep to themselves and are rather introverted may enjoy the opportunity to work with an extrovert who is happy to take the lead and be the stronger personality in the group. Similarly, those who lack organisation skills and approach work in a relaxed manner could benefit from working within a team of strongly organised people. Equally, those organised people may find it easier to learn to relax and take things more objectively when working with someone who is less organised.

Mismatching Traits
In terms of the five aspects, affection is the one that most people find hard to mould. The affection attribute applies to the sense of social justice and fairness in relationships.

People who have a high affection score are more likely to help a stranger or see the world in a more optimistic and friendly way. Those with a low affection score are often more cynical about both work and the world, as well as having a low opinion of the importance of relationships and social niceties. Putting together two people with a high affection score is likely to breed a strong and positive relationship, and the same can be said for putting together two people with a low affection score. They will share the same opinions – however pessimistic – and have a sense of camaraderie. However, a team of high affection scorers and low affection scorers may have too much of a difference in opinion to work together cohesively.

With so many businesses stating that people are the most important commodity, we’re sure that more can be done to focus on the very different, but equally important, personalities within a workplace. Ensuring a deep knowledge of one another will breed more understanding and less animosity between the various differences that will understandably arise in the office. Now, let’s get to work!