You have been brought in as a consultant by the CEO of Jones Industries (a company that provides accounting services to medium sized businesses) to review the head of HR’s new plan to improve moral in the organization (as the CEO is not certain if the new plan is a good idea). You are expected to explain why it is correct or not, and then suggest a plan to either implement it, or implement a plan based on your own beliefs.
The low moral is due to infighting between employees. The arguments range from work product, to planning of the office party for the last holiday.
The head of HR went to a personality seminar where they reviewed the below documents:
The head of HR has decided that he will have all employees take a personality test, and have them work in groups, based on those personality traits. He believes that will solve the majority of the issues.
As you are an expert in inter-office disputes, the CEO wants to know if the plan proposed by the head of HR is a good idea, and what should be done. He wants this information in the next two hours.*
*Note: As the CEO wants the information in 2 hours (although, obviously, you have until the assignment is due to turn in your memo), you are not expected to do any sort of advanced research (aside from reading the links above, and being aware of the personality material in the chapter(s) covered). Likewise, no citations are needed. Furthermore, as you are given no additional information about the situation (i.e., employee disagreements), your “plan” will be viewed in such a light.
You are to write a 1+ page, formal memo (the text needs to go onto the second page, even if it is a single word) addressing this situation. The memo should be single spaced, with a full space between paragraphs (like this document).
THE 16 ‘OFFICE’ PERSONALITY
TYPES EVERY WORKPLACE LEADER
by Tiffany Bloodworth Rivers on August 6, 2018
Today’s facility managers and workplace leaders are managing people
as much as buildings and technology. They have to be able to build
relationships with many different types of people—and that starts with
having a better understanding of their colleagues.
Once you know more about what motivates someone, it’s much easier to convince them
to work with you, rather than against you.
If you still love watching reruns of “The Office”, you can probably see some of your
colleagues in each of the characters at Dunder-Mifflin. You probably relate to some
more than others. Our friends at Bustle recently put out a blog post mapping each of the
show’s character to one of the 16 personality types determined by the Myers-Briggs
Type Indicator (MBTI), and we thought it was spot-on. While you should be cautious
about using personality testing in the workplace, having a better understanding of
yourself and others has clear benefits.
We took a deeper dive into how to spot each type in the workplace, what motivates
them, what frustrates them and how to help them succeed.
Analyst Personality Types
1. The Architect (INTJ)
How to Spot Them: Architects are described as fiercely independent and private.
They’re typically heads-down, hard workers who would rather work alone than with a
team who will slow them down, but they are brilliant analysts who love digging into data.
They are confident and decisive, but sometimes their sharp minds can make them
appear arrogant or judgmental to others.
What Motivates Them: Architects thrive when tackling an intellectually stimulating
How to Work With Them: Give them a clearly defined problem to solve, a timeline and
the tools they need to uncover the answer (such as access to key facility management
metrics). Then leave them alone to let them work their magic!
2. Logician (INTP)
How to Spot Them: Individuals in the truest sense of the word, Logicians are inventive,
creative and intelligent. They’re great analysts and abstract thinkers. However, they are
extremely private, often mysterious and may miss social or emotional cues, which can
make them appear insensitive or eccentric to others.
What Motivates Them: Logicians love exploring ideas and theories and immersing
themselves in technical subject matter.
How to Work With Them: Similar to Architects, Logicians want to be given a challenge
that’s intellectually stimulating and then be left alone. Give them guidance, not rules.
3. The Commander (ENTJ)
How to Spot Them: As their name suggests, Commanders are natural-born leaders.
Their combination of confidence and charisma makes them uniquely equipped to
motivate people to work toward their vision. Like Jan, they are strong-willed and firm.
However, they can also be stubborn, impatient and even ruthless if others aren’t willing
to follow them.
What Motivates Them: Commanders have a singular mission to accomplish their
goals, no matter what it takes.
How To Work With Them: They will listen to others who demonstrate they are equally
competent. Give your recommendation to them with confidence, but make sure you
have the expertise to back it up.
4. The Debater (ENTP)
How to Spot Them: The ultimate devil’s advocate, this is someone who will argue not
necessarily to accomplish a larger goal, but just for the fun of it. Debaters are energetic,
quick thinkers, but their argumentative nature isn’t always welcome, and they can also
get bored easily. Like Jim, they might entertain themselves (and others) with elaborate
What Motivates Them: Above all, debaters are motivated by a quest to better
understand the world.
How to Work With Them: Give them some independence. Although Debaters enjoy
being around others, they work best when they’re working in a consulting role or in a
flexible working environment.
Diplomat Personality Types
5. The Advocate (INFJ)
How to Spot Them: Advocates are a rare breed. They can be difficult to get to know
due to their reserved nature, but they are decisive, determined and tremendously loyal
to the ones they love.
What Motivates Them: Like Mediators, Advocates are motivated by their ideals and
pursuit of perfection. When they don’t feel they’re working toward something they
believe in, they get restless and easily frustrated.
How to Work With Them: Be clear about the bigger picture you’re trying to accomplish.
Respect their privacy, and don’t invade their personal space.
6. The Mediator (INFP)
How to Spot Them: Mediators are highly imaginative, intuitive and idealistic, and they
often gravitate toward careers that allow them to be creative. However, their
combination of rich imagination and introverted tendencies means they can live inside
their head too much, ignoring practical matters like deadlines or data.
What Motivates Them: Mediators seek harmony and meaning in their work. They truly
want to help people but because they can get easily overwhelmed, they tend to invest
most of their energy into a few people or causes.
How to Work With Them: Get them to believe in your mission and give them the quiet
space they need to develop their creative ideas.
7. The Campaigner (ENFP)
How to Spot Them: The campaigner loves people and can brighten anyone’s day. They
can make friends with everyone, floating easily between social circles (and sometimes
talking your ear off.) Curious, energetic and enthusiastic, they have great ideas and
exceptional people skills, but they can fall short when it comes to following through.
They find it difficult to focus on practical, detail-oriented tasks.
What Motivates Them: Campaigners are happiest when they’re exploring new ideas
and working with others.
How to Work With Them: Invite them to your brainstorming session, but don’t hesitate
to redirect the conversation when they go off on a tangent. Help them stay focused.
8. The Protagonist (ENFJ)
How to Spot Them: Charismatic and inspiring leaders, protagonists are warm, friendly
and caring. They find it easy to communicate with others and are known for lifting them
up, making protagonists the ultimate “cheerleader”.
What Motivates Them: Like their other Diplomat companions, Protagonists seek
harmony and will work tirelessly to achieve it. They are great at rallying large groups of
people to join their cause. Like Holly, they may also gravitate toward HR roles.
Sentinel Personality Types
9. The Logistician (ISTJ)
How to Spot Them: Like Angela, Logisticians are masters of order, deadlines and hard
work. Failing to follow through on a deadline or not adhering to an established process
is the fastest way to get on their bad side.
What Motivates Them: A desire for duty, dependability and impeccable personal
integrity is at the core of everything they do.
How to Work With Them: Do your part! Clarify your role and next steps after a
discussion and then make sure you follow through.
10. The Defender (ISFJ)
How to Spot Them: Defenders are loyal, supportive and practical. As their name
suggests, they will passionately defend people or causes that are important to them.
However, they are often reluctant to change and can become easily stressed as they try
to meet others’ expectations.
What Motivates Them: They are motivated by a strong sense of duty to others.
How to Work With Them: Defenders rarely ask for help, so ask them what you can do
to make it easier for them to do their job.
11. The Executive (ESTJ)
How to Spot Them: Executives believe in law and order, honesty and hard work above
all else. They’re often the first person to point out a rule violation, and they detest
cheating or laziness. They are well equipped to lead, but their greatest challenge is
recognizing that not everyone thinks the way they do.
What Motivates Them: Executives are ambitious and motivated by a desire to advance
in their careers.
How to Work With Them: Show them you uphold the rules and are committed to
12. The Consul (ESFJ)
How to Spot Them: Consuls spread cheerfulness and positive energy everywhere they
go. They love to help people and spend time with them. Coming to grips with their
sensitivity is one of their biggest challenges. They don’t take well to criticism or rejection
and can sometimes come across as needy because of their constant desire for
What Motivates Them: Above all, Consuls want to be wanted and needed.
How to Work With Them: Make an extra effort to acknowledge their efforts and
Explorer Personality Types
13. The Virtuoso (ISTP)
How to Spot Them: Rational, calm and reserved yet also spontaneous risk-takers, the
Virtuoso is a man (or woman) of mystery. You might never really know what they’re
thinking or what they might do next. They’re not known for their commitment; instead
they view every day as a new opportunity to start fresh and always seem to be taking on
new endeavors. Virtuosos have a blunt, sometimes risque sense of humor and know
how to diffuse tense situations with a well-placed joke.
What Motivates Them: Virtuosos value independence and fairness most of all.
How to Work With Them: Something that’s likely to make ISTPs’ day is a random list of
things that needs to be fixed or dealt with. Virtuosos have a knack for tackling
immediate, hands-on tasks with surprising enthusiasm, as long as they are clearly
14. The Adventurer (ISFP)
How to Spot Them: Like Virtuosos, Adventurers live in the moment and enjoy pursuing
their various passions. They are often unpredictable and aren’t great at planning for the
future, but they have a zest for life and a certain irresistible charm. Adventurers who are
outwardly focused can act with amazing charity and selflessness, but they can also lean
toward the other extreme, pursuing their own interests above all else. (We see both
sides of Robert in The Office.)
What Motivates Them: Adventurers are on a constant quest for personal fulfillment.
How to Work With Them: Harness their spontaneous nature by sending them on an
important mission, whether it’s joining a sales meeting or attending a conference to get
the scoop on a big competitor.
15. The Entertainer (ESFP)
How to Spot Them: Look for the man (or woman) with the microphone! Entertainers
crave the spotlight, whether it’s performing onstage or giving a presentation. They are
social butterflies, and their charisma and originality also make them great at sales,
hospitality and people-oriented careers. However, they can become easily bored and
lose focus, especially if they’re working alone.
What Motivates Them: For Entertainers, there’s nothing better than being surrounded
by people they love and making them laugh.
How to Work With Them: Appeal to their sense of fun. Talk to them about their latest
vacation or tell them a joke before getting down to business.
16. The Entrepreneur (ESTP)
How to Spot Them: Entrepreneurs are true innovators and risk-takers. They will plunge
headfirst into a promising new opportunity, sometimes without thinking through the
consequences. They thrive in social settings and love learning new things but often feel
stifled in corporate environments. They believe rules were made to be broken and won’t
hesitate to speak out or rebel.
What Motivates Them: Entrepreneurs live for new experiences, new ideas and new
How to Work With Them: Get them excited about what your company is doing that’s on
the cutting edge, whether it’s a new product or workplace technology to make their jobs
Making Sense of Many
Workplace Personality Types
Working with so many different types of people is part of what makes life interesting. As
you notice some of these characteristics among your colleagues, acknowledge and
appreciate what makes them who they are. Whenever possible, workplace leaders
should create a workplace that supports everyone’s needs. That might mean moving
toward an activity-based working model that caters to both introverts and extroverts, for
Above all, recognize that while understanding these 16 personality types can be helpful,
no one fits neatly into a box. Everyone is an individual and deserves to be treated that
Most Work Conflicts Aren’t Due to Personality by Ben Dattner
May 20, 2014
Conflict happens everywhere, including in the workplace. When it does, it’s tempting to
blame it on personalities. But more often than not, the real underlying cause of workplace
strife is the situation itself, rather than the people involved. So, why do we automatically
blame our coworkers? Chalk it up to psychology and organizational politics, which cause
us to oversimplify and to draw incorrect or incomplete conclusions.
There’s a good reason why we’re inclined to jump to conclusions based on limited
information. Most of us are, by nature, “cognitive misers,” a term coined by social
psychologists Susan Fiske and Shelley Taylor to describe how people have a tendency to
preserve cognitive resources and allocate them only to high-priority matters. And the
limited supply of cognitive resources we all have is spread ever-thinner as demands on our
time and attention increase.
As human beings evolved, our survival depended on being able to quickly identify and
differentiate friend from foe, which meant making rapid judgments about the character
and intentions of other people or tribes. Focusing on people rather than situations is faster
and simpler, and focusing on a few attributes of people, rather than on their complicated
entirety, is an additional temptation.
Stereotypes are shortcuts that preserve cognitive resources and enable faster
interpretations, albeit ones that may be inaccurate, unfair, and harmful. While few people
would feel comfortable openly describing one another based on racial, ethnic, or gender
stereotypes, most people have no reservations about explaining others’ behavior with a
personality typology like Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (“She’s such an ‘INTJ’”),
Enneagram, or Color Code (“He’s such an 8: Challenger”).
Personality or style typologies like Myers-Briggs, Enneagram, the DISC Assessment,
Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument, Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument and
others have been criticized by academic psychologists for their unproven or debatable
reliability and validity. Yet, according to the Association of Test Publishers, the Society for
Human Resources, and the publisher of the Myers-Briggs, these assessments are still
administered millions of times per year for personnel selection, executive coaching, team
building and conflict resolution. As Annie Murphy Paul argues in her insightful book, The
Cult Of Personality Testing, these horoscope-like personality classifications at best capture
only a small amount of variance in behavior, and in combination only explain tangential
aspects of adversarial dynamics in the workplace. Yet, they’re frequently relied upon for
the purposes of conflict resolution. An ENTP and an ISTJ might have a hard time working
together. Then again, so might a Capricorn and a Sagittarius. So might any of us.
The real reasons for conflict are a lot harder to raise — and resolve — because they are
likely to be complex, nuanced, and politically sensitive. For example, people’s interests
may truly be opposed; roles and levels of authority may not be correctly defined or
delineated; there may be real incentives to compete rather than to collaborate; and there
may be little to no accountability or transparency about what people do or say.
When two coworkers create a safe and imaginary set of explanations for their conflict
(“My coworker is a micromanager,” or “My coworker doesn’t care whether errors are
corrected”), neither of them has to challenge or incur the wrath of others in the
organization. It’s much easier for them to imagine that they’ll work better together if they
simply understand each other’s personality (or personality type) than it is to realize that
they would have to come together to, for example, request that their boss stop pitting
them against one another, or to request that HR match rhetoric about collaboration with
real incentives to work together. Or, perhaps the conflict is due to someone on the team
simply not doing his or her job, in which case talking about personality as being the cause
of conflict is a dangerous distraction from the real issue. Personality typologies may even
provide rationalizations, for example, if someone says “I am a spontaneous type and that’s
why I have a tough time with deadlines.” Spontaneous or not, they still have to do their
work well and on time if they want to minimize conflict with their colleagues or
Focusing too much on either hypothetical or irrelevant causes of conflict may be easy and
fun in the short term, but it creates the risk over the long term that the underlying causes
of conflict will never be addressed or fixed.
So what’s the right approach to resolving conflicts at work?
First, look at the situational dynamics that are causing or worsening conflict, which are
likely to be complex and multifaceted. Consider how conflict resolution might necessitate
the involvement, support, and commitment of other individuals or teams in the
organization. For example, if roles are poorly defined, a boss might need to clarify who is
responsible for what. If incentives reward individual rather than team performance,
Human Resources can be called in to help better align incentives with organizational goals.
Then, think about how both parties might have to take risks to change the status quo:
systems, roles, processes, incentives or levels of authority. To do this, ask and discuss the
question: “If it weren’t the two of us in these roles, what conflict might be expected of any
two people in these roles?” For example, if I’m a trader and you’re in risk management,
there is a fundamental difference in our perspectives and priorities. Let’s talk about how to
optimize the competing goals of profits versus safety, and risk versus return, instead of
first talking about your conservative, data-driven approach to decision making and
contrasting it to my more risk-seeking intuitive style.
Finally, if you or others feel you must use personality testing as part of conflict resolution,
consider using non-categorical, well-validated personality assessments such as the Hogan
Personality Inventory or the IPIP-NEO Assessment of the “Big Five” Personality
dimensions (which can be taken for free here). These tests, which have ample peer-
reviewed, psychometric evidence to support their reliability and validity, better explain
variance in behavior than do categorical assessments like the Myers-Briggs, and therefore
can better explain why conflicts may have unfolded the way they have. And unlike the
Myers-Briggs which provides an “I’m OK, you’re OK”-type report, the Hogan Personality
Inventory and the NEO are likely to identify some hard-hitting development themes for
almost anyone brave enough to take them, for example telling you that you are set in your
ways, likely to anger easily, and take criticism too personally. While often hard to take, this
is precisely the kind of feedback that can help build self-awareness and mutual awareness
among two or more people engaged in a conflict.
As a colleague of mine likes to say, “treatment without diagnosis is malpractice.”
Treatment with superficial or inaccurate diagnostic categories can be just as bad. To solve
conflict, you need to find, diagnose and address the real causes and effects — not
Ben Dattner is an executive coach and organizational development consultant, and the
founder of New York City–based Dattner Consulting, LLC. You can follow him on Twitter at
Related Topics: Managing Yourself | Organizational Culture
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Personality clashes create a bad atmosphere at work and often impact on motivation and productivity. Rachel Miller finds out how business owners and managers can use mediation techniques to help resolve conflict and rebuild staff relationships
When two people don’t get on at work, the atmosphere can quickly sour and productivity can plummet. Outright hostility is usually hidden but it can show itself in passive aggress