Personality Assessments Part 1

June 9, 2003

Using Assessments to Develop Managers and Others for Professional and Personal Growth

By: Greg Smith

"Success in the knowledge economy comes to those who know themselves, their strengths, their values, and how they best perform." Peter Drucker

You have worked hard to hire and train a good management team. George has worked with you for three months. His communication style is direct. He has many good ideas and is good at starting projects, but weak on finishing what he starts. Mary, on the other hand, is good at details. She finishes what she starts, but seems to lack initiative.

Jose is a great teambuilder and keeps the team motivated. His only weakness is time management. He has to be reminded to finish his projects on time. Victoria is bright and intelligent, but is not sociable. She prefers to stay in her office and send email messages to those she works with. You ask yourself, "Why can't everyone just be like me?"

In my younger days, I had a narrow approach to managing others. I believed people who did not respond to my management style were DEFECTIVE. I evaluated everyone with the same broken yardstick. I now know I was wrong. There are eight different, but predictable work styles or behavior patterns common in people:


Toxic management.
In the workplace, individuals and managers unaware of these behavior patterns will unintentionally damage their personal effectiveness. When a manager understands these unique differences then they are in a more powerful position. They are better able to manage, understand, and lead people toward higher levels of productivity, lower frustration, higher morale, and better retention rates.

Many organizations are turning to behavior assessments and personality trait testing for both hourly workers and managers. Back in the late '90s, only 5 percent of Fortune 500 companies used some type of assessment. Today, that figure is climbing to 65 percent. A year 2000 study by American Management Association showed nearly half of 1,085 employers polled use at least one assessment in their interviewing process.

Assessments can help:

  • Individuals identify their strengths, know which jobs they are best suited for, and design a development plan to overcome shortcomings.

  • HR managers predict a job applicant's success before they are hired.

  • Business owners understand the temperament and work style of individual employees and managers.

  • Supervisors can give performance feedback to people in a style they understand and accept for improving performance and accelerating professional development.

  • People enhance communication, understanding, and improve personal relationships.

  • Sales managers select, hire, develop, and motivate super sales people.

Gregory P. Smith shows businesses how to build productive and profitable work environments that attract, keep, and motivate their workforce. He is the author of the book, Here Today Here Tomorrow: Transforming Your Workforce from High Turnover to High-Retention. He speaks at conferences, conducts management training, and is the President of a management consulting firm called Chart Your Course International located in Conyers, Georgia. Phone him at 770-860-9464. More articles available:

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