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Understanding Personality Types

Fri 7 October 2011

As a networker and a director for #BNI – people are a passion of mine, understanding how different people work and gauging how to work well with different personality types is very important


When you first meet someone, let’s say at a business networking event, you will immediately start to weigh them up.  Without even thinking about it, you’ll be listening and making decisions about their personality and them. Personality types in business are crucial to how well teams communicate and how work gets carried out. Think about ‘The Apprentice’ program on BBC1 - it showcases a variety of different personality types and displays how they can influence decisions and performance in business. 


Of course, we’re not all the same – and thankfully so – as that keeps the world fresh, challenging and interesting.


Over the years psychologists have endeavoured to narrow the millions of different traits observed into specific categories – so let’s take a quick look at them – and how better understanding them, may help you cement more fulfilling business relations.





An extraverts’ focus is outward: they focus their energy and efforts towards people and things outside themselves, whereas an introvert personality has a focus that is more inward - they are more self-contained and self-reliant. An excessive amount of interaction with other people is draining for introverts, as they require time alone to regroup and recharge their batteries. On the other hand, social interaction for extraverts makes them feel energised.




This personality distinction manifests in how people like to organise their world, and how they like to lead their lives

Judgers usually have an innate drive to make a decision, to close things down and to judge a situation  - whereas a perceiver approaches life differently - keeping things open, to continue taking in information and to keep on perceiving. A judger is not necessarily judgmental, and a Perceiver may not be particularly perceptive – a judger’s need for closure is more urgent than a perceiver’s and judgers in most situations require less information in order to reach conclusive decisions than perceivers do.





This distinguishes the manner in which people make decisions and reach conclusions – quite integral to how people work in a business environment. It’s usually either by cool logic, or through personal feelings/emotions and values. Thinkers are able to objectify a decision: they have an ability to step back from an issue and analyse it logically and impersonally, doing things like listing pros and cons and thinking through the consequences of an end result. Feelers operate in an opposite fashion; they tend to plunge head first into an issue, making the situation personal and taking into consideration how they would personally feel about the issue, how it would affect them it, how it might affect others and whether it’s right or wrong.





This distinction in people’s characters describes two very different ways that people absorb, or perceive, all the pieces of information that are fed to us every single day. Depending on which personality distinction one has, it can totally influence an individual’s view on the world. It represents the greatest differences between people. Some of us take this information in through our five physical senses (Sensors), whereas others receive it through the sixth sense, focusing on what might be rather than what is (Intuitives).


Hope the breakdown of different personality types is useful and that you enjoy the post



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