Personality Tests for Team Building
Choosing the right personality test for the job
Personality tests, profiling tools and assessments have long been used to support team building and team development as well as other processes such as candidate selection & assessment. These days the choice of tools, instruments and personality tests is large and sometimes confusing. So what do you need to know and how do you choose which personality test is right for your organisation and your team?
Personal experiences speak volumes
Firstly, when you are thinking about using a personality test for team building, we recommend that you speak with your colleagues and other managers within the organisation. Also speak with people that you know outside of your organisation. Which personality tests have they experienced in the past? What worked really well? What didn’t? What kind of team building experiences have they had? Were they useful? Doing a bit of fact-finding and listening to people’s personal stories can give you some good insight and good ideas as to what might work well for your team (as well as what might not).
A word of caution though. Your team is unique. Your team’s current situation and needs are unique. Personality tests and tools are based on models, and all models are limited in their view and what they report- it is a model after all. So it is important to understand why a particular tool or test worked for that team in that moment or if it didn’t, why it didn’t. All too often we receive requests for team building using a specific personality test even though the tool doesn’t fit with the outcomes required. Similarly a particular tool is dismissed in favour of one used previously, even though the recommended tool would better suit the client’s outcomes.
So why do some people have less than great experiences when it comes to personality tests and team building? Poor personal experiences usually happen for four reasons:
- Poor choice of tool – great personality test or instrument but doesn’t meet the team’s needs.
- Poor use of a good tool – great personality test or instrument, and well suited to the team’s needs, but badly used.
- Poor tool – using a badly made personality test or instrument is unlikely to yield good results, however skilled the trainer is.
- Poor use of a badly made personality test or instrument – enough said!
When thinking about a team building and development process it is also important to speak with each member of the team who will be involved. Too often team building is a process that is done to teams instead of with them and for them. The receiving of that email about the upcoming team building day is, unfortunately, enough to send some people running for the hills, booking a holiday or taking sick leave. Including everyone in the conversation uncovers valuable information about the team’s dynamics whilst helping to identify individual needs; all of which can be incorporated into the design of your team building programme. It creates increased buy-in, ownership and engagement.
Key message: understanding the specific needs and dynamics of the team allows you to choose the right team building process/personality test for the outcomes identified. Choosing a qualified and experienced trainer who is the right fit for the team is also important. If you are thinking about using a personality test for team building or are unsure of what process to embark on, we are on hand to help choose the right tool for the job and support you in the design of a useful and enjoyable experience.
Are we speaking the same language?
When thinking about using a personality test for team building it might also be useful to speak with your Learning & Development department. Using a personality test can be valuable in its own right but it’s also important to join up the dots. When using personality tests, tools or assessments for team building you should also consider some level of consistency within the organisation; that is you are using standardised tools/the same language – just like you would with any other tool, system or process.
Key message: check – is there a personality test of choice? Is this something we should all be doing and using?
Being realistic and understanding constraints
As the saying goes ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day‘ and neither are high performance teams. It is important to view personality tests and team building days as a step in a longer, ongoing development process. Some personality tests and instruments lend themselves well to a one-off short workshop. Others require more time and additional support to realise their true value. Some teams simply need and benefit from a 3-hour team workshop whereas others need additional support, training, team coaching or a more sophisticated solution. Being realistic and matching learning outcomes with time, money, process and the right personality test ensures you are in the best place to create practical and meaningful change.
Key message: understand your training needs and desired outcomes first and then be realistic about what can be achieved with the resources you have available. Do the resources available match your outcomes? If not, which needs to change – outcomes or resources? We will always work with you to understand your exact needs; being honest with you in what can and cannot be achieved, and what we recommend based on our extensive experience of what works.
The science bit – is the tool any good?
Whilst team building might be considered a bit of art, behind every good personality test and tool is thorough research and science. To be good, personality tests should be both statistically valid and reliable. But what does that mean?
Validity – In simple terms a personality test is considered statistically valid if does what it sets out to. It is credible, relevant or effective – it hits the target in the right spot. That might sound obvious but it’s really important. A set of weighing scales is valid if it can be used for the measuring of weight. If it can’t do this – for example, it measures temperature instead – it is not effective or credible and is not the right tool for the job. In the context of personality tests and team building the question is “How well is it measuring what it sets out to? Is it measuring what we need it to?”
Reliability – Simply put, a personality test is considered statistically reliable if it is consistent in its measurement – it hits the target consistently in the same spot. A set of weighing scales that show a different weight for the same item, time after time, is not reliable (even though it is valid – measuring weight). In the context of personality tests and team building if the tools produces a different result every time it is not considered reliable.
Key Message: Not all personality tests and tools are created equally. Check that the personality test you are using for the team building process is both statistically valid and reliable – that it hits the right spot, consistently. This data should be readily available from the test publisher or from the trained facilitator. We only use tools that have been through rigorous scientific testing, are based in research, and have been proven to be both valid and reliable.
Got questions? Please contact us on: 0800 043 5730
We use the following personality tests for team building and leadership development
Developing Potential (UK) Ltd are specialists in the use of personality tests for team building, team development and leadership development. Our coaches and trainers are qualified and licensed in the use of a number of personality tests and assessments.
Reports Emotional Intelligence across 15 scales
Use for personal and leadership development
360 version available
Reports personality type across 4 scales
Team Building & development
Reports personality trait across 16 scales
A deeper understanding of personality
Leadership is a set of practised behaviours
Use for management & leadership development
Reports what motivates us/self worth
Understand your reaction to times of conflict
Team building & development
Reports preferred style for handling conflict
Team & leadership development
Work-based preferences & roles
Team building & team development