Identifying yourself as belonging to one of four personality types is a familiar method of comparing your personal style with that of others. Each personality type has its own distinctly different cluster of behavioral style elements.

Predictable Behavior Preferences
in Four Personality Types

I've chosen nine reasonably predictable behavioral preferences for each of four personaliy types below. Not being a trained psychologist or research scientist, my selections are empirical - in other words, I've observed them myself and they seem to be pretty accurate.

  1. Typical job preference
  2. Decision-making
  3. Communication style
  4. Conflict resolution
  5. Personal style(perceived by others)
  6. Body language
  7. Self-esteem
  8. The balance between IQ and EQ
  9. Leadership style

To complete this exercise, just match the element number above with the corresponding number in one of each of the four personality types below. For instance, if your job preference is in marketing, put a “1” by #1 in Artistic Type. If you are unable to choose one among the four personality types for any given style element, or a choice is just too close to call, split your choice by giving a half point to each.

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself selecting elements from more than just one of the four personality types. This exercise is intended only to identify your dominant type – the one with the most points.

Analytical Type
Artistic Type
  1. Financial, information management jobs
  2. Never has enough information to be comfortable
  3. Reluctant to make declarative statements, gathers more information
  4. Usually disconnects from conflict. The Thinker
  5. Boring, plodding, a “loner”
  6. Disconnected. Sometimes it’s like they’re not listening, looks down
  7. Lower self-esteem, doesn’t care about being liked
  8. High IQ
  9. Laissez-faire
  1. Creative, marketing jobs
  2. Sees own views, tends to disregard other views
  3. Always has a strong personal opinion and voices it
  4. Takes conflict personally, feels threatened by it. The Socializer
  5. Emotional, unpredictable, individualistic
  6. Insecure. Lack of eye contact, tightly wound, nervous
  7. Higher self-esteem, needs to be liked
  8. High EQ
  9. Transformational
Amiable Type
Authoritarian Type
  1. Sales, service, teachers, ministers
  2. Conciliator, strives for group decision
  3. Consensus builder, listener, highly agreeable
  4. Avoids conflict whenever possible, keeps the peace, personally conflicted. The Relater
  5. Warm, friendly, predictable
  6. Open. Sits back, makes eye contact, nods in agreement frequently
  7. Lower self-esteem, needs to be liked
  8. Situational
  1. Entrepreneurs, executives
  2. Impatient to get it done now! Tends to jump to conclusions
  3. Dominant, impatient, drives conversations to conclusion
  4. Dictatorial, needs to have the last word. The Director
  5. Arrogant, uncaring, judgmental
  6. Decisive. Closed, quick movement, rolls eyes, leans forward
  7. Higher self-esteem, doesn’t care about being liked
  8. High IQ
  9. Transactional

Practical Application
of the Four Personality Types

As important as your own personality type is, each other type will reflect some traits you can identify as desirable for people to fit well into your corporate culture. After all, a corporate culture is a reflection of the personality type and style of your CEO. Not only that, everyone you work with – your peers, your boss and your team members – will have their own personality types too. Remember, you are rewarded for “fitting in”.

  • If you find your styles and traits fall pretty equally among the four types, there will be fewer circumstances in which conscious alignment will be necessary and it will easier to align yourself when “agreeing to disagree” in not an option.
  • If you find the vast majority of your styles and traits fall into one type, it will be a bit more challenging. The necessity to align your style with another will occur more frequently.

How Do I Align My Style?

Webster defines alignment as “the proper positioning or state of adjustment of parts in relation to each other; an arrangement of groups or forces in relation to one another”. And that is the desired outcome of this exercise – to help you recognize when an element of your personality is out of synch in a given situation.

When that occurs, simply adjust the style of your response to more closely mirror the style of the group or individual involved. That might include:

  • Holding back on making a judgmental statement – you can think it, just don’t say it
  • Being more open to other points of view – someone else feels strongly enough about them to climb out on a limb with them
  • Making eye contact with the person you are speaking to – it is a strong connection
  • Not reading disagreement as a personal assault – you are disagreeing about a business issue, not you personally
  • Stating your opinion – depending on your culture, more can be better when it comes to input for an important decision
  • Willingness to compromise – half a win is better than no win at all

And you thought I was talking about a personality transplant!

You can align elements of your personal style without sacrificing your personal authenticity and with significant payback for the effort. Working with the four personality types takes a little practice, but you’ll quickly get the hang of it. I did and have watched others do it too. It’s amazing how differently people respond to you and how much more you can accomplish in a shorter period of time.