Behaviors Uncovered: Leadership, Communication, Conflict Management and Team Contribution

Talentoday's MyPrint behaviors styles

How can employers understand how someone will behave in a professional context? Do organizations have to rely on a trial-and-error approach to hiring and management, or is there a way to make better informed decisions based on science?

Thankfully, years of behavioral modeling have left a strong legacy in various fields of psychological research, from social psychology to behavioral economics. Using the progress in this area as a knowledge base, we were able to combine two key areas of results from our MyPrint® questionnaire — personality and motivational traits — to uncover the likely behaviors of individuals in professional settings.

From Personality and Motivations to Behaviors

MyPrint reports consist of three main areas of focus: Personality, Motivations and Behaviors:

  • Personality traits correspond to the attitudinal & emotional characteristics underlying people’s stable behaviors.
  • Motivations correspond to the desires and needs triggering, orienting and maintaining an individual’s behaviors towards a given objective.
  • Behaviors represent the ranges of observable actions made by individuals in conjunction with their environment.

The 11 behavioral dimensions of MyPrint are displayed as score matrices resulting from the combination of personality and motivation dimensions of the assessment. Therefore, the behavioral styles of MyPrint are predicted based on the scores (high or low) that an individual has obtained on the personality and motivation dimensions crossed together. In short, these analytical grids give insights for understanding why an individual tends to foster a particular pattern of actions and how they maintain it.

As we uncover the science behind predicting behaviors in the workplace, we begin with four key dimensions for employers focusing on better understanding group dynamics within their teams: Leadership Style, Communication Style, Conflict Management and Team Contribution.

Leadership Style

Talentoday's Behaviors - Learning style

Leadership Style can be described as the way that a person motivates their peers to contribute to the effectiveness of their organization. This applies to individuals formal leadership positions, information leadership positions, or people who might not appear to have any leadership roles at all. Anyone can influence their peers and impact their organization.

There are four styles of leadership, derived from the combination of the “Empathy” dimension of personality and the “Need for Responsibility” dimension of motivation:

  • Mentor (Empathetic, Need for Sharing Responsibility): Individuals who are Mentor Leaders build emotional bonds by empowering others and offering plenty of positive feedback.
  • Inclusive (Empathetic, Need for Taking Personal Responsibility): Individuals who are Inclusive Leaders drive necessary changes by mobilizing everyone toward a common vision.
  • Democratic (Individualistic, Need for Sharing Responsibility): Individuals who are Democratic Leaders guard themselves against backlash by letting others give their inputs upstream.
  • Authoritative (Individualistic, Need for Taking Personal Responsibility): Individuals who are Authoritative Leaders tend to demand compliance since they would take full responsibility for issues that may arise.

Communication Style

Talentoday's Behaviors - Communication style

Communication Style can be summarized as the way that a person sends a message to one or many peers, verbally or otherwise. For employees, there’s an ever-growing number of ways to communicate beyond just face-to-face interaction. Understanding the way an individual tends to express their thoughts and opinions during in-person conversations, emails, video calls and more can help predict their future interactions in the workplace.

There are four styles of communication, derived from the combination of the “Dominance” dimension of personality and the “Need to Influence” dimension of motivation:

  • Straightforward (Assertive, Need to Open Up to Others’ Opinions): Individuals who are Straightforward Communicators are inclined to clearly state their ideas while keeping a neutral tone and being respectful of others’ views.
  • Persuasive (Assertive, Need to Sway Others’ Opinions): Individuals who are Persuasive Communicators are inclined to dominate others in interactions by openly convincing them to see things their way.
  • Receptive (Compliant, Need to Open Up to Others’ Opinions): Individuals who are Receptive Communicators are inclined to speak softly in interactions, and mostly listen to others’ points of views in order to please them.
  • Diplomatic (Compliant, Need to Sway Others’ Opinions): Individuals who are Diplomatic Communicators are inclined to control the course of discussions to their advantage by placing underlying messages in their spoken words.

Conflict Management

Talentoday's Behaviors - Conflict Management style

Conflict Management can be described as the way that a person tries to limit the negative aspects of a confrontation while increasing its positive impacts. Conflict doesn’t always take place in the form of direct confrontation. Being aware of the ways in which individuals will handle situations where there are differing opinions — both big and small — can help leaders facilitate as needed so that certain individuals’ voices and opinions are being heard over the individuals who might be more confident and determined to win.

There are four behavior types when it comes to conflict management, derived from the combination of the “Self-Esteem” dimension of personality and the “Need for Competition” dimension of motivation:

  • Appeasing (Confident, Need to Cooperate): Individuals who are Appeasing in Conflict tend to dig into the underlying concerns and consider the views of others.
  • Decisive (Confident, Need to Win): Individuals who are Decisive in Conflict tend to settle it by asserting their own solution.
  • Accommodating (Modest, Need to Cooperate): Individuals who are Accommodating in Conflict put aside their own needs in order to keep the peace with others.
  • Compromising (Modest, Need to Win): Individuals who are Compromising in Conflict tend to ignore or withdraw from it rather than facing it.

Team Contribution

Talentoday's Behaviors - Team Contribution style

Team Contribution can be summarized as the way that an individual cooperates and works with others in a group setting in order to achieve organizational goals. This is not only useful for individuals who work in the same department or formal team, but for understanding the role a person tends to play even in the informal group projects and activities that occur in the workplace.

There are four ways individuals can approach team contribution, derived from the combination of the “Extraversion” dimension of personality and the “Need for Relation” dimension of motivation:

  • Coordinating (Extroverted, Need for Privacy): Individuals who are Coordinating teammates expect efficiency, focus on goals and coordinate people together
  • Energizing (Extroverted, Need to Socialize): Individuals who are Energizing teammates get excited and draw others in with enthusiasm, while showing a relatively short attention span.
  • Observant (Introverted, Need for Privacy): Individuals who are Observant teammates focus on content, and are likely to ask others about their expectations regarding their role in the process.
  • Supportive (Introverted, Need for Socialize): Individuals who are Supportive teammates are loyal team players, by actively listening, discussing and defending the different views of others.

The behaviors results of MyPrint help in understanding the ways in which individuals actually act or conduct themselves, especially toward others. This knowledge can be invaluable in building a more productive workplace.

In our next entry in our three-part Behaviors Uncovered series, we investigate three areas that are critical to the development of highly-effective problem solving teams — creativity, work and learning styles.

Interested in uncovering more about how behavior profiles can help you understand how someone will act in a professional setting? Discover the science behind MyPrint by clicking here.


How Our Personalities Were Transformed By COVID-19

Human beings are incredibly adaptable. Consider all the ways life has changed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. From shrinking social circles to becoming comfortable wearing face masks to learning what six feet of distance really looks like, our society has found ways to adjust to a new way of living out of sheer necessity. However, these transformations run even deeper than just what the eye can see. Beyond the obvious signs of physical distancing, people have been adapting to our changing world in other ways — especially when it comes to their personality.

What Our Research Reveals

Based on MyPrint® personality assessment data from the last year, while the core of what makes most individuals unique may have remained intact, there are clear trends that point to changes occurring in our personalities happening broadly. In particular, our research points to changes in the grit, thoroughness, structure and optimism dimensions of personality.

Here’s what the four most prominent changes we’re tracking in personality mean for individuals moving forward. Have you recognized any of these changes in your own personality?

Developing an Opportunistic Approach

Being opportunistic is an important part of the grit dimension of personality. Think of grit as an indicator of how determined an individual may be to stick with something they’ve started. A high level of grit can be a wonderful trait for anyone who is known for seeing every project to its completion. However, as the realities of life during COVID-19 became apparent, most individuals dialed down this particular trait. One explanation is that the situations many people faced required a shift in plans. That determined, or “gritty,” mindset has been shifted to an opportunistic approach, as the need to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances outside of anyone’s control have become more prevalent. In other words, rather than seeing each particular challenge to the end, many of us moved onto new opportunities that fit better into our new world of work.

Becoming More Easy Going

In a year in which many people put on sweatpants and embraced a more laid back approach to their work from makeshift home offices, it might not be all that surprising to learn that thoroughness moved closer to the “easy going” end of our personality scale. What this means is not necessarily an increase in sloppiness, but a preference for a higher quantity of work outputs over the quality of that work. After all, in many roles, the shift in work environments presented any number of new challenges, and an unfamiliar amount of unstructured time with which to get them done.

Prioritizing Spontaneity

Speaking of structure, raise your hand if you forgot which day of the week it was at least once in 2020. If your hand is in the air right now, don’t worry — you are not alone! Our research indicates that personalities dipped in their levels of structure over the course of 2020, leaning further into the spontaneous end of our scale.

Personally, I know my entire routine was completely upended in the last year. In a matter of days, my morning alarms, commute plans, meeting schedule and meal prep strategy went right out the window. Suddenly, if I wanted to sleep an extra hour, that was okay! If I felt like having a homemade omelet for breakfast on any given Wednesday, I could bust out the eggs and get cracking! However, this shift towards less structure also had effects well beyond extra snoozes and creative meals. The lines became blurred around which types of projects needed to be done when. The boundaries between work and home were breached.

Increased Optimism

On the bright side, personalities appear to have been pushed to the positive end of our optimism scale! At first glance, this trend might appear to be counterintuitive. After all, in a year filled with so much darkness, how could optimism be on the rise? It turns out that this may be the greatest indication of human resilience revealed in our analysis. When faced with adversity, individuals have time and time again shown the ability to find even the smallest silver linings in a given situation. As our goals collectively shifted from narrow-minded personal achievements to group survival, small wins became reasons for real celebration.

As vaccinations are administered, the world stands poised to step forward into another stage in the fight against COVID-19. Even as we remain hopeful that this virus will someday fade away entirely, the changes we experienced in our personalities will remain long after the masks are put away. Human beings are incredibly adaptable. While that means individual traits may shift in response to situations beyond our control, what makes us unique carries on.

Are you interested in learning more about how your personality has evolved over time? Take (or retake) the MyPrint® soft skills assessment today to unlock personality insights. Click here to get started.


Are You Missing the Hard Data on Soft Skills?

More companies are looking at Big Data to boost their bottom line. In the world of work, they are turning to people analytics to provide predictive insights that save time and money, while bringing out the best in their employees. This information can help organizations envision and realize the full potential of their people.

Learn what people analytics software truly means and how to use it to enhance your organization’s growth. A better understanding of the data on soft skills and how it fits into your overall analytics picture can help you align your organization’s goals, values, people, and purpose. It can guide recruitment in finding the right talent to best fit a team and overall organization. Understand the importance of soft skills at every phase of the employee lifecycle:

  • RECRUITMENT
  • HIRING
  • ONBOARDING
  • PERFORMANCE
  • DEVELOPMENT + TRAINING

Discover how people analytics can help you optimize performance and boost profit, while helping you envision and realize your team’s full potential. Learn ways to enhance your organization’s growth with insights that help you predict and plan. Download our eBook.


Social Awareness in the Workplace: Do You Have These 5 Critical Skills for Fostering Diversity, Equity and Inclusion?

Following the mass protests and grassroots social movements that have come to define the summer of 2020, many businesses felt compelled to speak up and reevaluate their diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts. Not only was it the right thing to do, but recent research from Monster found that, “more than 86% of candidates say that diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace are important to them and 62% of people would go as far as turning down a job offer if it came from a culture that didn’t support a diverse workforce.” It’s feedback like this from job seekers that earned DEI a spot on Medix’s list of the hiring trends that will define 2021.

Thanks to individual employees, many organizations have recognized the importance of these efforts in the last year; however, achieving the kind of progress being asked for across all industries is another story. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), “Organizations cannot become multicultural by proclamation. It takes concerted effort.” In other words, while posts on social media talking about creating a diverse workforce may be a positive step forward, real change requires action at a personal level.

To get there, individuals within an organization need to develop the skills that allow for real growth within a company culture. SHRM identifies five traits leaders and employees alike must focus on when adopting a diverse mindset: Openness, Flexibility, Social Dexterity, Emotional Awareness and Curiosity.

Here’s what research behind soft skills tells us about each of these five critical traits. Through self evaluation, you can identify which areas are strengths for you, and which ones may need some development. By bringing more awareness to these five traits within yourself, you and your teammates can help drive DEI efforts in any organization:

Openness

When it comes to openness, it’s a characteristic that points to a person being “receptive” in terms of their communication style. These people tend to be low in dominance in terms of their personality and don’t feel a need to influence others in order to be motivated. Employees who are able to tap into this sense of openness can be powerful allies as organizations expand their DEI efforts. A workplace that embraces these receptive communication styles allows different opinions and thoughts to be heard in a group, rather than having each person simply caring about their own opinions and trying to convince others to see things their way. Ultimately, the goal is to open up more opportunity for diversity of thought to be expressed and implemented in group settings.

Flexibility

No, flexibility doesn’t just refer to a person’s yoga skills! Rather, it’s an indication of people who may appear lower in grit in terms of personality and have a low need for competition to be motivated. While a lack of grit or competitiveness may sound like a negative to some, what this means is that this person may be more likely to change what they are doing in order to move onto whatever is more valuable for them to be working on — showing that they are flexible and adaptable to their environment.

Think of it this way: When someone is able to switch their focus to what is best for the team, and is also motivated by doing things as a collective effort, then the group as a whole is going to be more open to success. This creates a culture of support for one another, which is key when making diversity a top priority.

Social Dexterity

One of the ways organizations become closed off from the principles of DEI in the workplace is through the forming of cliques — small social circles designed to exclude those with differing interests and opinions. Thankfully, one of the most powerful weapons for breaking through the clique mentality are individuals with high levels of social dexterity. These people energize teams by having highly extroverted personalities and an intense need for relations to be motivated. With social dexterity in a group, there’s less of a chance for ‘outsiders’ to be pushed aside, since those energizing individuals will seek out connections with everyone.

Emotional Awareness

One crucial element of social awareness is emotional awareness, or the ability to make decisions and base actions first and foremost on how it impacts others. In other words, people who understand emotional awareness have highly empathetic personalities and are motivated by their need for belonging. Individuals who put an emphasis around being emotionally aware of those around them are going to help empower an inclusive culture by making sure that nobody is forgotten. By finding ways to allow everyone in a group to feel as though their thoughts and opinions are being considered, these individuals help to make others feel seen and heard within an organization.

Curiosity

Critical thinking personalities are naturally curious; they are motivated by a need for variety in their daily activities. Curious people ask a lot of questions, and this can be an invaluable trait as organizations seek out a path to DEI efforts that work for their organization and team culture. In most cases, curious thinkers are not interested in having cookie cutter individuals on their team. Instead, they are energized by people who have different backgrounds, skills, cultures, and opinions from their own. This helps to empower an inclusive workplace by fostering a culture of learning.

Identify Your Soft Skills to Empower DEI

These five traits — Openness, Flexibility, Social Dexterity, Emotional Awareness and Curiosity — may be the key to unlocking a new era of diversity in the workplace. Do any of them sound familiar to you?

To begin developing these skills within yourself, the first step is measuring where you stand in each category. With that baseline knowledge, it will then be easier to find ways to apply your areas of strength to DEI efforts within your control at an organization. For areas in which you may be deficient, this is a time to create plans for developing in the areas critical for fostering the type of work environment so many are fighting to make a reality.

Looking to learn more about how you can use your soft skills to grow diversity, equity, and inclusion at your organization? Take the MyPrint® soft skills assessment today to unlock personality insights that can drive change!


The Importance of Company Culture and How to Hire the Right Fit

How to keep your new hires from running.

6 tips on hiring employees who wont run for the door.

Everyone likes to wake up wanting to go to work! And every company wants their employees to be motivated, productive and loyal. One of the biggest factors in fostering a hard-working, happy team is by not only creating a vibrant company culture, but also making sure new employees fit into your company’s unique style. Whether your company is a more casual, “8–5”, family friendly environment, or a high pressure, career lifestyle, competitive, highly results-oriented workplace, using smart recruiting tools like predictive analytics to evaluate candidates will help ensure the perfect match.

Programs that foster company culture like flex time, happy hours, volunteer work, recognition opportunities, cross departmental “lunch and learn” events, competitive pay structures and opportunities for bonuses all make employees less likely to take calls from other companies.

“Culture is the number one contributing factor to every single aspect of the employment relationship — from both the employee and company perspective,” says Amber Rhoton, Owner/President of Owner and Chief HR Advisor for Amplified HR. “A strong culture is the fastest way to weed out under-performers and cultivate superstars.”

Here’s how to find the perfect match for your company’s culture and avoid costly hiring mistakes. Job searchers, listen up to increase your chances of getting hired!

  1. Ask candidates to take a personality test such as Talentoday’s which in a few clicks provides a comparison of the candidate to your current workforce and is designed to allow you to get an idea of who a person really is and what motivates him or her.
  2. Have multiple people speak with the candidate to see how well he or she meshes with different personalities. Also, meet a candidate on several occasions on different days and times to gauge the consistency of the fit.
  3. Watch how a candidate interacts with the receptionist. It may seem minor, but you want to hire a genuinely nice person. If someone is cold or rude to the person they are first meeting in the lobby, it’s not a good sign.
  4. Check references, and not just the ones a candidate gives you. Dig a little deeper and find an objective opinion on someone’s past performance and potential fit. It’s hard work but will pay off to avoid hiring the wrong person.
    Observe how smoothly offer negotiations go. If a candidate negotiates heavily and isn’t easy to work with during that process, it’s a sign they aren’t the right person for the job.
  5. Ask the hard questions. If you know your company’s culture requires night and weekend work, find out how a candidate will handle that. Be transparent on all the down sides of a position and when someone is still excited to join, you’ll know they’re right for the role.

 

Match your applicants with your culture and the rest will fall into place,” says Rhoton. It’s way more important, in my opinion, than skill set or experience.”

By ensuring your new hires match your company’s dynamic, you’ll not only reduce your turnover but also increase engagement and overall performance of the entire team. And with today’s easy-to-use candidate-culture matching technology, there’s no excuse not to!