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News > Club News > WIB-Seattle News > WIB Seattle & Deloitte: Business Chemistry – Use Science to Improve Your Workplace, June 6, 2024

WIB Seattle & Deloitte: Business Chemistry – Use Science to Improve Your Workplace, June 6, 2024



On June 6, WIB-Seattle convened to build an understanding of major personality traits and communication styles in the workplace. Deloitte representatives Catherine Poulsen and Chad Norris guided the attendees through Deloitte's four-personality tool, originally developed for internal use. Deloitte's tool is Similar to Myers-Brigg types or Enneagram personality tests, except that their four personalities are meant to overlap. It allows you to recognize other people's working and communication styles more easily, which can be challenging to do off a few interactions when using the Myers-Brigg or Enneagram frameworks. Catherine and Chad explained the four main personality types, which were presented with a circle graphic: Pioneer, Guardian, Driver, and Integrator.

The Pioneer tends to be focused on possibilities and big ideas, but they may feel that their ideas are being shot down if someone else focuses too much on the details.

The Guardian is good at tedious, detail-oriented work but can be too focused or rigid.

The Driver is usually competitive and logical but can come across as too direct.

The Integrator is diplomatic and focuses on building consensus but can sometimes be inefficient with time or resources.

Often, people find themselves as a combination of two personalities, and there is overlap among those types. Within these four personalities, Catherine and Chad explained how to identify other people's working styles and how to spot certain personality traits or methods of communication according to the Deloitte framework. In addition, the presenters emphasized that we may see parts of ourselves in each of the four and that it's important not to pigeonhole ourselves into strict roles. Not everyone fits neatly into one of the four personality types presented, and the blend of traits means everyone approaches their work differently.

Once we've identified our styles, then we can work on figuring out how our teammates operate. A better understanding of our colleagues will help us navigate workplace frustrations and communicate more clearly. We may grow over time or find ourselves challenged to take a new direction if we're entering a new role or if the situation means that we should adapt. Identifying these personality types and communication methods is essential to learning our strengths and weaknesses and understanding where friction can build up in workplace relationships. With this deeper understanding, we can determine how to make more valuable connections in the workplace and create stronger teams that work better together.

One attendee asked about the origin of the data set used to develop the tool. She worked for a French company and wanted to know if the data set was primarily derived from the personalities of people in North America. She said that she has experienced some cultural differences with her company and has had to adjust to connect better with her peers in Paris. Catherine and Chad explained that the data set is primarily derived from personalities in North America, but the results shift depending on which team is using the tool. If, for example, someone is generally along the edge of the Guardian portion of the circle when they take the quiz individually, they may find that on a team with someone who is even more extreme than them, their result is pulled closer to the center of the circle.

What resonated the most with the attendees was that frequently, in a workplace, when there is a personality clash or a conflict on a team, it isn't something to take personally. People tend to approach problems and goals in ways that are very specific to their personalities. If they express frustration or impatience with how things are being done, it's nothing personal. Ultimately, it's not that your relationship with that person has gone wrong; it's just that they are working within their own process and method. Identifying your strengths and weaknesses, as well as someone else's, can help you reframe your interactions with them in a more neutral way.

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