Personality Impacts Performance


The Enneagram, Myers-Briggs, Strength’s Finders, Four Temperaments, Which Harry Potter House are You, What Character from Friends Best Reflects You…there is no shortage to personality profile testing.

Ranging from deeply researched scientific methods, to fun Buzzfeed quizzes about how you like your pizza, we have constructed all sorts of ways to help us understand ourselves and one another.  Companies plan retreats or have HR training sessions designed around “getting to know your team” acknowledging that we all have different wirings, mindsets and ways of navigating a work environment.  However, how are we really at keeping personality in mind when we are sitting in a board room, or reflecting on our latest review?

Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash

Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your coworkers has extreme value.  Realizing the lens through which your boss engages their tasks is precious information.  But knowing yourself, and how your personality impacts your performance opens up countless opportunities for self empowerment and to encounter freedom and peace.

Have you ever felt like you were the only one that noticed that certain coworkers behavior?

Have you felt crazy sitting in a meeting as everyone else nods and smiles and all you can think is, “I must be missing something.”?

Have you noticed a theme in your work life even as you’ve changed teams or companies, a pattern that seems to follow you around?  Perhaps a consistent work frustration?  Or maybe an obstacle that emerges regardless of how your work scene changes?

Psalm 139 reads, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

Visit Hobby Lobby and you’ll see this passage on pallet wood.  Search Etsy for “baby girl verse” and I guarantee this passage will be on the first page of results (I literally just did this and it’s item #4).  The first portion of this verse gets a lot of attention, but that last segment, “I know that full well.”  That’s where the work comes in.

I spent my 20s and a significant portion of my early 30s finding my place in my field.  I pursued education, found professional mentors, attended conferences and laid a great foundation spending several years with two great organizations.  But no one told me that the majority of my frustrations and mishaps stemmed from my immaturity when it came to knowing myself “full well.” I paid a lot of attention to how others worked, but the power in the tools we are handed for self assessment truly comes from how we apply it within our own sphere of self.

I can know I’m an Enneagram #1 melancholic contributor communicator extroverted introvert INTJ with the strengths of Responsibility, Learner, Achiever, Input, Individualization, but if I’m not self aware enough to see how that impacts office dynamics (a nice way of saying “how that can drive others crazy”) I am probably missing opportunities not only to advance my career, but I am probably missing opportunities to reflect that very Creator that fashioned me this way.

There is this space where our biology, our family system, and our experiences meet our temperament, talents and tendencies.  This where your personality lives.  God uses all things to connect us with purpose but it is so helpful to strengthen that connection by doing the work of striving to know ourselves “full well”.

So take another Buzzfeed quiz, really start to explore your enneagram number, but be sure to invite God into that space to shine light not only on all those others showing up to work, or ways to manage your team, but also to help you see how you are showing up in work.

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Jennifer Mazzola