Your personality is a diverse eco system of ideas, behaviours and qualities that vary for each individual. In our professional lives we encounter a vast array of differing personalities that we must not just contend with but work in harmony with. As a project professional, it is vital to understand the intricacies of your inner workings and how that can impact your project, colleagues and clientele.
In our personality series we delve into the nitty gritty of understanding your personality, personalities around you and how they affect your project. You will gain an understanding on topics such as:
- Big 5 Personality Traits
- Thinking style and its impact on creating change
- The affect of personality on collaboration
- Derailing & coping behaviours
- Managing diversity with project teams
This course is invaluable to project professionals alike and will cement yourself in the upper echelons of project leaders out there. To give you a greater understanding of the aforementioned topics, let us dissect each video for you.
It is understood that we develop our core personality at the tender age of 5-6 and hold those traits throughout our adult lives. According to Dr Steve Peters’ book The Chimp Paradox, we also have sub-personalities within that. This first video will help you understand your personality, some of your traits and how you may need to adjust to accommodate differing personalities in your project. There will be stakeholders within your project with different values but we will help you bridge this ‘cognitive gap’ throughout the series.
Video 2 & 3
A well revered evaluation of personality traits is the ‘Big 5’, aptly named OCEAN. The varying degree to which individuals rank within these traits will undeniably affect their attitude and reaction to situations during a project’s lifespan. We give a detailed analysis across two videos of the traits in the context of project management and how it will impact you as a project leader.
We’ve all experienced that overwhelming emotion of wanting to storm out of a meeting or make a rash decision during the lifespan of a project. This is what we call our ‘Primitive Brain’, an emotional machine that works without any concept of rationality. Regrettable behaviour like this is caused by stressors and triggers both in our private and business lives. We must learn to manage our reputation is these fight, flight or freeze situations to avoid derailing our reputation and potential business opportunities.
Psychometrics defined is ‘the science of measuring mental capacities and processes’. Nowadays, more and more businesses are undertaking psychometric tests for their employees to better understand each individual and the way they operate. There are number of tests out there; Myers-Briggs, Colourworx and DISC to name a few. This video will introduce you to the importance of these tests and highlight a well-used psychometric, Kirton Adaptation and Innovation, which will be discussed at length in following videos.
It’s undeniable that during your project some working relationships with people are psychologically expensive; they drain you and you force yourself into a coping behaviour that sits outside of your comfort zone. This video will help you identify what scenarios or characters are causing you to behave this way and how you can bridge the gap with a colleague who has an intermediate style that can bring harmony to the situation.
Kirton’s Adaptation and Innovation (KAI) theory is one of the best models to understanding cognitive styles within individuals. KAI helps us understand and solve personality challenges around relationships with sponsors, collaboration within teams and managing diversity to solve problems. This video will delve into the details of KAI and its impact in the workplace, including the ‘Paradox of Structure’ and how individuals see structure as both limiting and enabling.
Now we have an understanding of KAI we can look into the personality traits of both adaptors and innovators. We compare the ‘blue sky thinking’ of innovators with the methodical and precise problem-solving outlook of adaptors. Sub-elements such as idea generation, methodology and conformity are compared between these two polarised cognitive approaches.
Change is a daunting prospect even at the best of times and there will be two approaches to this, recognised as adaptors and innovators from the previous KAI model we discussed. It is recognised that innovators excel in times of change or crisis whereby adaptors are pulled out of their comfort zone and have difficulty in these situations. These problems as a project leader can be eased by recognising the most efficient way of influencing your team of adaptors and innovators.
Using the knowledge from the previous video, this will give you a final insight into managing personality differences within project teams. It is important that both adaptors and innovators get similar airplay for risks in the project. As a leader, combining the two cognitive approaches within your colleagues and stakeholders will give you a greater understanding of the projects needs and where both styles will fit at different stages of the project’s lifespan.