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Six Personality Types Every Team Should Have and Why

Dan Sines

CEO at Traitify | Star Wars & Superhero Fan, Adventurer, aspiring Renaissance Man | Inventor/Visionary in Work

High-performing teams are made up of a well-rounded set of personalities. In the same way that a football team - or a good one, that is - can't be comprised of all quarterbacks, you'll need a good mix of people with different skill sets and different ways of approaching a problem to achieve your best outcomes.

We suggest (and others do, too) that you round out your teams with varied personality types - having a mix of different strengths (and weaknesses) will make your team stronger as a whole. Here are some personality types to look for when building your dream teams.

The visionary

This leader will schedule and guide meetings, set the tone of the project, and have a clear vision of the project's end result. A leader should not, however, be the only speaker, lead all the meetings, or always have her way. A true visionary knows when to delegate.

Visionaries love taking risks and making changes, and are great at convincing people and bringing them on to the same page.

The team player

This person is like the "glue" of a group, according to project-management-software developer LiquidPlanner. They're diplomatic, willing to compromise, and excel at de-escalating conflicts. They're also stars at helping other team members learn and grow. These types of people are patient, compassionate, and value group success over individual competition, which alone is a good reason to have a real team player in the group.

The analyzer

These personalities are always asking questions, then finding their own answers. They know how to find information. They can figure out problems and search for the facts, and they can be a resource when the rest of the team is stuck on a hard technical problem. With an analyzer on your team you won't have to worry that your results are superficial. You'll know they were well-researched.

The planner

Don't denigrate planners as "type A" personalities - these guys might come across as a little inflexible, but a planner will keep your team organized and on track. They're punctual, conscientious, and always meet deadlines. They're more likely to make a decision based on what's best for the project than what would win them a popularity contest.

The inventor

Every team benefits from a creative thinker who can come up with outside-the-box ideas. Trust them to "win" every brainstorming session with a mountain of ideas, regardless of whether they're in a traditionally creative role (like marketing) or a role thought of as less creative (like accounting). Pair them up with a planner who will keep the inventor's feet on the ground, as they tend to have their heads in the clouds.

The doer

Content-marketing startup Spokal suggests that teams (in this case, startups) should have doers, or action-takers - people who will dive right in and get things done, even if they've never done a similar task before. (As a startup themselves, Spokal's folks know a lot about building teams.) "We need a graphic for this blog - Figure it out. We should start holding webinars - Let's do it. We need to be at this trade show - Let's go…[they] might not have ever done any of these things before, but [they] won't shy away from them either. [They] know it has to be done."

How these traits manifest

Sometimes you'll find more than one of these traits in the same person. Software executive Paul Maritz says that often one person exhibits two of these traits (but never more than two). And knowing what you are, what you're good at, and what you're not good at is the key to a successful team: "Really great teams are where you have a group of people who provide those functions and who respect each other and, equally importantly, both know who they are and who they are not," he told columnist Adam Bryant. "Often, I've seen people get into trouble when they think they're the strategist and they're not, or they think they're the decision maker and they're not. You need a degree of humility and self-awareness. Really great teams have team members who know who they are and who they're not, and they know when to get out of the way and let the other team members make their contribution."

If you're interested in learning more about how different personalities can enhance your ability to build successful teams, check this out.

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