Personality Tests Help You Navigate Workplace Relationships


By Grace Brindley

Who am I?

When engaging in a personality test, I seek to answer this question. From lighthearted Buzzfeed quizzes to the longstanding Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the options for self-identification are endless. As a daughter, friend and student, I don many different personas; however, one facet of my identity, which I want to know more about is who I am in my field of study, as a public relations practitioner.

A free personality test gaining popularity for its application in the workplace is the Enneagram Personality Test, which includes nine different possible types.

The test categorizes people on a numerical scale based on their core desires. For example, Enneagram type one’s core desire as the perfectionist is to be moral or ethically sound. Alternatively, Enneagram type two’s core desire as the helper is to feel wanted or loved.

In understanding what motivates each type, the test helps to explain different Enneagrams’ workplace styles, such as such as the results-driven type three achiever.

These categorizations distinguish individual strengths and weaknesses, as well as potential roles for certain types at work. The creative type four individualist might excel as a graphic designer for a public relations agency, whereas the deliberative type five investigator could specialize as a strategist for the same firm. In fact, a blog post by Progressions even characterized public relations professionals by Enneagram type.

Not only does the Enneagram Test provide discernment for individual roles but also how to work collaboratively as a group. According to Cloverleaf, an organization that offers companies comprehensive employee data for team building, understanding and empathizing with Enneagram personality types helps facilitate office relationships. Additionally, the Enneagram types discern different workplace communication methods. While the perceptive type six loyalist asks probing questions, the energetic type seven enthusiast leads the conversation.

Understanding Enneagram types also allows some people to strive for their definition of success and self-advancement, including presidents. For example, former president Donald Trump is a type eight challenger and Barack Obama is a type nine peacemaker, demonstrating two different leadership styles.

While no personality test can fully answer the question of who you are, the Enneagram Test offers many insights into your workplace identity. As a type two, I strive to be mindful of my strengths and weaknesses in professional settings, such as my strong capacity for empathy and equally strong aversion to criticism. Far-reaching industries like public relations, which incorporate people with so many different qualities, could definitely benefit from having a better understanding of the Enneagram.

Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, Grace Brindley currently studies public relations at the University of Alabama. She has a passion for reading, writing and using her skills as a communicator to build relationships.

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