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Written By: Herman Lloyd, Vice President – Philadelphia Area Regional Leader

An aspect of Diversity that not many of us normally consider is Personality Diversity. Diversity is typically thought of in terms of visible items, such as, Demographic Diversity (differences in gender, race, sexual orientation, and so on); Experiential Diversity (differences in affinities, hobbies, and abilities); and Cognitive Diversity (differences in how we approach problems and think about things). But in reality, diversity goes far beyond this.  

Diversity is about what makes each of us unique and includes our backgrounds, personality, life experiences and beliefs – all the things that make us who we are. But, while similar, personality describes each person’s unique patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. These things can be prevalent in distinguishing one person from another.  

So, why should we be embracing diverse personalities in our workplace? 

We should embrace diverse personalities in our workplace because they can bring many benefits to our organization(s) and employees. Some of the benefits are: 

» Diverse personalities can boost creativity and innovation. People with different personality types can offer new ideas, alternative perspectives, and creative solutions to problems. This can help us develop better products, services, and strategies.  

» Diverse personalities can improve teamwork and communication. People with different personality types can learn from each other, respect each other’s differences, and collaborate more effectively. This can enhance the team’s performance, morale, and satisfaction.  

» Diverse personalities can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. People with different personality types can understand and relate to different customer segments, preferences, and needs. This can help the organization deliver more personalized and tailored services, and build stronger relationships with customers.  

Now that we know the “Why”, how do we go about embracing diverse personalities in our workplace? Some ways we can do this is by trying the following: 

» Assess our own personality type and preferences, be aware of how they affect our work, communication, and decision-making styles. We can use tools such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or the Big Five Personality Test to help us with this.  

» Learn about other personality types and preferences – appreciate their value and contribution to our organization. We can use resources such as books, articles, podcasts, or workshops to help us with this.  

» Adapt our behavior and communication style to suit different personality types and preferences; avoid stereotypes and biases. We can use techniques such as active listening, feedback, empathy, or assertiveness to help us with this.  

» Create a culture of inclusion and respect that celebrates diversity and fosters collaboration. We can use practices such as setting clear goals and expectations, providing recognition and support, encouraging participation and input, or promoting learning and development to help us with this.  

By embracing diverse personalities in the workplace, we can create a more productive, innovative, and satisfying work environment for ourselves and others.