It Takes A (Personality) Village
October 27, 2023
Kevin Schulman, Founder, DonorVoice and DVCanvass
The goal of diversity is better ___________. Ther are lots of ways to fill in that blank; one option is business success.
And there are lots of ways to define diversity, one of which is how we see the world, our innate traits. This first bar chart shows companies broken out by number of principals and degree of success.
This suggests more = better but that doesn’t dig deep enough.
The box and whisker plot shows the power of more is contingent on those people having different personalities. That’s because The box and whisker chart is a composite across all founders in a given company.
It shows the Lake Wobegon effect – strong on everything – but not because any one person is high on all traits, only in aggregate can they achieve this. [note: emotional stability is reversed, so low in the plot is good]
You probably aren’t starting a company but you no doubt work on a team. This translates.
- First off, traits are knowable
- But, instead of your HR team or team leader asking you to take Myers Briggs, DISC, True Colors, StrengthsFinder or the Bird Personality Test (it’s a thing), use the Big Five. The others may be more popular but are more like a horoscope or Fortune cookie then science.
- Happiness and engagement at work is very correlated with occupation-personality fit. In fact, personality fit is more important in explaining happiness and engagement than skill, experience or ability.
- Match a mix of traits to a team
- Use the Big Five as part of hiring and recruitment profile. We do this for DonorVoice and DVCanvass.
Each of us is a way on the inside and that way determines how we show up on the outside. You can measure inside and it’s a lot better than observing outside and filling in with stereotypes and assumptions.