Using a typology test
The underlying idea of typologies is that we are all in our core a specific personality type. And that people can be divided into categories, specified for example as Supporters, Enthusiasts, Analysts, and Implementers.
Why is the typology test commonly used in organisations?
The popularity in the use of typology tests is probably due to the simplistic approach to understanding personality - simplifying the very complex construct of who we are, into categories.
One great advantage of this approach is that, we gain a common language for talking about differences in personality and behaviour, which makes it easier to talk about and understand each other’s perspectives and differences. Well-functioning communication has many benefits e.g. improved conflict management, problem solving and teamwork in general.
Typologies are especially relevant in organisations, where you have many different people, with different educations, coming from different cultures. What binds all employees together is the common language.
Does this mean, that a typology gives a complete picture, of the individual? No, of course not. Just as when we use other categories to simplify the complex, we lose details and elements, that are by nature very complex to understand.
Thus, the use of typology tests, requires that users are aware of the possibilities and the limitations of the tool. When using tests in a work environment with development in mind, it is imperative that we use a tool, that can incorporate all people, at all levels, and still maintain a common language, which is exactly what the quality of a typology test is.
What is the best use of a typology test?
Typologies can be applied equally well on individuals, groups or teams, and it can be used for several purposes e.g. personal- and team development and coaching.
The typology test can reveal what psychological traits make up a person. It provides us with details about how a person thrives, behaves and communicates, and what environment best supports the individual motivation.
A typology test gives the team the words to talk about people-related situations at work. The test can be used to identify personality and drivers of existing employees and teams, and therefore become a tool for development, not just for the individual, but for a whole team. And especially a tool for the manager when working with motivation and team development.