There is a new science emerging about the study of personalities called ‘multiplicity’. The research suggests that most of us have many different types of personality — all of which can have their advantages and disadvantages.
Have you ever done something and immediately thought: “Why on Earth did I do that?” That is a sort of personality deja vu. Where one personality has become aware of the other and the conflict of interests is jarring.
The new science of personality
Multiplicity is the driving force behind a new type of approach to productivity in the workplace. That is, how employers can use the changing personalities to their advantage.
For example, if one morning a usually quiet employee is loud, bubbly and confident, then there’s no better time to launch them out of their comfort zone, to grow their confidence and position. Likewise, if an agreeable employee is feeling especially disagreeable, then personality checks can raise the red flag and that particular individual can be assigned a task out of harm’s way.
Personality checks open up new possibilities and opportunities to every single employee in an organisation. At best they allow them to test themselves and develop. And in uncertain situations they can be reallocated safer tasks as a sort of risk mitigation.
How you can map your personality
The first thing to do is find out how many personalities you are subjected to. Most people have multiple personalities. A few people have just the one, or mostly the one, but these ‘uniform’ people are rare. At the other end of the scale are people with an excessive amount of personalities — these people are also uncommon.
Take this quiz to determine how many personalities you have:
How did you do?
If you scored very low (less than seven points), then you are uniform — meaning your personality doesn’t change all that often. However the chances are far higher you scored somewhere in the middle (8 – 23 points) in which case you should map out your personalities several times a day for a few weeks to tease out your many personalities.
Here’s how to do it. Find a quiet place and look at this table:
Tick off as many feelings that seem to describe you at that very moment. Notice the top table and bottom are direct opposites. Therefore, it shouldn’t be possible to tick both opposites as it isn’t possible to be, say, creative and uncreative at the same time.
This should leave you with ‘scores’ for each trait. Now you can apply them to the personality wheel, first developed by the psychologist Rita Carter:
Say you ticked all eight boxes for ‘stable’ and no boxes for ‘uptight’. That would give you a plot on the personality wheel something like this:
With the personality wheel, you can effectively ‘see’ your mind in front of you. Armed with this self-referential tool, you can consciously change a negative personality into a good one, helping productivity, or use the negative ones to your advantage.
Personality mapping also make a great team building exercise. Encourage your workmates to do it often and with each other, and use it as an opportunity, not an obstacle.
This article was written by Jack Darbyshire of De-Risk. For more information on the science of personalities, check out their latest blog piece on risk management and personality.
Kizzi Nkwocha is the editor of Business Game Changer Magazine and publisher of The UK Newspaper, Money and Finance Magazine, the net’s fastest growing wealth creation publication. Kizzi Nkwocha is chair of The Ethical Publishers Association and co-chair of The Logistics Association. Kizzi made his mark in the UK as a publicist, journalist and social media pioneer. As a widely respected and successful media consultant he has represented a diverse range of clients including the King of Uganda, and Amnesty International. Nkwocha has also become a well-known personality on both radio and television. He has been the focus of a Channel 4 documentary on publicity and has hosted his own talk show, London Line, on Sky TV. He has also produced and presented both radio and TV shows in Cyprus and Spain.