By Jolene Ondrik

Does your organization use personality assessments? How do you leverage them as a communicator?

Personality tools are a great way for individuals to learn more about themselves and teams to understand how to work with different personalities, but they are so much more. Personality tools can help individuals communicate more clearly with each other and are often the door that opens the conversation about communications preferences and what drives people’s behaviors. These tools can be leveraged by communicators for “big C” communications.  

Personality assessments can give you deeper insights into your audience and how best to communicate with them. These assessments aren’t the be-all and end-all, but they can add a different lens to your audience analysis and help you plan your communications strategies.

Think about this, let’s say you work with a lot of engineers, by using a personality tool like Lumina Spark, you can assess that most engineers are evidence-based – they like details and evidence, are logical – like information presented in a factual and ordered way, and tend to be practical – they are focused on concrete realistic results. What this tells you as a communicator is to start with the facts and then build to the big picture. Be real with the questions or the information that you are seeking from them, play to their common sense, and tie information to the results your organization is trying to achieve.

If you work with a client group that builds new technologies, you may have an audience that is imaginative – likes to come up with news ideas; radical – challenges tradition and focuses on innovation; and collaborative – likes to work together to find solutions. If you work for a social enterprise, your audience may be empathetic – focused on people’s feelings; structure – like organized planning; and adaptable – open to and considerate of many options. Each of these audiences requires different communications strategies to meet their style.

Find out if your organization has used personality assessments extensively. You may be able to get aggregated data that shows the communications style of your whole organization. This is helpful for rollouts of large campaigns, when you are working to change audience behavior, or when you are moving your audience from buy-in to action.

Consider adding a personality tool to your communications research. If you don’t have a tool in your organization, talk to your Human Resources department about bringing in a tool or check out free personality apps like the Lumina Splash App. They are a fun way to learn about your personality, share it with your colleagues, friends, and family, and learn about different communication styles.

Jolene Ondrik is the owner of Eye on Culture Inc., a Calgary-based culture and communications consultancy. For almost 20 years, she has helped organizations build and implement their strategies, focus on the audience first, and evolve their culture to one that inspires employees. Jolene is accredited in several Lumina Learning tools and has shared the Lumina Spark personality assessment with the 2018/19 IABC/Calgary Board of Directors during a couple of sponsored workshops. 

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