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Leadership & Team Building: What About Personalities

Layne McDonald. Ph.D.

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” - John F. Kennedy

In trying to put together a team for any endeavor, conducting some personality assessment would be most beneficial. This is because the eventual group that is formed must be able to work closely and competently until the project’s goal is achieved. When all the participants in the team are on a similar wavelength or mindset, then the various functions of the group will be easier and smoother.


There are many ways to do this personality assessment exercise, some of which are easier and straightforward, while others may be a little more complex.

The choice would have to depend on the type of project and the personalities involved. Simply conducting standard-type tests like self-report inventories, which affect the participant addressing a set of questions, is sometimes enough for the authorities to make the decisions for team formation.

However, there is also a more complex test that may require a more in-depth amount of information before any decision is made. The various tests eventually produce the data in percentile ranks, z scores, stem scores, and many other standardized scoring platforms.

When all the relevant data is collected, the assessments can begin, and the best choices can be made to form the team. Perhaps the essential elements most team leaders look for would be the reliability and validity factors within the individual chosen.

This, of course, is over and above the relevant technical ability needed for the project to achieve its goal successfully and smoothly.

Though these personality assessments are a huge help when deciding the best people for the team, it is not always a full-proof method, as some individuals react to different situations where there is pressure from the need for collaboration. Thus, these assessments can only be used as a guide.

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