7 personality types in teams

Cult of Personality - Teams

Time to read: 5 minutes

Emphasis on personality types and personality traits plays a fairly large role in sales training and human resources. This sort of focus is also applicable to the construction industry. It’s important to understand what type of person you are in the context of work, what sort of people you work well with, and what sort of people you’ll have to approach with a different methodology.


In construction operations, there are a lot of moving parts that centre around the crucial task of building the ideal or “perfect” team. Most construction projects are long-term - spanning months or years - and it’s vital that the people you place together are the right fit for getting the job done.

There are 7 major personality types that have been identified by psychologists:

  1. Amorals: These people operate similarly to infants shortly after birth. They project an inherent lack of care, no knowledge about right or wrong in a situation, and a primal mindset.

  2. Egos: These people operate as if they are at the centre of their own universe. They are typically demanding, egocentric, and focused on personal possessions.  

  3. Pleasers: These people view pleasing others as a means of survival. They are typically compliant, helpful, and generous.

  4. Authorities: These people like routines and clarity. They get along better with their colleagues and are more productive if there are rules in place to be followed.

  5. Principles: These people accept themselves as worthwhile members of society, and do their best to help others. Overall, they are stable in life outside of work as well.

  6. Responsibles: These people earn their states of happiness and well-being only as a result of themselves and their actions.

  7. Universals: These people strive to operate at their highest potential, live by correct principles, and empowering themselves and others to reach goals.

Expectedly, some of these people seem far more desirable than others to work with. However, you need every kind of person on your team to avoid homogeneity (or sameness). It is possible for all of these types of people to work together and achieve something remarkable.

Amorals, although primal, are great at performing simple and repetitive tasks, which can be great for efficiency on a project.

Egos are self-centred, but they’re also people you can rely on to get s#!t done because they are competitive. They don’t just see themselves as the best, but they want to be recognized as such by others.

Authorities might seem like sticklers on the surface, but they’re keen to keep things on track, which is vital on the construction jobsite where the constant aim is to get things done on time and on budget.

Principles are stellar team players. They bring the stability that they have off-site into their daily lives at work. They want everything to go as smoothly as possible, and are therefore willing to make things as easy as they can for their colleagues.

Responsibles are incredibly dedicated to their work, especially if they view it as some sort of calling. If they leave the jobsite feeling as though they’ve done all they can and did their best with the time they had, then they will be happy and wake up ready to feed into that feeling day after day.

Universals are similar in that they are also working to do their best at all times. They view the jobsite as immediate picture, and the end result as the big picture. They believe everyone’s role is important, and that performing well in those roles will help to achieve the overall goal.

Pleasers are the people to be mindful of, out of all the personality types. Sure, you need people that are willing to work for the advancement of the team and lend a helping hand whenever possible, but these are also the same people say yes to avoid confrontation and guarantee their own survival. This can mean that when you’re asking for a real or honest opinion on a situation, they’ll lean towards the status quo or be quick to agree with you in discussion to avoid any consequences. You need disruptors to help foster innovation.


What does your team look like?

Are you moving towards homogeneity, or away from it? Take a step back and decide amongst all parties that need to be involved what your ideal team should look like. Decide what sorts of folks you want more of, or less of.

When meeting with potential hires, try to gauge which personality type they exude. Ask them more pointed questions about how they like to work, what makes them feel fulfilled or accomplished after a day’s work, and what they look for in a team. These will help you to understand what sorts of conditions people work best under, and what you need to enhance the team that you have.


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