Not long ago, our office recently underwent a team effectiveness training centered on understanding personality profiles using the five-factor model.* The five-factor model of personality is the most scientifically validated model of personality. It focuses on five different facets (“factors”) that make up a person’s personality:
Halfway through the presentation, I had an epiphany. Not only was the information we were learning about personality going to be useful to us as a team, it would also be useful to our clients.
These five “factors” are commonly referred to by the acronym “ELLSI.” If you were to take a personality tests associated with this model, you would be given a rating between a 5 and 100 for each of the above personality factors. The rating would correlate to your percentile ranking (within the general population), with 100 being the highest and five being the lowest. Whether your score is high, low, or average, indicates how other people perceive you with regard to each of the five factors.
Understanding your personality profile is important because research indicates people tend to be more comfortable and more open with people who have same style. Research also supports the notion that communication is improved between people who use similar behavioral styles. Finally, research indicates that people who learn to adapt others will be more successful.
So what does that mean for you?
When you are making a decision about who to hire as an attorney, it can be really useful to consider their personality. If you select someone with a similar personality to yours, you are more likely to be comfortable and open with that person, which could lead to better communication than you would have with an attorney of a different personality style. Additionally, even if your attorney does not match your personality style, if both the attorney and the client are willing to adapt to the other person’s style, the chances for success will drastically increase.
Let’s take a brief look at each of the five factors:
- Emotional. People on the low end of “Emotional” tend to be emotional, negative and urgent. People on the high-end, tend to be overly confident or positive.
- Life. People on the low end of “Life” tend to be disorganized and creative. People on the high end of “Life” tend to be organized but inflexible
- Learning. People on the low end of “Learning” tend to be cautious and set in their ways. People on the high-end of “Learning” tend to be good at the big picture, but can become easily bored.
- Social. People on the low end of “Social” tend to be reserved and not expressive. They let their work speak for itself. People on the high end tend to be social butterflies. They may struggle to focus, but probably feel comfortable in the role of a mediator.
- Interpersonal. People on the low end of the “Interpersonal” spectrum tend to be warm, but avoid conflict. They prefer harmony. People on the high-end of the “Interpersonal” spectrum tend to be cold and logical. They are direct, but sometimes can come off as cruel.
Again, if you are looking to learn more about the five-factor personality model, TeamLMI.com is a great place to start. Remember, there is no wrong personality. No matter where you fall on each spectrum, there are pros and cons to each of your natural tendencies.
- A big thanks to TeamLMI for putting on a fascinating presentation. If you’d like to learn more about team LMI or the services they provide, please visit their website @ Teamlmi.com.
You can find a quick and easy online test for your personality traits here: https://www.16personalities.com/