There’s a popular quote by author and showrunner Raphael Bob-Waksberg that goes, “In this world, all we are is the connections we make.” And some days, it certainly does feel like that. From the moment we’re born to the moment we leave this world, we are constantly meeting, talking, and interacting with those around us. But not making enough of an effort to understand others often leads to tension, conflict, misunderstandings, and miscommunication that can damage both personal and professional relationships beyond repair.
On the other hand, knowing about the different personality types can do a lot to help you effectively interact, connect, and deal with all kinds of people. Understanding the unique traits and characteristics of those around you can significantly enhance your communication skills and leadership as well, making you able to adapt in just about any social setting. Not only that, as a leader, it can also give you a better idea on how to leverage the strengths and make up for the weakness of your group mates to increase productivity and build better working relationships among them.
Sounds like a pretty useful thing you should learn about, right? Well, behaviorist and HR specialist Patrick Bet-David (2005) certainly thought so, which is why he developed the “STAR System” typology of personality. “STAR” stands for structure, task, action, and relationship, which are the 4 major personality types Bet-David identified to help improve his employee hiring, training, and retention processes.
With that said, here are descriptions on the 4 different personality types and how to deal with them. And when reading over this list, be sure to take note of which two types describe you the best, as most of us tend to fall into two categories (our primary type and our secondary type).
Responsible, assertive, dutiful, dependable, and level-headed – these are all words we’d use to describe a structure-oriented individual. And because they believe in the power of order, stability, and authority, they always make sure to lawfully uphold and abide by the set of rules in any given social institution. They are also very careful to act the way that they are expected to and may judge those who don’t do the same. They have a very rational, objective, and pragmatic way of thinking.
An organized planner who loves to be on top of everything, structure-oriented types often make for good leaders because they’re so detail-oriented and self-motivated. However, they can also be rigid and inflexible about following the rules, and don’t usually like to compromise. So when communicating with someone like this, it’s best to present them with concrete facts and well thought-out plans instead of trying to appeal to their emotional side.
Next is the task-oriented personality type; the creatives, the critical thinkers, and the problem solvers of the world. A true scholar and intellectual, task-oriented individuals have an insatiable curiosity to learn and understand the world, and they value knowledge and self-mastery above most else. They are highly insightful, introspective, and clever people who are always looking at the bigger picture, seeing possibilities others cannot.
Visionaries and abstract thinkers, they are also imaginative, analytical, and eloquent. They dislike making small talk, doing tedious, repetitive tasks, and just about anything that holds no meaning or substance for them. And despite what their name might lead you to believe, task-oriented people actually spend a lot of time getting lost in their own minds because of how rich and complex their inner world is. They enjoy being intellectually challenged (usually by philosophical debates about topics like life, death, love, art, science, and religion) and love brainstorming new ideas and insights because, for them, there is no greater joy in life than learning something new.
Now, on the opposite side of the spectrum, we have the action-oriented personality type, who are more doers than thinkers. They love to have fun and try new things because they crave excitement and adventure in their lives. They also value beauty, freedom, individuality, and above all else, making an impact in the world. Determined go-getters and skillful negotiators, their true talents lie in improvising, story telling, and entertaining others with their captivating presence.
They are very charismatic and passionate people who aren’t afraid to take risks and get things done. And though they’d rather be free spirits than take charge of others, they are often thrust upon the leadership role in times of trouble because they excel at handling crises and bringing people together. Confident, adaptable, and resourceful, action-oriented leaders tend to be very pragmatic and encouraging, motivating others to do their best and recognizing them for a job well done.
Last but certainly not the least is the relationship-oriented personality type. And as you might have already guessed, these types of people are social butterflies who value harmony and belongingness. Empathetic, emotional, and idealistic, they crave emotional connection and always want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. They are on a never-ending journey towards self-actualization and want to help others achieve the same. And so it makes sense that their talents often lie in diplomacy, mediating, inspiring, counseling, and mentoring.
Warm, friendly, kind, and considerate, relationship-oriented types are known for always putting other people’s wants, needs, and feelings above their own. This is because they are very generous people who love supporting and taking care of their loved ones. They are very conflict averse and often have difficulty both giving and receiving criticism, which may lead to a lack of healthy boundaries in their close relationships if they’re not careful. But in the end, if you have a relationship-oriented person in your life, then you should count yourself very lucky indeed, because they are the best and most selfless kinds of friends you can ever make.
So, have you figured out your personality type yet? Which ones did you relate to the most? What category do you think your friends and family members belong to? If you liked this article and want to learn more, here’s what you should read next: 6 Signs You Have an Attractive Personality, 8 Signs Your Personality Might Be Intimidating to Others, What Your Favourite Colour Says About Your Personality, How You Walk Reveals About Your Personality, and 7 Habits That Reveal A Lot About Your Personality.
- Bet-David, P. (2005). Organisational Behaviour. Atlantic Publishers & Dist.