Which Type Are You?

At some point in your career, you’ll likely be asked: What are some of your greatest workplace strengths? Maybe your boss will pose the question in your next performance evaluation or perhaps a hiring manager will ask in a future job interview. Whenever it happens, you’ll want to be able to identify them.

According to a 2015 study commissioned by the New Zealand Journal of Occupational Medicine, developing your strengths -those things you’re good at and actually enjoy doing!- makes it eighteen times more likely you’ll describe yourself as “flourishing” at work.

From an HR perspective, workplace strengths are usually defined in terms of leadership, problem solving or teamwork. If you are looking to advance your career, finding and leveraging your strengths is perhaps the most important thing you can do. If you are stuck in a position that doesn’t leverage your strengths, your performance may suffer along with your career advancement.

Jack Bergstrand, chief executive of consulting firm Brand Velocity, has been researching this topic for over 10 years. He recently shared with Forbes that he has found, “Four primary workplace characteristics in people – envisioners, designers, builders and operators.”

So which type are you? One simple way to find out Bergstrand says is “listen to your emotions when you are working. What activity, such as leadership or problem solving, provides satisfaction and happiness? Also when others ask for your competency or praise you, that’s usually a good sign that you have identified a workplace strength.”

Think you may possess one of the characteristics Bergstrand has described? Here are the personality characteristics associated with each workplace strength. See which characteristic type you possess and help yourself while advancing your career.

Type #1: Envisioners

“These folks are visionaries who get energy and solve problems by asking and answering the question, ‘where do we intend to go and why?’ It is common to find these strengths with strategists, marketers, and CEOs.”

  • Thinking strategically: The ability to see past today’s issues and focus on a longer term destination.
  • Setting a visionary destination: The ability to establish a positive future in the minds of others that doesn’t exist today.
  • Brainstorming new ideas: The ability to work with others to co-create new ideas and new solutions.

Type #2: Designers

“The ‘design strength’ is more objective. These folks like to get to the facts, and are well-suited as planners and very good at answering the question, ‘what do we need to do when?’ We often find these strengths in newly minted MBA’s, analysts, planners, and CFOs.”

  • Analyzing situations: The ability to conceptually break down a complex situation into parts.
  • Defining detailed objectives: The ability to create goals to direct the work of individuals and the organization overall.
  • Establishing clear performance measures: The ability to create a standard mechanism to evaluate whether or not goals are achieved.

Type #3: Builders

“The ‘build’ strength is more process-oriented – energized by how to best get jobs done. These individuals are energized by systematizing and systematized work. You will typically find build people in functions such as manufacturing, logistics, and IT systems management.”

  • Step-by-step procedures: The ability to get work done using an established set of instructions or checklists.
  • Integrated programs: The ability to unify a series of projects to holistically achieve enterprise results.
  • Roles and responsibilities: The ability to systematically execute activities through the enterprise’s organizational structure.

Type #4: Operators

“Operators make things happen with and through other people, and get a lot of energy from human interaction. They focus on the who. Sales people and good mentors are often very strong in the ‘operate’ area.”

  • Building personal relationships: The ability to productively bond with people as individuals on an emotional level.
  • Working in teams: The ability to work with others in a way where you subordinate yourself to better achieve the goals of the group.
  • Coaching others: The ability to help people contribute more by facilitating their personal growth to achieve specific personal and organizational goals.