I am often asked by business owners and other professionals questions about which personality types work best together. Which personality type should I look for when tackling a new project? Which type should I look for in a business partner? And even, which personality type would make the best leader for my team/group/organization?
And I always give the same answer. There is no one right answer to this question.
More important even that which two personalities may be trying to collaborate, is the “health” level of the people involved. The Wired That Way personality assessment measures 20 common strengths and 20 common weaknesses for each personality type. As I say regularly in my seminars and workshops, my goal for teaching personalities is not to have people try to change their personality but to understand enough to work to maximize strengths and minimize weaknesses. At the risk of stating the obvious, people who are successfully living in their strengths are going to be easier to work with and get more accomplished than people who operate primarily within their weaknesses.
Generally speaking, it is a good idea to look for people to work with you who are in the opposite personality quadrant….assuming, of course, that both parties understand their own strengths and weaknesses. Even though I may be naturally drawn toward people of the same type, I know I need people who will help bring balance to the team. In a healthy working relationships, opposite personalities use their own strengths to complement the possible weaknesses in the other person. When one or both parties are unhealthy (operating in their weaknesses) this dynamic tends to cause conflict.
Often the next question is, can I work effectively with someone of the same personality type? My answer…of course! But do be careful if you share the same weaknesses. Yellows are likely to have a fun time working with other Yellows. But who is going to keep them accountable for staying on task? Greens will feel comfortable working with other Greens, but what if they just never muster up enough energy to finish? Blues usually like working with another Blue. But in their quest for perfection they may inadvertently procrastinate or not be able to share their vision with others.
The Red-Red relationship can be very interesting. If two Reds have the same goal and the same vision for how to get there, they can accomplish a lot. My brother and I are both Reds and we just wrote a book together….with VERY little conflict. My Creating Connections podcast partner, Mitch Taylor, is also a very high Red. While we may occasionally disagree on things, in both of those examples there is a relationship of mutual respect, and a general focus in the same direction which works for Reds.
The short answer to the original question is that there is no one right answer. My hope is that you will continue to think about yourself and others in light of personality strengths and weaknesses as you make these types of decisions.