According to the Myers & Briggs Foundation, there are four main personality classes, each of which can be broken down into another four, more specific categories. This gives you 16 personality types in total.
The creators of the foundation claim that everyone in the world fits into one of these 16 personalities. Knowing which personality types you and your coworkers or employees are helps you gel together as a team.
Your Myers-Briggs personality is essentially defined by four aspects:
- Favorite world: Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or your own inner world?
- Information: Do you like to concentrate on the basic information you receive or do you interpret the information and add meaning?Decisions: When making decisions, do you first look at logic and consistency or people and special circumstances?
- Structure: When dealing with the outside world, would you rather get things decided or stay open to new information and options?
After working your way through the quiz questions, you’ll be given four letters corresponding to your strongest answers to the above questions. These letters will then indicate which personality type you are.
What are the benefits of knowing your personality type?
Filling out a personality quiz isn’t just a fun little magic trick that tells you information you already knew about yourself. You can use it to further understand yourself and your colleagues. If everyone in your dental practice completes the quiz, you can compare answers to better understand each other and improve the way you work together.
The quiz results help you see what truly drives, inspires and worries those around you, helping you to build more meaningful relationships and understand why those around you think and behave the way they do.
Dental practice owners can also use the results to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of their employees, as well as determine who would be a great fit when it comes to hiring future employees.
For example, if you discover a team member is a great leader, it’s worth considering giving them more responsibilities and enjoying a more flexible work-life balance as a result, knowing they’re capable. Or if the test results reveal there’s no one in your team who is skilled at picking up on the tiny flaws in your practice, you might want to think about hiring someone with that personality trait in the future to streamline your business.
To help you improve your current team and help you decide who you want to hire in the future, here’s an overview of the four main personality categories and the individual personality types which fall under them.
Analysts are intuitive, thoughtful people with high levels of rationality, impartiality and intellectual excellence.
Architects love getting every tiny detail just right, while applying a generous amount of rationality and creativity to everything they do. If there’s a part of your dental practice process that could be more efficient, they’ll be able to spot it and correct it to make your office run more smoothly.
Many architects believe that nothing is truly impossible if you put in enough effort, thought and intellect. But they can easily write-off others as being lazy and selfish. If the rest of your team is made up of motivated staff members, the architect will be able to encourage them further to help achieve workplace goals.
Logicians are flexible thinkers who embrace an unconventional approach to life while seeking out unlikely paths and mixing their creativity with experimentation. If you’re aware of a problem (such as how to properly implement social distancing in your waiting area) but you don’t know what to do, they’re the type of person who will figure it out.
They often use other people to bounce their ideas off before they’re fully formed. So having other people in your team who are open to new ideas and willing to play devil’s advocate would be a big help.
Commanders are natural-born leaders with great confidence and the ability to project an authority that encourages others to come together to help achieve a common goal.
If you’re struggling to get your dental hygienist to practice with your preferred methods or your receptionist isn’t doing as good a job as you like, a commander will help you get them on the right track.
However, they can sometimes be too much to handle, doing whatever they think is necessary to get the job done. If there are others in your team who can stand up to them intellectually with equal dentistry skills, it should be enough to keep them on track and stop them from taking over.
Debaters are smart and curious thinkers unable to resist an intellectual challenge. They’re on a constant quest for knowledge and often achieve it through defending and attacking ideas from every possible angle.
If you need someone to weigh up the possible outcomes of big business decisions, such as switching from regular employees to temp staff, the debater will be able to help you understand all sides. Debaters get on really well with others of the same personality type, but if your current team is made up of more sensitive individuals, they’re unlikely to mix well.
Diplomats are intuitive, feeling people, with empathy, diplomatic skills and passionate idealism.
Advocates are mystical and quiet, while being tireless idealists and incredibly inspiring. They tend to see helping others as their purpose in life, which means it’s likely many dental hygienists and dental assistants you come across will be this personality type.
An advocate is an excellent person to hire if you want to improve your customer service, as they can easily make patients feel more calm and at ease. If you’re considering branching out into pediatric dentistry, an advocate RDH or RDA will ensure all the children you treat have a positive experience and are well taken care of.
Mediators are kind, altruistic and poetic people who are always willing to support a good cause. They’re guided by their principals and the purity of their intent — not rewards or punishments. This makes them a great person to have in your dental practice as a reminder of why you got into dentistry in the first place.
Mediators are also excellent communicators. If your staff are battling to make themselves understood, someone with this personality type should be able to play the middleman and make sure everyone understands where the others are coming from.
Protagonists are inspiring and charismatic leaders who are able to truly mesmerize their listeners. They spend their time inspiring others to do good in the world and become better versions of themselves. And since they’re great communicators, their words rarely fall on deaf ears.
If you need someone to lead your team when you’re unavailable, hiring a protagonist is a good idea. This type of person will be able to take control of a group, speak up when something needs to be said and communicate with eloquence.
Campaigners are creative, enthusiastic and sociable free spirits with a constant reason to smile. They’re real people-pleasers, making them an excellent choice for dental staff, whether RDA, RHD or receptionist.
Instead of viewing problems strictly logically, like the analyst personality types, campaigners are always looking for a deeper meaning and will consider the emotion, compassion and mysticism of each problem. This makes them perfect for empathizing with patients.
If you bring a campaigner into your team, it’s almost certain they’ll be well-received by your other staff and add a big boost of energy to the workplace that will benefit everyone.
Sentinels are observant, judging people, with the ability to be practical and focus on stability, security and order.
Logisticians are fact-minded and practical people whose reliability is never in question. This personality type is one of the most common, which means you’re likely to already have several team members who fit into this category and will come into many more the next time you’re hiring more staff.
A logisitican’s dedication to duty makes them the ideal person to ensure rules and standards are being upheld in the workplace. Now that the regulations for dental practices are so strict, a logistician is the ideal person to make sure everyone is above board.
Defenders are very warm and dedicated protectors, always ready to defend the ones they love. They’re incredibly well-balanced: sensitive with analytical abilities, reserved with great people skills, conservative but open to change. These traits make them a fantastic asset to any dental practice and almost guaranteed to get along well with everyone they meet.
Combining the desire to do good with a sense of tradition, defenders are most commonly found in lines of work with a strong history behind them, such as dentistry. Although they can sometimes procrastinate, they always get the job done on time.
Executives are brilliant administrators and unsurpassed at managing people or things. They represent tradition and order, with a great understanding of what is right, wrong and socially acceptable.
This type of person leads by example. So if you already have an executive in your team, taking on new staff unfamiliar with the workings of a dental practice will be easy as the executive will be able to show them the way. An executive’s honesty and dedication also means they’re well-liked by both coworkers and patients.
Consuls are incredibly caring, popular and social people who are always keen to help. They’ve got great support skills and can help their coworkers overcome any problems they’re struggling with and ensure everyone is happy at work.
People with this personality type are likely to follow established traditions and laws, while upholding authority and rules. As there are many regulations and protocols in dentistry, a consul is a great choice for a member of staff who you can guarantee will follow the rules and complete things as they should.
Explorers are observant and prospecting people, known to be spontaneous, ingenious and flexible.
Virtuosos are bold and practical experimenters who are masters with all kinds of tools. This type of person loves to explore with their eyes and hands, making them ideal for a dental practice setting. If you discover a dental hygienist or dentist who has the personality traits of a virtuoso, it’s almost certain they’re going to be great at their job.
They explore their ideas through trial and error. This makes them a great pair for any analysis personality type, who naturally is less hands-on and more focused on thinking and planning.
Adventurers are flexible and charming artists who are constantly ready to explore and experience new things. They use aesthetics, design, choices and actions to push the limits of social convention. If you feel like your practice is stagnating and you need to progress, bringing an adventurer into the team could help you move forward.
People with this type of personality trait are inspired by others, making them brilliant teamworkers. Although because of their eagerness to experiment, they can often be viewed by others as unpredictable.
Entrepreneurs are energetic, intelligent and very perceptive people who really enjoy living on the edge. These people leap before they look, taking action before making a plan and fixing mistakes as they go. While this process doesn’t work for every kind of business, if you’re in need of a staff member who’s proactive and takes initiative, an entrepreneur is what you’re looking for.
Because entrepreneurs don’t enjoy the traditional, regimented style of teaching that most dental professionals go through, it’s unlikely you’ll come across many people with these personality traits when it comes to hiring.
Entertainers are energetic, enthusiastic and spontaneous people who give off an engaging and adventurous vibe. They’re incredibly generous with their time when it comes to encouraging others, making them a great choice if your dental team needs a bit of pep and motivation. They’re also very observant and sensitive to others’ emotions, so they can easily put a patient’s mind at ease while they're waiting to be seen by the dentist.
While the traits of an entertainer might make someone a friendly, engaging receptionist, they’d likely be too chatty to be an RDA or RDH.
There’s more to hiring than qualifications
While qualifications and experience are two things you definitely need to take into consideration when hiring dental staff, personality type is something also worth considering to determine whether or not someone will fit in with your team. While there’s something good to be said about all personality types, sentinels are particularly adapted to life in the dental practice, thanks to their likelable nature, caring character and top notch people skills.