Exploring our own brand personalities / by Chris Hubbard

I was recently asked to host a DDG day brand-time exercise, so I decided it would be interesting to take the brand personality exploration we did at our recent Greativities event, and use it here at DDG to explore our own personalities, as well as the personalities of coworkers.

There's a few reasons I thought this could be valuable.

We're a brand company. When we talk about brand, we're generally talking about a much bigger picture, but personality plays a role in that picture. So understanding and exploring personality, in any form becomes a valuable excise for understanding branding.

Personality is also at the center of how people interact with each other everyday. Our personalities not only influence the way we communicate with others, but the way others communicate with us as well. 

Because of this, personality is a major factor in the workplace.

Understanding not just how your own personality affects the way you act and the decisions you make, but how the personalities of coworkers inform their behavior and your relationship to them is something I find enormously facinating and worth exploring.

To do this we used a simplified version of the "brand personality sheet" below. By removing the word "brand" we ask "What's my personality."

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We broke into groups of four; each person given four personality exploration sheets and asked to do the following:

  1. Evaluate yourself. ( how would you assess your own personality )
  2. Evaluate each person in your group. ( How would you assess their personality )
  3. Discuss the questions. ( below )
  4. Come back, and share with everyone.

After doing the evaluation portion of the exercise, groups were asked to discuss the following questions with each other:

  1.  Are most people in your group left, right or all over? Does this mean anything?
  2.  Do others evaluations of you, match your own? Why or why not?
  3.  Do you think you know your own personality better than others or vice versa? why?
  4.  Is understanding coworkers personalities important? Why or why not?
  5.  How can we better understand each other's personalities?

The exercise and questions were meant to be fun and interactive; here are some of the personality evaluation results showing how "left" or "right" they were overall, as well as how closely other people's evaluations matched their own: ( click to enlarge )

Most people seemed to enjoy the exercise, and it sparked quite a bit of conversation. 

One of the most challenging aspects of the exercise is that it asks people to choose an either / or. For example, "are you more friendly or more professional?" I probably want to say that I'm both. Can't I be both friendly AND professional? Of course, but the intention of the exercise is to get people to emphasise certain aspects of their character in order to develop a clear personality that is easily identified by others. That's the branding part.

One thing that was clear from the exercise was that the majority of DDG employees see themselves as "left-sided," meaning more friendly, high energy, fun, and accessible. 

It was also apparent that those with more expressive personalities were easier to evaluate; however, it was surprising to see how some people's own evaluations of themselves differed from the way others actually saw them.

I won't go too much into the discussion and sharing that took place, but it's safe to say that it was both entertaining and interesting.

To wrap things up I shared a few more interesting "facts" I came across online:

  1. Medical research suggests that being aware of yourself and others is a key factor in better health!
  2. People who can understand and react to personalities are happier at work.

Which led me to create the following equation: