The importance of personality diversity


By Caris Lanz and Dominic Gemma

Diversity has been a very popular topic of discussion in recent years. The idea of getting new perspectives on race, gender, sexuality and political opinion are ideas people have been excited to embrace.

However, there is a form of  diversity that many forget about: personality diversity. 

Personality diversity is when people with different personality traits are thrown into a situation or group, and these different personalities provide unique solutions that may not have been thought of otherwise.

Luckily, GlenOak is an epicenter for personality diversity.  GlenOak High School consists of people who are wired completely different from each other in their own unique way, which is something that we should be leaning into and celebrating. 

The Myers Briggs personality test measures four categories of personality. Introvert vs Extrovert which refers to how you recharge. Intuition vs Sensing determining how you see the world. Thinking vs Feeling referring to how a person makes decisions, and Judging vs Perceiving determining how someone operates. 

The Bustle finds that the two most common personality types are the ESFJ (extrovert, observant, feeling and judging) and the ISFJ (introverted,observant, feeling and judging), making up over 20 percent of the US population. However, the most common personality type to pursue a leadership position is the ENTJ  (extroverted, intuitive, thinking and judging) which only makes up a mesly 2 percent of the population. 

This is extremely troubling as the majority of people are not being represented in important decisions that affect their lives. Regardless of how physically diverse a system is, there will be no real change unless personality diversity is present.

“A lot of people talk about wanting to have diversity, and how good that is,” Steve Cockrum, CEO and founder of leadership development company, GIANT Worldwide said. “But one of the things that they don’t have diversity in is personality. You think you have diversity by gender, and ethnicity, which is great. But the real diversity that will change the way society functions is when you have diversity of voice and each of those voices are heard, valued and appreciated.” 

Cockrum wrote a book titled The 5 Voices. The book is about knowing yourself, and how to lead yourself to be the best version of you that you can possibly be. And when you do this you can assess what you want to do.

Part of personality diversity is what activities and clubs students choose participate in. 

 “When I do art my peers inspire me, and in that way we work together,” junior Emma Peterson, an ESFJ said. “We also give each other lots of advice and suggestions, so that we can make the best art piece possible.” 

Because Peterson is more extroverted, it is not surprising to see that she chose an activity that involves collaboration with lots of people on a daily basis. 

If Peterson was more introverted, she would not prefer to work with lots of people for long durations of time. 

“It’s not to say that because you’re a certain personality type you can’t do something,” Cockrum said. “But certain things will always be more difficult because it’s not necessarily naturally you. So I always say that if you know it’s going to be difficult and you still want to do it, go for it . But just be aware that you’re going to spend a lot of time and money training in something that you probably aren’t going to want to do forever.” 

The whole purpose of personality typing is to try to get you to recognize exactly what your strengths are and helping you push into them. But also recognizing how you can grow as a person to be the best you can be. 

Certain personality types are just naturally better at things than others might be. As a society we should learn to celebrate the strengths in each individual voice. 

  “You can also see how beneficial it might be to take on activities outside your normal comfort zone so that you can grow and gain exposure to other equally successful ways to think and participate in this world,” Ryan Underwood, owner of the leadership development company TEAMTRI said.  

By taking steps to grow as a person, it is not only beneficial to you, but also beneficial to the rest of the world around you. 

The more people step out of their comfort zone and into areas where they typically would not go, more change will happen for the better because of personality diversity. 

 “Once you celebrate how someone is at their best, it’s amazing how much more life giving that is,” Cockrum said. 

Myers Briggs types are just based on preference, and do not define who a person is. But they are also made to inspire growth, and self-leadership to success. So no matter your personality type is, try to do new things to learn and grow and make yourself a better person.