Personality - an ignored component of a successful team

Anna Albrecht
May 23, 2023

We believe that the success of a team is not only determined by the professional competencies of its members. Much more, combinations of other important characteristics determine how well challenges can be mastered. The performance of the team as a whole is something other than the sum of the cognitive abilities of each and every individual. That's why it's important in today's world for people to find new ways to get to their jobs. At this workplace, they must not only fulfill a task on their own, but also achieve goals together as a team.

The necessary prerequisites for team interactions to achieve goals have rarely been considered in classic application processes. Similarly, there was little knowledge about suitable combinations of relevant characteristics that make up a successful and satisfied team. Particularly in larger companies, the actual team in which the applicant will later work was not taken into account when selecting candidates. Whether it fits or not, one notices only after some time.

Why does soft.fact offer the personality test for free?

We want to actively improve the working world of tomorrow. As a contribution, we therefore offer our Personality Analysis free of charge. We believe that the first step to change is to reflect on ourselves. Only when we understand ourselves better, we can find out in which team we want to work - which people fit to us. Create your free personality analysis here.

What is the basis of our knowledge about our own personality?

In most cases, people are interested in finding out about themselves. Although we already have some idea of who we are, we are still interested in what others think of us. This way we can check the image we have of ourselves - our self-concept.

"Mirror Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?"(Grimm's Fairy Tales, Snow White)

If our self-concept were based solely on insights from personal sources, our self-image would probably be very inaccurate. Assessments are made through our own biased glasses - our subjective perception. With the help of feedback from our social environment such as family, friends as well as strangers, we can put this image to the test. Does our self-concept correspond to our own reality and show social validity? If yes, then we assume an objective - generally valid truth. If it does not, we may process the feedback of others and repaint our self-portrait or leave the brush behind on the grounds that the other person is in the wrong. What is always important in processing what we have experienced is our own self-worth as well as our well-being. In fact, there are people with behavioral tendencies in which experiences are processed more in a self-esteem-serving way. Positive events are justified by one's own behavior. They increase self-worth and emphasize a positive side of the self-concept. For example, the success of the team is justified by one's own performance. One thought might be, "My team is successful because I am a real doer." Negative events are justified on a failure of others, "The cab driver drove too slowly, that's why I didn't make it to the meeting on time." Self-esteem is saved and the ideal image is not soiled with such a trifle.

There are many more evaluation principles. These two styles are merely meant to vividly describe the interdependence between self-worth and self-concept. It is important to note that self-worth and well-being represent a crucial role in the active construction of our self-concept.

If it is possible for me to actively construct my self-concept by interacting with the environment, why do I need a personality test at all?

How well does our own image of ourselves describe our personality?

Our pre-existing self-concept and ideals influence information processing. This leads to the fact that the image we have of ourselves does not describe us well enough, not truthfully. Our actively constructed self-concept is virtually a self-drawn image of ourselves. The problem with this is that we cannot experience objective reality at all, but only a subjective distorted reality based on the perception of our sense organs. Unfortunately, this is anything but accurate. If you don't believe that, you can try to listen to three people at the same time or try to interpret what the others think. The former is unfortunately due to our selective perception and hardly possible, the latter not at all, because we lack the sense organ to hear what others think.

In addition to biological reasons, a subjective bias comes from the expectancy-driven self-concept. We constantly look for cues in our behavior that confirm our image of ourselves, i.e., that match our concept of our own personality. If I have an image of myself that describes a polite person, I will actively seek out situations to confirm that image. Perhaps I will offer my seat to a grandmother on public transportation. Perhaps I will consider myself sincere and point out to a cashier that I have received too much money. Furthermore, we are even capable of leaving reality aside altogether and bringing our superego, our ideal image of our personality, to the fore and judging what we experienced in the past according to this standard. In our past memories, we are more in line - consistent - with our current self-image. This leads, among other things, to the very phenomenon we call identity: Believing we know who we are.

"We tend to see ourselves as we think we are."

"We tend to see ourselves as we think others see us." (p. 211, Asendorpf & Neyer, 2012)

So if I'm not able to describe myself well enough, how is a personality analysis going to help me?

Advantages of a personality analysis?

Our personality can be better described by a personality test than by the internalized self-concept. The self-concept exists only as an internal representation in our memory. It can neither be fully described nor printed out at the push of a button. Besides the formal advantage of a personality analysis, the actual advantages result from:

  1. Holistic description of the personality
  2. Accurate description of the personality
  3. Multi-perspective through external assessment
  4. Comparability of personality traits
  5. Measurability of changes in personality
1. holistic description of the personality

With the help of a valid personality test, personality can be described comprehensively. As early as 1936, Allport and Odbert took the trouble to collect all the trait words that can be used to describe a personality. On the basis of this research, factor analyses were used to reduce the traits to a minimum, with which our personality can be described sparingly and yet in a differentiated manner. The difficulty with such a procedure is to find out whether trait descriptions of a person, such as conscientiousness or sense of duty, describe one and the same behavior, or whether there are separable differences. The former would then be an example of the richness of facets of our language, the latter an example of the richness of facets of our personality. Due to the current state of science in personality psychology, personality can be described comprehensively.

2. accurate description of the personality

With the help of several answer categories in questionnaires, the expression of a characteristic can be described more precisely than in the generally existing black/white view of everyday psychology, in which someone is a nice person or an unfriendly one, a good or a bad one. With a well-designed questionnaire, the trait expression can be described more precisely through several gradations and can be better compared between people.

3. multi-perspective through external assessment

Personality traits can be assessed by means of a questionnaire not only by oneself, but also by strangers - the third-party perception. This makes it possible to obtain a description that is most likely closer to the "real characteristic expression" than one that is based only on a single, self-reported assessment. As in our classic 360° Feedback, assessments from superiors, colleagues, customers, family members, etc. could be combined here. The prerequisite for an appropriate assessment is that the person making the assessment knows the person well enough.

4. comparability of personality traits

Bare knowledge about one's own behavioral tendencies does not necessarily help with interpretation. The comparison to other people is missing. Are there many or few people who have a similar trait expression? Psychological diagnostic test procedures usually offer the possibility of comparing one's own test score with a sample representative of the population. This has the advantage that one can compare oneself with people of the same gender, age or region.

5. measurability of changes in personality

Long-term studies can be used to describe trends in personality development. For this purpose, a personality test is completed at different points in the life span, for example in early, middle and old age. This has made it possible to determine, for example, that people become more emotionally stable as they age (p. 267, Asendorpf, & Neyer., 2012).

The described advantages apply to tests that have been developed according to psychological diagnostic methods.


Allport, G. W., & Odbert, H. S. (1936). Trait-names: A psycho-lexical study. Psychological monographs, 47(1), i.

Asendorpf, J. B., & Neyer, F. J. (2012). Psychology of personality. Springer-Verlag.

Anna Albrecht
September 1, 2023