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Personality Style at Work

by Derek T. Y. Mann, Ph.D.

The New Personality Style Assessment


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Sophisticated Design — Simple Language — Profound Results

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A cursory internet search will reveal dozens of assessments and instruments for helping people understand the fundamental traits and characteristics of their personality. Indeed, the continued and widespread use of personality assessments stresses their significance as tools for learning and development. While knowing your personality is important—it's also just one piece of the development puzzle. Assessments that spell out a little more than a horoscope of traits and tendencies or a maze of acronyms and labels do not effect lasting change. It is important to learn how to put that knowledge to use in order to form a complete picture of yourself—results that lead to this level of perception call for precise and refined self-evaluation.

Personality Style at Work (PSAW) is HRDQ's latest and most statistically accurate assessment. It's a simple, but highly effective tool that measures both the core behaviors that make-up an individual's style and the lens through which they choose to navigate their world.


At the foundation of each of the four personality styles—Direct, Considerate, Spirited, and Systematic—is a set of three drivers that guide our actions, decisions, and general life approach. Delving even deeper into the framework of personality is a look at the lens of expressiveness and assertiveness—the learned behaviors that we use as a means of coping with the demands and expectations placed upon us and which help to explain how we can appear to have one personality at work and another in our personal life.

Personality Style Drivers and Dimensions


  • Harmony Driver
  • Consensus Driver
  • Recognition Driver

Harmony is the tendency to connect with others by listening to what they have to say and ensuring that their needs are regularly met. Harmony involves self-sacrifice and patience, as well as identifying, understanding, and valuing how other people feel.

Consensus is the desire to ensure the inclusion and agreement of all those involved. Consensus is most evident by efforts undertaken to bring others into the fold, often stemming from a desire to minimize conflict and preserve unity.

Recognition is the desire to be appreciated and understood. Recognition is characterized by the expression of personal thoughts and feelings to make a positive impression on others and by the desire for approval from others before making a decision.


  • Control Driver
  • Achievement Driver
  • Challenge Driver

Control is the tendency to take charge and exert influence over a situation. Those with a high preference for Control want to be seen as authoritative, and often push limits and distort reality. They challenge the status quo, make quick decisions, and forgo pleasantries to get directly to the point.

Achievement is the tendency for one to set meaningful goals and to tirelessly pursue those goals. Competition is often an underlying force for individuals who are driven to achieve, and as a result, these individuals are self-directed and motivated by success.

Challenge is the tendency to perceive tough situations as opportunities. Those who are motivated by Challenge typically embrace conflict, negotiate freely, and engage in difficult conversations with confidence and poise.


  • Initiation
  • Conceptualization
  • Collaboration Driver

Initiation is the tendency to undertake new endeavors and to bring natural energy and expressiveness to a variety of situations and relationships. Those who are driven by Initiation typically act lively and enthusiastic while openly sharing thoughts, feelings, and ideas as a way to quickly connect with others and maintain influence.

Conceptualization is the tendency to move quickly and creatively in pursuit of the next big idea. Those with a strong preference for Conceptualization are known for brainstorming, thinking on a grand scale, relishing new and exciting ideas, and leaving the finer details for others to consider.

Collaboration is the tendency to include others. Those with a strong preference for Collaboration desire to work in small groups or teams, to engage in the exchange of ideas, and to collectively find creative solutions to challenging problems.


  • Organization Driver
  • Objectivity Driver
  • Tradition Driver

Organization is the tendency one has toward maintaining order and control of their own world. Organization involves attention to detail, an affinity for keeping a detailed schedule, and a desire to plan methodically.

Objectivity is the need to collect information and to weigh the pros and cons of a situation before making a decision. Objectivity involves proficiency and accuracy to minimize unnecessary emotional strife that may arise from a less than calculated approach.

Tradition is the tendency to operate according to tried and true principles. Tradition is characterized by a desire for consistency, order, and correctness.


PSAW includes a detailed, and highly personalized, feedback report, the Core Profile, which indicates an individual's primary personality style, strength of preference for using each of the drivers associated with their style, and strength of preference for using the assertive and expressive behaviors.

Lacking the complicated code at the basis of other personality-focused assessments, PSAW'S simplistic language and presentation make it easy for participants to retain the knowledge of their style and to use that knowledge to better understand their strengths and to highlight and pinpoint areas for development.

  • How it Works
  • Product Details
  • What to Order
  • About the Author

Personality Style at Work is accessible through HRDQ's online assessment portal (account required). A version for individual use is also available. The assessment takes approximately 10 - 15 minutes to complete. Individuals respond to 94 different items designed to help them identify their behavioral preferences, shedding light on how they react to and interact with the world around them. Most statements ask them to respond by indicating the frequency with which they approach, think about, or act in the way described. Each response is scored and used to generate a Core Profile identifying an individual's personality style and the implications of this style when completing tasks, working with others, and most importantly, how others are to likely see them. Included in the Core Profile are numerous tips and techniques for building rapport, and optimizing relationships and interactions with other styles. The report concludes with a section on using the information in PSAW to create a personal action and development plan.

A separate Core Profile Plus is also available for those who are purchasing the assessment for one or more participants and would like additional help in guiding the client through the process of interpreting and understanding their results in greater depth. It is presented in the form of a detailed PDF and customized for each individual client. The report contains feedback and questions for the coach that help drive the client/coach discussion.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify a preference for one of four primary personality styles.
  • Reveal the degree to which you practice the three drivers or motivators of each style.
  • Discover the effects of assertiveness and expressiveness on your style.
  • Learn the core preferences and behaviors of all four styles
  • Understand how to flex or adapt your style to meet the preferences of others.

Personality Style at Work is, at its core, a developmental tool and is suitable for anyone interested in understanding how their behaviors affect their own performance and interactions with others. As such it has applications in leadership development, management and supervisory training, team culture, team building, communication, and career development.

Product Type

Online Assessment


  • Primary personality style
  • Strength of preference for using each of the drivers associated with your style
  • Strength of preference for using the assertive and expressive behaviors


  • Direct Style — Achievement, Control, and Challenge
  • Spirited Style — Conceptualization, Initiation, and Collaboration
  • Considerate Style — Harmony, Recognition, and Consensus
  • Systematic Style — Organization, Objectivity, and Tradition
  • Influencing Style — Direct, Spirited, Considerate, or Systematic,
  • Expressiveness
  • Assertiveness

Number of items


Time Required

10 - 15 minutes to take the assessment

Online Assessment

The PSAW assessment can be purchased in two ways. Choose the assessment center credit option if you wish to administer the assessment to others now or at some future time. Choose the individual registration to gain immediate access to the assessment. An assessment center account is required to access the Core Profile Plus.

Derek Mann is the founder and Managing Partner of PPG, the Performance Psychology Group, LLC. PPG is a performance enhancement, coaching and consulting firm that specializes in the research and development of psychological assessments and the application of experiential learning resources for individuals, teams, and organizations. Derek is the co-author of the Emotional Intelligence Skills Assessment along with several articles and book chapters on the psychology of human performance and emotional intelligence. With more than a decade of assessment and experiential learning resource development and consulting experience, Derek has applied his understanding of human performance, emotional intelligence, and personality to help Corporate Executives, Athletes, Warriors, and Health Care Providers capitalize on their strengths, turning obstacles into opportunities.

Also Recommended:

Personality Style at Work Book

Personality Style at Work: The Secret to Working with (Almost) Anyone

by Kate Ward

Published by McGraw-Hill

This book defines and describes the four styles at the core of the PSAW assessment. It helps decode the behavior of others, and spot different personalities. But the real value is that it clues you in on how to flex and tweak the way you communicate, your language, body gestures, and physical space to create a better match when a natural "fit" just isn't there—with just about anyone or any situation. You'll be amazed at how easy it becomes to build rapport with the people around you, communicate with your boss, be an effective team member, achieve success on the job, and much, much more.

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Products (Total Items: 8)
Personality Style at Work: Technical Manual
Digital Download
Personality Style at Work Sample Online Report
Online Assessment
Personality Style at Work Sample Coaching Report
Online Assessment