• LaShawndra Vernon

The 5 P's: Proper Personality Preparation Prevents Problems

Personalities play a significant role in making positive change. Growing up, the elders in my community handed down this proverb:

"Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance", we called them the 5 P's.

I decided to post this blog on the 5 Ps, because this is an area that professionals don't spend enough time examining. I decided to modify the 5 P's:






The evolving culture of the workplace requires us to understand personalities. Cultural competency is a thing of the past. There is no certificate you can acquire, there is no course you can take to fully prepare you to experience culture in this world. Culture is multi disciplinary. The first thing we must do is understand ourselves. How well do you know your personality type? What is your Myers Briggs personality type? Have you done a Strengthfinder test? Here's a little bit about my personality tests.

I am an INFJ. The INFJ personality type is very rare, making up less than one percent of the population, but they nonetheless leave their mark on the world. As Diplomats, they have an inborn sense of idealism and morality, but what sets them apart is the accompanying Judging (J) trait – INFJs are not idle dreamers, but people capable of taking concrete steps to realize their goals and make a lasting positive impact.

I get a lot of criticism for judging. I have coined the phrase "Judging You Over Brunch" and immortalized it on a t-shirt that you can purchase right now! But I come by it honestly. I make judgements pretty quickly, informed by a combination of a strong gut feeling and my lived experiences in similar situations. Although I'm seen as an advocate tirelessly helping others, I truly wish that people would help themselves. I try to pay forward all the experiences I've had in hopes that people will translate my experiences to their own wisdom. You really don't have to go through every lesson to learn the outcomes. Parables were invented so you could avoid adverse outcomes. If I could just get the rest of the world to stop being as hardheaded as I am this world would be a better place!

I've become a fan of StrengthsFinder personality tests. My top 5 traits are Strategic, Relator, Competition, Significance, and Futuristic. People with strong Strategic talents have the ability to sort through the clutter and find the best route. This is not a skill that can be taught. It is a distinct way of thinking — a special perspective on the world at large. This outlook allows them to see patterns where others simply see complexity.

Relator talents describe a person’s attitude toward their relationships. In simple terms, people with strong Relator talents are drawn to others they already know.

Competition is rooted in comparison. For people with strong Competition talents, their performance is their ultimate yardstick. When they look at the world, they are instinctively aware of other people’s performance.

People with strong Significance talents want others to see their worth. They want to be recognized, heard, and valued. Particularly, they want to be known and appreciated for the unique strengths they bring.

People with strong Futuristic talents love to peer over the horizon. They are fascinated by the future. They anticipate and imagine in detail what tomorrow could or should be. They usually see the future positively.

The combination of these two personality type indicator tests have significantly improved my self awareness. This self examination helps me understand why I react to other personality types the way I do. They also help me understand how similarities on teams can irritate me if I don't eliminate my blind spots. The more I know about myself and my reactions, the more effective I am in action.

So I want to hear from you. What personality types do you work well with? What characteristics set you off? How do you deal with challenging personality types? What is your favorite strength?


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