How to Use Personality Workshops to Deepen Team Cohesion & Appreciation

Since ancient times, people have long been trying to understand emotions that drive people’s behavior and to understand personality. While human personality is vast as the oceans are deep, many theorists have, in the past, created taxonomies of which to place various traits or characteristics.

These taxonomies are seen in the works of Hippocrates, Galan, and Aristotle. Much of the basic vocabulary used in early discussions of emotions (Table 1) stem from Hippocrates, the founder of western medicine.

Table 1: Categories of Personalities

Hippocrates, 460 B.CBlood, yellow bile, black bile, phlegm
Aristotle, 364 B.C.Earth, air, wind, fire
Galan, 130 A.D.Hot, cold, moist, dry

Galan, seen as the Roman Empire’s most celebrated physician, and Aristotle, touted as a founding father of science, created temperaments (Table 2).

Table 2: Galan Early Temperaments

SanguineCheerful & optimistic
PhlegmaticCalm, somewhat sluggish
BiliousIll-tempered, choleric
MelancholicSad, with depression tendency

Fast forward to the present day, and there are numerous personality assessments. While there is no one assessment that measures everything about human behavior at Cooper Consulting Group, we have many highly requested instruments like DISC, MBTI®, HOGAN, FIRO®, and more. Two instruments that pair nicely together are MBTI and FIRO.

Popular Personality Workshops 

MBTI® (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) Overview

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator is based on the research of Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. He was an influential mind of his time, and he created a strong alliance with Sigmund Freud.  Some of Jung’s research led him to find that people’s personalities were not random, but formed patterns and he called these patterns “type.” 

Later a women named Kathryn Briggs took Jung’s work and spent the next few decades refining and honing in on his theory. Later yet, Brigg’s daughter, Isabell, got into the family business, so to speak, and Isabell created the questions for the instrument now known as the Myers Briggs Type Indicator or MBTI®.

Today, over two million people take the assessment each year. The instrument is so popular some people may have taken it multiple times as different employers use the instrument as a part of team building or other activities.

The reliability of the MBTI® is quite high (see Table 3). Cronbach’s Alpha is used to measure the internal consistency of test or scale.

Table 3: Reliability of MBTI®

(MBTI® Form M Manual Supplement: Schaubhut, Herk, and Thompson, 2009)

FIRO-B® (Fundamental Interpersonal Relations-Orientation Behavior) 

The FIRO® instrument measures interpersonal needs in three areas: involvement, influence and connection Table 4). These three interpersonal needs are just as important as food, water, and air.

Table 4: FIRO Need Definitions

InvolvementThe need to establish and maintain satisfactory interactions and associations with other people; describes the extent of contact one desires with others and the degree to which one wants to join others in shared activity (Hammer & Schnell, 2000).
InfluenceDescribes an individual’s behavior with respect to responsibility, power, influence, and decision making; reflects the degree to which one desires to influence or direct the behavior of others or the extent to which a person wants to be perceived as competent, decisive, and in charge (Hammer & Schnell, 2000).
ConnectionDescribes an individual’s behavior in forming close, personal relationships and deter- mines the degree of warmth and personal connections one seeks with others; applies primarily to one-on-one interaction rather than to group behavior (Hammer & Schnell, 2000).

The FIRO theory was developed by William Shutz back in the early 1950s while he was on active duty in the Navy. He was tasked with understanding and improving the performance of teams while aboard navy ships.

Going deeper these three areas are also defined as either expressed or wanted. Expressed needs refer to behaviors demonstrated toward others, while wanted needs are those behaviors that individuals want exhibited toward them (Schutz, 1958)

Benefits of Personality Workshops 

Improved self-awareness 

Pairing the MBTI and FIRO assessments work beautifully together. Using the FIRO gives a look into different scenarios, such as: 1) Understanding why someone with a preference for introversion may have high wanted involvement (being a part of groups); or 2) understand how someone with a preference for extraversion may have low wanted connection or involvement. All these combinations just show the uniqueness and depth of our personality.

Enhancing communication and relationships 

Understanding the team’s MBTI® personality preferences is key so an individual might understand how they might flex their own personality to better meet the needs of someone else. Going deeper with FIRO® and looking at the interpersonal need of influence can give a leader insights into how much their team needs and want directions or are certain members more comfortable with more autonomy.

Strengthening team dynamics 

Understanding why a team member appears to not want (or need) to be a part of the team. They may have low wanted and low expressed involvement. In other words, they are happy to be working more independently and do not need to go to every lunch, dinner, or team-building event. It just does not “fill their tank.” So, there is self-discovery two ways that is occurring here. First, the team member realizes how they are viewed and therefore in an attempt to be seen as a team player they begin to participate more willingly or more actively in group events.  Second, a team leader can understand that the team member is not disengaged rather that their interpersonal need for team connection is low.

Being able to see this entire team mapping of interpersonal needs can help a leader how to best place people on the team. Utilizing someone’s super powers can just make them shine even more in the workplace.

Using the FIRO® Instrument

Choosing the Right Personality Workshop 

Identifying goals and needs 

At Cooper Consulting Group, we are an ISO 20700 training management consultancy company.

We conduct a thorough needs analysis to ensure we fully understand your workshop need and objectives. Our team is skilled at exploring what underlying issues may need to be addressed during a training session, if there are any. We follow a specific set of guidelines to ensure we understand your needs and create a program that will meet agreed to objectives along with a method to measure those key objectives.

Objectives of companies using the MBTI® or FIRO-B® instruments have been:

  • Create self-awareness opportunities
  • Understand how to treat their staff
  • Build better relationships among team workers
  • Start the dialogue for understanding among staff
  • Explore how to create high-performing teams
  • And more…

We may utilize one-to-one interviews or surveys with select key staff that will attend a workshop. The purpose of these interviews/surveys is to better understand the dynamics of the team, learn about the strengths and challenges of the team, and to explore the culture of the organization / team.

Evaluating facilitator and materials 

Our team are highly trained and experts in the fields of global leadership, leadership, change, organizational psychology, and psychology.

After a complete needs analysis, we will make a facilitator recommendation that we feel will best meet the needs of your team.  We also offer the opportunity for you to do a meet n’ greet with our facilitators so you can feel comfortable with the person who would be working with your team.

Considering reviews and recommendations 

We consider one of the best forms of flattery is being invited back to an organization to conduct more training or having word of mouth travel through an organization about our work and be hired by a different department.

At a recent session, one of our facilitators received a 4.94 out of 5 rating. Comments that came when asked, “What did you like the most about the training (or find most helpful)?” Responses were:

Understanding the team’s style. 
What I like the most and found more helpful was that knowing someone style allowed me to have a better approach with that person, always listen and play attention to people feelings as while as their thoughts. That way it helps everyone come to a better way to approach situations and work together.  
Gave a better understanding of our co-workers personalities.
Learning and understanding the styles of myself and my teams. Also, how to be more effective with each personality style. 
Very interactive with others and completely no judgement on different personality types.
Trainer was VERY informative and knowledgeable.
Instructor explained everything out very well. People were able to see the differences in styles and hopefully be able to communicate/work better together moving forward. 
Accuracy of information, and learnings that can be practiced beyond the workplace.
The training tells me how to work or understand the different in people and the relationship.


People need and want different things from each other. People also have different ways of expressing what they need and want. Using the FIRO® instrument will show the similarities and differences among a team. It allows people to understand why they behave toward others the way they do and why others might act a certain way toward them. For some people they may click or clash and using the FIRO® can allow team members to glean insights.

So, if you want to get started to allow your team to build more trust, increase harmony, reduce friction and improve performance, contact us at for a complimentary consultation. Or book your consultation HERE.

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