Personality Types Aren't Just Fun and Games

Steve Williamson, VP Digital Marketing and Content, eRep, Inc.
Monday, March 25, 2024
Personality Types Aren't Just Fun and Games

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I run the Dungeons & Dragons™ group at my local library, which means participation around the table is open to anyone. Using my knowledge of the Core Values Index has been invaluable at managing the diverse personalities of my players.

What does this have to do with the working professional? Read on to learn how.

The Dungeon Master (DM) in a D&D game is like a project manager. You coordinate activities among multiple stakeholders, manage schedules (otherwise known as "herding cats"), and facilitate the growth of the collective effort.

It's that "multiple stakeholders" part where the Core Values Index psychometric assessment comes in handy.

To be clear, I'm not asking all my players to take the CVI prior to joining the group (although that would be very handy). What I do specifically is use my knowledge and understanding of how the CVI works to recognize the likely personality profiles of each of my players. This allows me to tailor my communication style and manner of conducting the game so that each individual — and the group as a whole — has the maximum amount of fun.

In D&D, there is a broad range of personality types that enjoy the game.

There are those who enjoy the role-playing aspect. They can spend an entire game session interacting with the barkeep at the local tavern, using gestures and dramatic or silly voices.

Others really get into the tactical aspect of the game's simulated combat. They will analyze the strengths of the team versus the known and perceived weaknesses of their opponent (a band of marauding orcs or a fierce dragon) to come up with a plan of attack that has what they hope are the greatest odds of success.

Still other players are min-maxers. They study the rule book and options to ensure the character they create has the optimal blend of feats and abilities, minimizing weaknesses and maximizing their strengths.

Ultimately, it's a group of people, some of whom have never met before, that come together around a table to play a cooperative game with shared goals.

What could go wrong?

One of the best tricks to being a good project manager, I mean Dungeon Master, is to know your audience. Tailor your message to the recipient. Delegate and communicate tasks based on each individual's preferred working style.

Knowing your audience is one of those universal pieces of advice that applies no matter what you do or what role you're in.

If you are reporting to a boss, a client, a customer, a peer, or a subordinate, knowing your audience and how they prefer to receive information and then act on it will be profoundly useful.

This wisdom applies in the working world, in relationships, in education, and around the gaming table, too.

I have players in my game that run the gamut of personality types. I've also experienced that same psychometric spectrum in my career.

For instance, I work with one client who is all about action. They only need a fraction of the data and information available before they confidently and boldly make a decision.

"Make it so!" is their mantra.

Another client has the opposite personality. They want all the available data and information, checked twice for accuracy and completeness, and then — nothing. They rarely make decisions, and when they do, it's by selecting the recommend option from a list of available choices.

I provide the same service to both clients, yet the onus is on me to tailor what I do and how I communicate based on the needs and preferences of each individual. Both are kept happy but in completely different ways.

When I first met these individuals, their likely CVI psychometric profile was fairly obvious. This gave me enough information to go on as I began working with them. I made an educated guess about their preferred communication style and went with that while I gather more insight.

Knowing my clients' likely personality has made all the difference.

Fun and Games

When a new player joins our Dungeons & Dragons group, I begin by asking them what aspect of the game they enjoy the most. Is it role-playing and getting into character? Is it boldly charging forward and tackling tough fights head on? Is it the fun of analyzing character creation options and choosing the ideal progression plan?

The player's response not only tells me what kind of experience in-game will give them the most enjoyment, it also gives me insight into their personality. I adjust the way I communicate with them around the table and even in my post-game summaries. Some want all the info, others are simply, "All I want to know is if my character went up a level."

Whether the group effort is around a conference table in the executive suite, or around a folding table at the local library, understanding the personality types and preferences of your audience will make your efforts more effective and enjoyable for all concerned.

Play on!

Core Values Index™ and CVI™ are trademarks of Taylor Protocols, Inc.

Dungeons & Dragons is a registered trademark of Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

Go to to learn more about the CVI or to take the Core Values Index assessment.

Employees hired with a CVI that closely matches a Top Performer Profile often outperform candidates hired without a TPP match by 200% or more. → Learn more

Steve Williamson

Steve Williamson

Innovator/Banker - VP Digital Marketing and Content, eRep, Inc.

Steve has a career in project management, software development and technical team leadership spanning three decades. He is the author of a series of fantasy novels called The Taesian Chronicles (, and when he isn't writing, he enjoys cycling, old-school table-top role-playing games, and buzzing around the virtual skies in his home-built flight simulator.

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