With our constant access to information, we often quickly become jaded by the latest and greatest tools. Buzzwords, trends, and the constant refreshing of new options can also make us forget the tried and true or even just recently passed solutions.

Personality tests can be excellent tools for improving productivity, team-building, communications and career development. As such, they are extremely practical leadership tools that should neither be forgotten nor overlooked.

Here are a few reasons to add these tools back into your leadership toolbox.

Another aspect of diversity

While it is unfortunate that it has taken so much negative news to increase the awareness of the benefits of a diverse workforce, we are fortunate to have so many opportunities and options to support diverse teams. To further maximize this momentum as leaders, we can recognize and support the cognitive diversity of our teams.

Generally, cognitive diversity represents the differences in the way team members view, absorb, process and deliver information. If as leaders we can understand these differences, we are better poised to improve efficiency and productivity on our teams.

Personality tests that help individuals understand the way they process information can provide teams with a common vocabulary. Leaders can then better facilitate the conversation around work goals to ensure the entire team responds to the information as intended. This results in improved productivity and a more positive, inclusive work environment.

Improved communication

In addition to providing a common vocabulary around which we can build and deliver goals, personality tests can also help provide common ground for discussing communication styles. While many workers may be familiar with the terms introvert and extrovert, not everyone knows what an ambivert is or the differences between those who naturally fall into one category or have adapted to respond as such.

By recognizing the ease or difficulty with which employees approach interpersonal interactions, we can create environments that support a wide array of communication styles. In turn, improved and increased communication among employees facilitates better problem-solving, team cohesion and efficiency.

DiSC, Clifton StrengthsFinder, and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator can all help individuals and teams improve their understanding of themselves and each other, and provide terms to which all employees can refer to in order to aid discussions, improve team cohesion and strengthen culture. A simple Google search can provide additional resources, including local test providers and customized options.

The bottom line is taking personality tests can be fun, funny and functional. Instead of using personality tests to weed out people who may not fit the culture, we can take advantage of these tried and true methods to help get the most out of our teams.

Regardless of the method used, test results can provide us with great ways to incorporate and optimize the diversity on our teams and boost team cohesion. Leaders that take the time to understand and appreciate cognitive diversity and different communication styles can get even more out of their teams. Consider an option that meets your time, budget and team goals and add this valuable tool back into your leadership toolbox.