7 Psychological Types of Team Members

Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur or an expert that seeks to take their work on a new level, you may wonder whether it’s time to start building a team around you. Teams tend to become ecosystems for growth and development as members influence the performance of each other. It is especially important to find the right people who will complement each other’s strengths rather than cause unnecessary discomfort. In this article, we will learn more about building a team and psychological types that team members may possess.

Four Stages of Forming a Team

Once you decide on forming a community around a common goal, you need to be aware of stages that the team members will undergo on this journey. Psychologist Bruce Tuckman expressed the process in a four-step theory that depicts main stages of how the group dynamics develop.

The first stage, forming, occurs at the very beginning when the individuals come together for the first time. At this point, the group is establishing formal rules. Storming comes next with the members getting to know each other’s styles and get comfortable around each other. When the group established systems and procedures that work for communication purposes, norming occurs. The last stage, performing, marks the era of productive team-work as a cohesive unit.

To determine whether it’s time to build a team, here are some techniques and apps that will help you find the weighed decision.


Team concept

Benefits of Having a Team

Independent work as a freelance expert provides a certain level of autonomy and speeds up the decision-making process, having a team by your side also has several advantages. The team helps you generate new ideas which is crucial for strategy development and goal setting in business. Coming from different backgrounds, each member brings value to the project and becomes in charge of a specific area of responsibility. Additionally, teams are able to take up more risks than an individual would as the overall scope of tasks can be divided based upon one’s strengths.


How to Determine One’s Strengths

If you watched The Mentalist or Sherlock Holmes, you might have admired the people reading skills that both characters demonstrated. Knowing basic psychological principles would benefit anyone no matter the position and background. That’s when Viktor Ponomarenko’s personality types classification comes in handy. This Russian psychologist offers a set of seven principles allowing anyone to identify dominant traits in one’s behavior. Knowing this will enable you to predict common patterns and determine the strengths of your team members.

Ponomarenko summarizes the 7 most distinct traits that all of us possess. Out of seven, two to three traits tend to be the most prominent features of our personality while others can come into play depending on the situation.

The psychological types are hysteroid, epileptoid, paranoid, emotive, hypertim, schizoid, and anxious. Each psychological type has its own name but for simplicity purposes you may want to refer them by their order number, e.g. hysteroid is the first radical, schizoid is the sixth, etc. Here is a short description of each psychological radical:


Brand Spokespersons

Hysteroids Or Brand Spokespersons

Hysteroids tend to make quite a first impression after which it is depleted as people with this dominant radical cannot maintain the perfect picture they are trying to convey. Hysteroids enjoy being the center of attention. They pay great attention to style and clothes, dress up nicely and tend to be good at public speaking. On the flipside, their knowledge may be superficial as they tend to learn a little bit of everything rather than to go deep into one subject.


Very Organized People

Epileptoids Or Very Organized People

You will know when you see an epileptoid because they tend to be control freaks. Good at structuring information, creating a system, managing incoming information, such people will be an asset to the team in case you need someone to always be on top of all the tasks. Epileptoids may have aggression outbursts as they tend to bottle up their emotions.


True Leaders

Paranoids Or True Leaders

In case you notice someone exerting leadership skills, you can be certain you’re dealing with a paranoid radical. People with this psychological type tend to be great leaders as they have enough energy to bring tasks to the end and fulfill the plans. Such people understand that they can’t realize all ideas on their own so paranoids often allow others to join them on a task. Paranoids see the bigger picture and know how to organize people to achieve a common goal.


Highly Sensitive Ones

Emotives Or Highly Sensitive Ones

When you encounter super sensitive people who feel the room, understand subtle changes in the mood, and are prone to empathy, you are dealing with emotives. Although being unobtrusive, emotives tend to give into emotions and be extremely sensitive to minor signals. These people often act as a glue that holds the group together which takes its tall on them and quickly leads to burn outs.

Out of all psychological radicals, emotives have the highest emotional awareness which is closely related to emotional intelligence. Here is how you can develop your EQ so that you can build meaningful relations within your work environment.


Great Communicators

Hypertims Or Great Communicators

Have you seen a true extravert who seems to get energy from talking to others? Those are hypertensive radicals or hypertims who have tons of energy and are always positive and welcoming. Unlike paranoids who also have a lot of energy, hypertims need guidance in how to apply this spring of liveliness to a good cause. Good at networking, hypertims will enjoy tasks that imply client work and communications as they easily find common ground with various people.


Creativity Gods

Schizoids Or Creativity Gods

If you know a creative mind who resembles a Beethoven or always bursts with new ideas, meet a schizoid. These individuals are capable of generating truly fresh ideas that others may not even think of. Schizoids may come across as out of this world as they prefer creative work over communication. They may find it hard to communicate productively as they tend to be socially awkward at times. Great at generating solutions, schizoids will enjoy being the troubleshooter of the team.

To train your creativity muscle, read about such techniques as Six thinking hats, What-iffing, and more in our piece on Top 10 future skills.


The Anxious Kind

The Anxious Kind

The seventh radical resembles an anxious psychological type. Such people are afraid of making changes in their life as they are constantly in the state of anxiety. They like to remain in the grey and are reluctant to take too much responsibility. Such alarmists generally keep their environment very tidy and stick to comfortable outfits and restrain from bright accents.

All of us possess each seven psychological types in different proportions. The most prominent traits come in naturally to us while others can come into play but with more effort as they go against our everyday behavior. It is worth mentioning that these classifications provide a rough outline of most common behavioural patterns and shouldn’t be solely used to define people as each of us has unique traits governed by previous experiences and background.

Photos: Shutterstock / Photomontage: Martina Advaney

To take your people skills further, refer to our article on how to manage teams and find a leadership style that fits you best:

The Top 10 Future Skills: People Management and Coordination



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