Personality and Quality Assessment

Personality Types. I think a few people in my pre-conference workshop were surprised when I started the session with a brief personality test. After all, what do personality types have to do with QA in our call center?! Believe me, the longer I spend in this field the more I come to understand that personality often plays a huge, unrecognized role in a company's QA program.

The structure and function of Quality Assessment appears to be a nuts and bolts proposition complete with data, metrics, charts, graphs, sample sizes, and statistical methodology. The goal of QA is to objectively measure what takes place in phone calls. A good QA scale will allow you to quantify these "moments of truth" in very clear, systematic ways. Nevertheless, the program is built and administered by people. The results are communicated by people and used to coach and train people. Quality Assessment is about people, and the personalities of those people affect QA in a very real sense from beginning to end. If you're not careful, personalities can skew or derail the QA process altogether. A good QA program will provide a balanced measurement that minimizes the effect personalities may have on the process.

How are the personalities of your management team, your call center manager, your supervisors, and your CSRs affecting your QA process?

Creative Commons image courtesy of Flickrand Combined Media

  15 comments for “Personality and Quality Assessment

  1. March 4, 2009 at 12:05 am

    Did you give them the Myers-Briggs? If so, you really made them think. That would be a good thing.
    I’m a ENFJ. What’s funny is, one website describes that as a teacher’s personality: another says my perfect career would be counsleing, psychology, education, management, politics and computer programming. My current job involves almost all of the above!

  2. March 4, 2009 at 1:08 am

    I believe personality has a lot to do with QA, as from personality springs attitude. For me, it’s quite hard to know each team member’s real personality as we work away from each other.
    I think I need to give them a personality test, too.

  3. March 4, 2009 at 8:33 am

    Thanks for the comments, ladies. I think you should do the test with your team, Meikah! You’ll learn a lot.
    Ann, I actually used a really simple test that John Trent & Gary Smalley put together for their book “The Two Sides of Love”. It takes just a few minutes and is really simple. I like simple! If you’ve never read the book, it’s a hoot. Great for families and kids.
    FYI – I’m an ENFP. My wife, daughters and I all took Meyers-Briggs and spent a couple hours with a Family Therapist over pizza talking through the results just as a fun family building activity. It was really, really fun and very, very revealing!

  4. March 5, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Sounds like you and I have a lot in common: or at least, three letters. 😀 My kids are still young: do you think they could take this and we could get accurate results?
    And I will get that book on my “to buy” list. I may get a copy for our trainer!

  5. March 7, 2009 at 2:51 am

    Tom,
    When you kicked off your presentation discussing personality preference I know you were “right on the money.”
    As a certified Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Speaker/Trainer I have experienced the strength of this tool over and over again.
    The way we gather information, make decisions, and gather our energy and live our lives is an expression of our preference. Understanding these preferences can make a very positive impact in the way we understand and work with both our internal and external customers.
    There is nothing more exciting than to hear people say comments like ‘oh, that’s why you guys ….’
    I know that there have been times when I “missed the boat” because I simply didn’t understand another person’s preference. Stephen Covey says it so well ‘Seek First to Understand and then be Understood.” The Myers-Briggs helps me understand both personally and professionally.
    Great Post Tom,
    Lisa Fields -ENFP

  6. March 7, 2009 at 2:54 am

    Tom,
    When you kicked off your presentation discussing personality preference I know you were “right on the money.”
    As a certified Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Speaker/Trainer I have experienced the strength of this tool over and over again.
    The way we gather information, make decisions, and gather our energy and live our lives is an expression of our preference. Understanding these preferences can make a very positive impact in the way we understand and work with both our internal and external customers.
    There is nothing more exciting than to hear people say comments like ‘oh, that’s why you guys ….’
    because I simply didn’t understand another person’s preference. Stephen Covey says it so well ‘Seek First to Understand and then be Understood.” The Myers-Briggs helps me understand both personally and professionally.
    Great Post Tom,
    Lisa Fields -ENFP

  7. March 8, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    Ann, I think the book would be great for kids of all ages, though you may have to help them a bit depending on their age. Trent & Smalley use word pictures so that it is easily communicated to all ages.
    Lisa, thanks for the comments, as always. It’s always good to have another ENFP around! 🙂

  8. frank
    March 9, 2009 at 8:02 am

    INFP here – which as a trainer serves me well. We are incorporating Personality tests in our QA analyst training at the moment and I’m excited to see if our current crop have some of the preferences I suspect given the quality and nature of their work on QA projects!

  9. March 9, 2009 at 8:53 am

    Thanks for the comment, Frank. I’d be interested to know if you have certain personality types that seem to fit your QA team better/worse, and why. Keep us in the loop, if you will!

  10. March 9, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    I’d love to see that too, Frank. We don’t have a QA team right now, but I’d love to hear what works for you!

  11. March 11, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    Great insights, Tom. Whenever I do any type of communications training, I always do a brief personality test first. First of all, it’s usually fun for the participants, and second, it helps me to push the main message: other people aren’t good or bad, just different. The ones who enjoy conflict and a good fight? Just different. The ones who cry and scream at you? Just different.

  12. March 11, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    It’s nice to hear from you Heidi! I can’t keep up with you, girl. Every time I peek at Twitter or Facebook you’re jetting off somewhere. Good for you. I’m glad you’re staying busy.
    Thanks for the comments. You’re right on. So much conflict occurs because we refuse to accept and understand one another’s differences. You said it well.

  13. April 2, 2009 at 1:34 am

    Is it is a good thing in a personality presentaiton. I think the book would be great for all people.
    Jason Price
    jprice@walkersresearch.com
    http://www.walkersresearch.com

  14. April 7, 2009 at 1:35 pm

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  15. Terri
    April 8, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    Interesting thoughts… Does anyone have a good, inexpensive (i.e., free) personality assessment for NEW hires to a call center? Something we could have them take at a job fair or interview situation? Something that would assess their abilities in areas like: adaptability, compatability, teamwork, problem solving, etc. The one associated with this blog looks good… Easy to take, quick, etc. Anyone have any validity or reliability info on it?
    Thank you!

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