Take the Shape Quiz to learn about yourself and colleagues

Posted by on Nov 8, 2016 in Communication, Conflict, Creativity, Effective conversations, Leadership, Self-awareness, Teams | 3 comments

This fun quiz is designed to get you thinking about how different we are.  It’s important to understand that you approach your work with a style and perspective that varies from your colleagues.  Understanding and appreciating the strengths within those differences allows you to become more successful.  You can start to work with the differences rather than against them.  It’s not meant to be a label – people are far too interesting and multi-dimensional for that.   Still, for the purposes of the quiz you’ll pick from four shapes.

If it isn’t apparent already, there is no value judgment connected with which shape category people fall in. None of them are better than the other ones. Each one has qualities that are good for certain purposes and it has qualities that aren’t so good for other purposes.

So here’s the quiz:  pick the figure you like most of these four shapes – a square, a triangle, a circle or a squiggle.  Then you can scroll to the bottom for a description of that type, including tips for your own improvement and tips for others to work better with you.  For a more complete picture you can even pick the figure you like the best and then the figure you like the second best.



The purpose of the quiz is not just self-understanding, but better communication.  You need to orient toward the style of the other person. A square will want specifics or perhaps details in writing. A triangle won’t appreciate indecisiveness. You may have to remove distractions before getting a squiggle’s attention. A circle needs to connect and have a conversation.

In handling conflict, circles tend to accommodate or compromise. Triangles tend to compete, or, if they see how they can gain, compromise. Squiggles may not even perceive there’s an issue, but they can be competitive in defense of an idea. Avoidance is characteristic of squares because they don’t like dealing with emotion, or they may dig in until they get more information.

Groups tend to take on a personality of their own.   Good teamwork needs all the shapes – triangles to focus on decisions and results, circles for harmony, squiggles for ideas, and squares to create the systems to get the details done.


 Details & Data & Systems People


  • Hardest workers; task oriented
  • Loyal
  • Structured; organized
  • Think sequentially, logically
  • May be stubborn with opinions based on their data
  • Value details and data; analytical
  • Know policies & rules
  • Not fond of change, prefer a stable environment
  • Prefer to working alone to teamwork
  • May see fun as unnecessary or a luxury
  • Trouble saying “I’ve got enough information”
  • Conservative, regular, orderly

Meeting behavior:  well prepared, lots of notes, gets right down to work

Motto: “Give me a job and a deadline and I’ll get it done”

If you are a square it might help help you to:

  • Be less picky with people
  • Create your own routines
  • Allow yourself to make a few mistakes so you don’t limit your opportunities
  • Learn to make decisions with less data
  • Try taking more risks and acting spontaneously

For others to work best with you, they should :

  • Be specific
  • Provide clear expectations
  • Create a regular routine


TRIANGLE:  Results People


  • Bottom line; focused on goals
  • Driven to succeed; motivated by results
  • Take charge and move fast
  • Big picture – Don’t need all the research or details
  • Need to know WHY
  • Confident
  • Competitive
  • Outspoken – Love to debate and argue
  • No nonsense
  • Decisive; cut to the chase; move on
  • Impatient
  • Likes recognition – may put stock in status symbols

Meeting behavior:  Hate meetings. Get to the bottom line and move on

Motto:  “So what’s your point???”

If you are a triangle, to improve you might try to:

  • Slow down and don’t shoot from the hip
  • Attend to necessary details, even if you delegate them
  • Develop more interest in the opinions of others
  • Give people more room to come on board
  • Be aware of your impact on others

For others to work best with you, they should:

  • Present the goal and the big picture
  • Explain the WHY
  • Provide stretch milestones and targets
  • Be succinct
  • Provide support for the details


CIRCLE: People People


  • Empathy and perception for others
  • Fun-loving; laugh
  • Listen and communicate well
  • Easily swayed by opinions of others
  • Caregivers/helpers
  • Like people, committees, teams
  • Peacemakers – avoid conflict or making unpopular decisions
  • Over commit; take on more than you can handle
  • Too nice; can’t say no
  • Better at caring for others than yourself
  • Don’t particularly like hierarchy

Meeting behavior:  Social, create harmony, love the food,

Motto:  “I’ll do it – somebody has to!”

If you are a circle, to improve you might want to:

  • Learn how to say NO and mean it
  • Worry less about what other people do and think
  • Hold others accountable
  • Learn how to make unpopular decisions when necessary

For others to work best with you they should:

  • Be flexible
  • Be willing to talk about whatever is at hand
  • Provide a harmonious environment
  • Provide opportunities for you to add your perspective


SQUIGGLE:  Idea People


  • Often visionaries –lots of ideas
  • Creative
  • Lots of energy and enthusiasm
  • Like to try new ways and different things
  • Can appear a little flaky because their mind moves so fast
  • Difficulty with completion; start a task and move on to the next great idea
  • Can be frustrating to work with
  • Easily bored
  • Flexible – spontaneous
  • Make cognitive leaps, from A straight to F
  • Prefer less structured environments

Meeting behavior:  Already thinking of the next step

Motto:  “I just got this great idea!”

If you are a squiggle, to improve you could:

  • Slow down and pay attention to the details
  • Focus on the task at hand
  • Think before you speak and act
  • Pay attention to your impact on others

For others to work best with you, they need to:

  • Present you new and different things to do
  • Be flexible and avoid preconceived ideas
  • Provide an unstructured environment
  • Offer multiple choices
  • Provide help with follow through


Hope this fun quiz gave you something to thing about.  Research shows that self-awareness leads to better self-management. Give it to your team and enjoy the different strengths you each bring to the table.

And when working through a process make sure you include all four behavior styles – new ideas, concern for people, data and analysis, results.



Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Marty

    Am I ever a circle! I have done lots of personality profile workshops and training and this was a fun, simple and surprisingly accurate overview! Thanks for continually providing great tid bits of advice and management/leadership know how!

  2. Jane

    This is dead on..I am so a squiggle!

  3. Sheryl Walsh

    Not surprising that I favored the triangle. I am curious as to how the selection of a shape, as the ones provided, gives that much insight. Remember I question the WHY? HA HA!

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