Practice assessing people's personalities using the OCEAN matrix from the Big Five.

Knowing people’s personalities shows you how they behave in their work, their relationships, and how they think, helping you communicate better with them. It helps you accommodate their personality at work, have smoother conversations, and support them better with their emotional needs.


  1. First, find out your own OCEAN matrix.
    80% of the value comes from 20% of tasks.

  2. Find out a person’s OCEAN by asking them directly.

    • Ask if a colleague or friend has taken the Big Five and where they score.
    • Ask or send an email saying you’re curious to see where they score on the Big Five.
    • Apply an application called Apply Magic Sauce on Facebook or the text of their emails to identify where they land on OCEAN.
    • If you are involved with a business, try Crystal, a tool that predicts where your colleagues or coworkers stand on OCEAN and how to respond to them efficiently.
  3. Try the speed reading approach to investigate their OCEAN.
    By asking the right questions, you can begin to gauge if they’re high or low on the OCEAN traits:

    • Openness: Try a question like, “Have you tried any new restaurants lately?” or, “Have a vacation coming up?” If they answer yes and mention different vacation spots, they’re likely high in openness.
    • Conscientiousness: Ask, “Any projects coming up?” “What’s your plan for your projects?” “Do you write down your goals?” If they give you a detailed list of their plans or say they make to-do lists, it’s likely they’re high on this scale.
    • Extroversion: Ask, “What are you up to this weekend?” or, “What does your ideal day look like?” and see if they involve social activities, as this can indicate high extroversion.
    • Agreeableness: If they have siblings, try asking, “Were you usually the peacemaker?” and, “What would you like for dinner?” This will measure their agreeableness based on if they side with you easily regarding your wants for dinner or if they avoided conflict with siblings.
    • Neuroticism: Ask, “How was your week?” as people who tend to be high in neuroticism usually feel worried, stressed, or busy and will let you know.
  4. Try making your own OCEAN matrix with emails, TV show personas, and people you know.
    Practice is essential! Now try reading your work emails, watching people on shows, and observing people in your life and start guessing what their matrix looks like.


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