How to Manage Different Personality Types

Learn how to manage different personality types to lead your team to greater productivity.

manage different personality typesLast week, we discussed traits that help you identify different personality types in your organization. Today, we’re discussing how to manage different personality types to help you communicate with and lead your team more effectively. One of the interesting things about managing different personality types is that some people find traits like patience to be more valuable, while others find traits like decisiveness to be more valuable. Do you know why that is? It’s because of your own personality type.

1. Analytical

To refresh, the analytical personality type is deep and thoughtful. As the name suggests, they over-analyze everything and tend to be perfectionists. As the manager of an analytical, don’t pressure them for decisions. When an analytical says, “I need some time to think about this.” they actually need the time to think about it. They’re not playing some game with you or working a negotiation strategy. They really need to think about it. So give them that time.

Analyticals are persuaded by proof, not emotion. Have your facts straight and be prepared with the correct information. Speak softly and calmly, they do not like loud people in their face. They also appreciate people who give them space, so step back when you’re talking to them.

Also practice being in an ask mode. If your personal personality type is that of a driver or an expressive, you don’t ask. You tell. With an analytical you want to ask, “What do you think about this? What if we were to do A, B, and C? What are your thoughts?”

Analyticals particularly appreciate leaders who think carefully through their decisions and do not take costly shortcuts or make rash decisions for seemingly no reason. “Because I said so” or “Because I’m the boss” rationale does not motivate an analytical to job engagement.

2. Driver

The driver personality type is dynamic and active. They exude confidence and naturally gravitate toward leadership positions. They move very quickly to action, but they are not detail oriented. To adapt to a driver, the first thing you need to do is pick up your pace and get to the point. Drivers don’t need all of the facts, data, etc. like the analytical. They just want the bottom line.

When managing drivers, practice being in a task mode because drivers want to get things done. Also, let them take the lead and give them more responsibility. Show a driver appreciation by showing appreciation for their ability to get things done, just don’t waste too much time trying to pat a driver on the back, because they don’t need it.

Drivers appreciate leaders who will let them find the most successful path for reaching their goals and they despise being micromanaged.

3. Amiable

The amiable personality type is very reserved and calm. They do not appreciate abrasiveness, so as their manager be gentle rather than brash. Don’t overwhelm or stress them. If you have an amiable as an employee and you drop a project in their lap at the last minute and say, “I need this today by noon.” you’re going to cause them a tremendous amount of stress.

Show an extra level of kindness and consideration to an amiable. They really need encouragement with taking risk, and this is where you can really help them as their manager. Coach them through taking more risk in their jobs, but be aware that amiables will really try to avoid conflict. They will self soothe, but they won’t want to deal with the conflict that is right in front of them.

Amiables appreciate leaders who work closely with them and are kind and considerate.

4. Expressive

The expressive personality type on your team is your fun-loving employee who will find humor even in the most dire situations. Lighten up and have a sense of humor with your expressives. Show appreciation with the expressives for their sense of humor and their charisma. Expressives need encouragement with checking the facts, as they tend to exaggerate a little bit.

While expressives do need some structure in their jobs, they do not need detailed methods. They actually appreciate a lot of freedom in the workplace, like the driver. Expressives really want you to allow and show some excitement for the job and in the workplace as their manager.

The best way to motivate and engage your team is to be able to recognize and manage different personality types. Each of the four personality types has their own set of strengths, weaknesses, and challenges for managers. As their manager, you need to be able to leverage their strengths while managing the weaknesses in order to effectively move your team toward producing successful results.

photo credit: Closeup portrait of a group of business people laughing via photopin (license)

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