A workplace is a dynamic environment with a diverse range of people. Not everyone, in the world, works, reacts, or communicates in the same way. Typically, you can find four work personality types. Each of these personality types exhibits common characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses that benefit from being managed and communicated with in different ways.
Understanding these four work personality types will help you to successfully lead a diverse team to increase your team’s job satisfaction, performance, and reach organisational goals.
The four work personality types
The analytical personality type is very introspective. They’re serious individuals that act with utmost deliberation. They have high standards which are reflected in their working styles. They are process driven and highly organised. They also often tend to have a dry and witty sense of humor.
Analytical strengths are that they are perfectionists. They produce a high standard of work. They’re organised, economical, and self-disciplined. They are risk-averse (which can arguably also be a weakness).
Analytical weaknesses are that they can be moody, negative and critical of those with different working styles. Their disposition towards analysing everything can make them indecisive. Their desire to be perfect can produce negative results as it can overshadow the point of their task.
The best ways to interact with an analytical:
- Ask rather than tell
- Don't make demands or rush
- Give them time and space to think about things
- They like encouragement and feedback for good work
Drivers have strong and energetic personalities. They exude confidence and naturally gravitate toward leadership positions. They shoot into action, but they can overlook details. Drivers are blue sky visionaries. They see where they want to take a team but they can lack the preparation of the interim steps.
Driver strengths can be found in their tenacious determination. They are independent and highly productive. They are visionaries and they’re decisive. A driver would rather make a bad decision than no decision. They just want actions toward their goals.
On the weak side, the driver can be insensitive, unempathetic and sarcastic. Drivers are stubborn and typically do not like to admit when they are wrong. They can also rush into decision making without thoroughly thinking through the consequences of their decision.
The best ways to interact with a driver;
- Get straight to the point
- Give them responsibility
- Give them independence when they execute their tasks
- Show appreciation
The amiable personality type is a well-balanced individual, calm and patient. They’re typically quiet. They’re empathetic, kind, and inoffensive—amiables are people pleasers.
Amiable strengths are that they are very easy going. They fit well into teams, do not cause disruption and get on with their work. They’re diplomatic and calm and can be very supportive of those around them.
On the weak side, an amiable's need to people please can be self-defeating and consequent in them feeling resentment. It can also cause complications if they do not really say what they feel for fear of upsetting those around them. They can be stubborn, selfish and easily overwhelmed.
The best way to interact with an amiable;
- Be gentle
- Do not overwhelm
- Show support and empathy
- Encourage them to step outside of their comfort zone
The expressive is also known as a social specialist. They are exciting, popular and naturally draw people to them. They want to be included and are excellent team players. Expressives want to be involved in everything from projects to social teams.
On the strong side, the expressive is very good at communicating and managing those around them. They are charismatic and persuasive. On the weak side, they can be disorganised, undisciplined, loud, and incredibly talkative.
The best way to interact with an expressive;
- Have a sense of humor
- Make sure they check their facts
- Show excitement and participate in their conversations
Of course, these are generalisations and many people will exhibit some amount, of any number, of these four work personality types. However, everyone will possess more characteristics of one type over the others.