Ready to start hiring?
Dealing with hard-to-fill positions? Let us help.

Post Job

How To Manage Different Personalities

By Conor McMahon - Nov. 11, 2022
Post A Job For Free, Promote It For A Fee

There are all types of people out there, and as a supervisor of employees, you may know that this can make it challenging to manage different personalities.

When you have a team working towards certain goals, you act as the leader to keep everyone on task and hold everyone accountable. This means you need to find the right buttons to push to help your employees be the best they can be.

Although different people need to be managed in different ways, there are general strategies you can follow and tips to keep in mind to get the best results possible.

Key Takeaways:

  • Empathize with your employees and clearly state your objectives when managing different personalities.

  • Regardless of the personality, you need to nurture a positive and objective environment that focuses on progress.

  • Play to your employee’s strengths to maximize their potential.

  • Sometimes you need to be diplomatic, other times you need to be direct, regardless, be fair, and don’t take things personally.

  • Be mindful of your biases and the different cultural backgrounds of your employees.

How To Manage Different Personalities

How To Manage Different Personalities

Every personality is different, and whether you are dealing with your employees individually, or as a team, you need to be able to manage their unique traits.

To manage different personalities, you must consider the following steps:

  1. Empathize with each individual. To effectively manage people, you need to empathize with them and understand their nature. Get to know your employees and put yourself in their shoes. Consider their job responsibilities and the role they play in your organization.

    Take note of what drives them and how they handle adversity. Be curious and mindful of their personal background while maintaining professional boundaries. Empathy is the first tool you should use in managing any personality because it provides a base of understanding to build on.

  2. Clearly state and learn values, goals, and expectations. Any healthy relationship is based on an understanding of values, goals, and expectations. Regardless of the personality, you’re managing, you want to be able to agree on common ground. Be clear on what you need from your employees and give them reasons why. This is crucial as you move forward with your employees.

    You can always relate back to the values, goals, and expectations as you work through challenges. You also want to learn about the values, goals, and expectations of your employees. Knowing what drives your employees equips you with the knowledge that you can use to direct them toward your objectives. The best-case scenario is finding a way to align their values and goals with your own. In this way, you can work together to achieve a common objective.

  3. Provide clear and open channels of communication. Like understanding values, goals, and expectations, communication is important to healthy relationships. Make sure you and your employees feel comfortable with the methods of communication available.

    This is where different personalities may benefit from different styles of communication. Someone who prefers direct instructions may simply benefit from emails, while another employee may require a more personal touch with face-to-face encounters. In any case, you need to establish a clear line of communication with your employees as you work together.

  4. Nurture a positive and objective environment. As a leader you are going to have to sometimes push your team. You’ll have to provide feedback and direction. You don’t have to be a jerk about this.

    Let your employees know that your goals are to create a fair environment, one rooted in objectivity and positivity. Your position as a leader allows you to frame any challenge as an opportunity, something all types of personalities can benefit from.

  5. Focus on progress. When you manage people, you want to look ahead. Even when you need to give feedback or reprimand an employee, your job is to not get everyone stuck in the past but to move forward.

    Your company has its goals, and it’s your job to help reach those goals. Keeping everyone focused on progress helps keep the necessary momentum all workplaces need to succeed.

When you manage different personalities you learn each personality and situation is different. You will have to adjust these steps to your environment. However, to manage different personalities, these steps provide a broad framework on which you can manage almost any personality under any circumstances.

Get Started Hiring Now

Tips For Managing Different Personalities

Along with the steps above, it’s important to consider different methods and attitudes to take while managing different personalities.

Management is about having an extensive toolbox and knowing when to use the right tool.

When you manage different personalities, it helps to:

  • Play to your employee’s strengths. With any personality, you want to focus on the positives. Playing to people’s strengths builds an environment where you can get the most out of your workers. It will help them feel motivated and valued, as well as provide you with their best performance possible.

  • Don’t take things personally. As a leader, you will find challenges with any personality. Sometimes your employees may take out their frustrations on you. Stay objective and focused on the goals at hand. As long as your employees remain within the bounds of their responsibilities and the code of conduct, you should only worry about the quality of their work and not how they feel about you.

  • Be diplomatic. Sometimes you need to be considerate of your audience. Although there may be a lot you want to say, have some tact, and make sure your words cannot be interpreted as mean-spirited.

  • Be direct. That being said about diplomacy, sometimes you need to get to the point. Make sure to understand there are times when you need to be clear and don’t be afraid to speak your mind. Just make sure to keep it professional and fair.

  • Be engaged and flexible. A good leader is invested in their team. That doesn’t mean you should micromanage. You need to be able to delegate and trust your employees to get their jobs done.

    However, you also have to make it clear that you are available and interested in their work. This requires a balancing act of flexibility as you deal with different personalities in different situations. You need to ebb and flow with how much engagement your employees need.

  • Not be afraid of conflict or confrontation. Your job as a leader means you will have to come across the conflict. Don’t be afraid to embrace it and re-frame challenges as opportunities. By confronting conflict head-on, you open up the possibilities to move forward toward your and your team’s goals.

  • Be proactive. Always be on the alert for trends in the wrong direction and correct them as soon as possible. People of all kinds of personalities can fall into bad habits once they get started. Look out for behavior that you can see getting worse over time and work with your employees to fix it.

  • Be mindful of cultural backgrounds. As you empathize with employees, don’t take for granted your own biases. What makes sense from your perspective may look a lot different to your employees who come from different backgrounds. Be open to changing your perspective and keep in mind factors that you may not be familiar with. If needed, do research, but do not burden your employees to educate you.

  • Hold people accountable, including yourself. An objectively fair environment requires accountability. Actions have consequences, and sometimes you have to take action to ensure that everyone’s behavior is in line with your expectations. You also have to be willing to accept responsibility for your actions.

  • Be open to feedback. Sometimes your methods may not work out and you have to be ready to adjust. If you are struggling to deal with certain personalities, be open to feedback from them or other observers to learn new ways to manage the situation.

These tips help diversify your methods when it comes to managing different personalities. You may find that you rely on certain methods more than others due to the nature of the situation, but you should always keep every method open to possible use.

6 Personality Types To Manage

Sometimes it helps to categorize personalities, especially when it comes to management.

Categorizing personalities is a broad field, and the scientific psychology of the definitions of personality is still being researched, however, you can consider the following personality types to help you contextualize management techniques.

  1. Sensors. One of the foremost traits of Sensors is their aptitude for coming up with solutions that are based on reliable information. Those that fall into the Sensors category are known for their passion for hard facts and data. This bodes well for managers that are willing to back up their decisions with verifiable information.

    If you are a manager trying to introduce changes in the office, such as workday restructuring or personnel changes, Sensors are more likely to adhere to the plan, so long as they can be shown that there are sufficient reasons to make the adjustments.

  2. Feelers. When it comes to teamwork and cooperation, no personality type embraces these concepts like that of a Feeler. Feelers are particularly noted for their concern for the well-being of others, and they often go out of their way to ensure that their decisions do not negatively affect those around them.

    The personality type of Feelers gives them a natural tendency to follow directions from an authoritative figure, and this means gaining their support for decisions made by managers is typically easy. When dealing with Feelers, as a manager, it is important to show that, while you are in charge, you are also part of the team. In addition, with their team working capabilities, Feelers may be able to help sway the opinions of more skeptical employees.

  3. Judgers. If you are a manager in a work environment that relies heavily on adhesion to structure, then employees with a Judger personality type can be valuable. Judgers are regarded for their by-the-book attitude, as they are prone to following the rules very closely. When you are a manager, a significant portion of your workday can be spent attempting to enforce rules and discipline those who refuse to abide by them.

    By hiring workers with personality traits that resemble that of Judgers, managers can help reduce the chance that they will have to waste time reprimanding employees. Instead, the can-do attitude of Judgers can help to instill a similar mentality in co-workers, which could make for a more productive workforce.

  4. Introverts. The term introvert can encompass a broad spectrum of personality types, however, they are specifically defined by their preference to work alone, often in seclusion, or in small groups. Those with an introverted personality type typically keep to themselves and cause little disruption in the workplace.

    Of course, if you are a manager, having an employee that is willing to move in whichever direction is required of them, without complaint, can make the process of implementing changes run much smoother. In addition to keeping to themselves, introverts have an unhurried nature that prevents them from jumping to conclusions without the proper considerations.

  5. Perceivers. Spontaneity is one of the characteristic traits of the personality type known as Perceivers, and along with this impulsiveness comes an ability to adapt that many other personality types lack. In the workplace, the ability to adapt is critical in maintaining a position and growing with the company. Therefore, Perceivers are apt to do whatever it takes to stay in the good graces of management.

    However, this does not mean that Perceivers are simply followers, rather this ideology is a testament to their open-mindedness. From the perspective of a manager, an employee that is willing to give anything a try, to achieve success, can be a great asset.

  6. Spirited. As the name suggests, those with Spirited personality types tend to take on their life, and their job, with an unabating zest. These employees are crucial in keeping the morale of coworkers at optimal levels, and their positive attitude can be infectious.

    If you have ever been around someone with a Spirited outlook, you may have noticed that you started to feel the same way.

    As a manager, staffing Spirited employees can be instrumental in portraying new ideas in a way that resonates with colleagues.

    Every person has individual characteristics that make them both an asset and a liability in the workplace. However, there are specific personality types that are easier to manage than others, and it is for this reason that employees should be chosen carefully. When considering candidates for a position, be sure to take the time to get a feel for their personalities.

    Look for those who pay close attention to facts, such as Sensors, or those that show a willingness to put their coworker’s feelings before their own, like that of a Feeler.

    Similarly, pay attention to other traits that may show that they will be easy to manage, such as an introverted demeanor or a spirited outlook on life. By keeping these personality tips in mind, you are sure to have success finding employees that are easy to manage.

Get Started Hiring Now

Final Thoughts

How to manage different personalities is not easy. However, it is also not impossible.

It takes a great leader to make the most of their team and play to each individuals strengths.

When you manage different personalities, make sure to be mindful of the strategies and tips available to you. Work them in as needed and always be ready for surprises!

Conor McMahon is a writer for Zippia, with previous experience in the nonprofit, customer service, and technical support industries. He has a degree in Music Industry from Northeastern University and in his free time he plays guitar with his friends. Conor enjoys creative writing between his work doing professional content creation and technical documentation.


Conor McMahon

Conor McMahon is a writer for Zippia, with previous experience in the nonprofit, customer service, and technical support industries. He has a degree in Music Industry from Northeastern University and in his free time he plays guitar with his friends. Conor enjoys creative writing between his work doing professional content creation and technical documentation.

Ready To Start Hiring?

Related posts

Find Your Next Hire Out Of Over 5 Million Candidates

Get connected with quality candidates whose resumes on Zippia best fit your job description.

Topics: Employee Motivation, Managing A Team