Are you accommodating different personality types in your workplace?

by David Lykken30 Mar 2017

Not all people are the same. Think for a moment about the people you interact with socially. Some of them may be more talkative and outgoing, while others are more withdrawn and contemplative. If you want to invite the person to a social activity, you would want to invite them to something that suits their personality. For example, you may invite the more outgoing person to a sporting event, while you may invite the more introverted person for a one-on-one meeting at a quiet coffee shop.

The same thing is true of our employees: we've got to communicate with our people in a way that suits their individual personalities. There are many different models for understanding personality. When I train mortgage leaders on improving their organizations, I focus on an ancient model of personality types which divides people into four groups: melancholic, sanguine, phlegmatic, and choleric. The purpose of the exercise is to categorize people in such a way that you know how to best communicate with them.

  • Melancholics are more introverted and introspective.
  • Sanguines tend to be more outgoing and adventurous.
  • Phlegmatics tend to be more mild-mannered and even-keeled.
  • Cholerics tend to be more analytical and logical.

These four temperaments provide a handy way to organize people into different audiences to which we can communicate. But however you choose to understand your people, know that they are all different. Different personality types require different communication styles. Are you tailoring your communicating toward the kind of people your employees are?

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