Recognize These 4 Personalities for More Effective Employee Leadership

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Recognize These 4 Personalities for More Effective Employee Leadership

As the boss, you know very well how personalities can vary among those in your employ. And because individuals can differ so greatly, you also know that there’s no one way to deal with, motivate and assist employees. It’s important to be sensitive to and understand the differing personalities of those on your team so that you can meet each member’s personality with clarity and a winning strategy.

Let’s discuss four common personalities you’re likely to encounter in the workplace: Overachiever, Independent, Anxious and Even Keel, and ways to facilitate your leadership with each.

1. The Overachiever. This individual is highly motivated by a fear of disappointing and/or coming up short on the job. This fear is so overwhelming that she expects any and all interactions (or lack of interactions) to be something potentially negative. Her reaction is to become hyper-vigilant and obsessive about details; she is uncomfortable with unresolved issues. She never feels completely confident that her efforts are good enough and will attempt to compensate by going far above what is necessary. The thought of turning down a request, even if it swamps her, is unimaginable. This mindset makes the overachiever an inefficient employee, as she wastes a great deal of time obsessing about her perceived shortcomings.

How you can help: Overachievers need reassurance to do their best work. Not that you need to bend over backwards to provide constant feedback, but do bear in mind that communication is key to helping her manage expectations.

2. The Independent. This employee tends to value her own assessments and priorities above those of others. She tends, therefore, not to work well as part of a team, preferring to work on what she deems most important while dismissing that which others ask of her. This work style can easily alienate coworkers who are likely depending upon her to complete all her work - not just what she wants to do. It’s natural for the rest of the team to, in an effort to get the work completed, reel in some of her independence by managing her more closely - which will result in even more dismissal by this independent sort.

How you can help: Independents need a reality check to acclimate them to the fact that ideas and work that are not their own can be just as valid as those that are. Give her opportunities to work in small groups where her contributions will appear larger and more significant.

3.The Anxious. Paralyzing anxiety plagues this personality type. They see every project, every task as an opportunity to fail due to a lack of personal confidence. In essence, they’re overwhelmed and at a loss to find a way to overcome their anxiety. As a result, they seize up and tend to accomplish very little. To assuage the anxiety, she will waste time in pointless “busy work” or avoid any work at all; despite the fact that the uncompleted work will cause further anxiety. To top it off, she spends an inordinate amount of time devising excuses for why her work isn’t finished.

How you can help: Anxious employees need help in securing success in small bits. Assign her little tasks that are quickly and easily completed so she can build up her confidence and ability. Over time, she’ll learn to trust herself to take on bigger and more entailed projects.

4. The Even Keel. This person has their professional personality in good balance. Qualities like time management, teamwork and productivity are actively employed. She’s confident and not easily shaken, taking most workplace issues in stride. She avoids overwhelm by asking for help when necessary and saying, “No,” when her plate is full.

How you can help: Although it sounds like the Even Keel personality is performing well, that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing you can do to help. In the same way that a lacking personality type can be helped with some intervention, an Even Keel personality can suffer if taken for granted. As an employer, keep an eye out for all the personality types in your workplace. Address any issues - even with your Even Keels - in a timely manner so they don’t fall into negative mindsets or habits. Note that none of these personalities are necessarily permanent; they can manifest due to factors such as coworkers, circumstances or a particular situation.

Everyone’s personality is unique. As a boss, you can lead your team of diverse individuals better by understanding and addressing your employees’ traits on a one-by-one basis.

How do you effectively lead your team of individual personalities?


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