4 Personality Types You Need to Know as a Manager

October 14, 2019

Learn these four personality types to be a better manager

If you can figure out what drives people—what really makes them tick—you’ll bring out their best. And more often than not, what motivates someone is based on core personality traits. 

“To be a great motivator of people you need to adapt to the different personalities that you're dealing with,” explains writer and speaker Chris Croft in his course Leadership: Practical Skills

Whether you’re a manager or just curious what category you fall into, when you understand these four personality types, you’ll be well equipped to help people reach their full potential.

Chris Croft explains the four types of people to help managers better motivate employees.

Understand These 4 Personality Types to be a Better Manager

#1 The Analytical 

The analytical employee likes systems. She is logical, cautious and sensible, most comfortable when she has everything organized and clear rules in place to know where she stands. As a thoughtful planner, she also seeks big picture context, like insight into the company’s vision for future growth.

Someone with the analytical personality needs a fair work environment and intellectual challenges to thrive. Use these strategies to help her feel fulfilled:

  • Set up one-on-one meetings to set clear boundaries and communicate expectations.

  • Assign her projects to research and own so that she can become an expert in a particular area.

  • Encourage her to set her own objectives.

#2 The Controller

If the controller had a mantra, it would be full steam ahead! This makes the controller difficult to manage, yet easy to motivate, says Croft.

Extremely driven, controllers want a job and they want to get on with getting it done. They are risk takers, able to solve problems on the fly. And they also tend to want to make a difference—to change the world in both big and small ways. 

To effectively manage the controller, you need to empower him with opportunities that will lead to the satisfaction of success. Identify a stretch project or challenging task that maps to both his skill set and his values. Communicate that you trust him with this important work, and off he’ll go!

#3 The Enthusiast

The enthusiast is the creative engine of your team. She’ll put her energy, excitement, and hard work towards whatever she’s passionate about. 

The trick to managing enthusiasts is to give them leeway to come up with and execute on their own creative approaches to projects. Let them loose with their own passionate energy, but have tools ready to keep them on track. It’s important to provide resources and support to help them with tasks that may not come easily, like budgeting and reporting. (Bring in your analytical team member for that!) 

To keep enthusiasts engaged, continually present an exciting vision of the future and ask for their take on how to get there. You can also loop them in to cross-team projects, like when you need a spark of inspiration for a stalled initiative. 

#4 The Amiable

An amiable employee is driven by a sense of belonging and will thrive in a team setting. He wants to feel like he’s taken care of and that people care. 

A good manager for amiable people is someone who is nurturing. Take the time to check in often, ask how he’s feeling, and actively listen. Communication is key: explain what you’re asking of him and why, which will make him feel like you’re invested in his well-being. 

As Croft explains, “If you’re the boss, your time is valuable and it's appreciated by the people who work for you, so to spend a bit of time with your employees makes them feel important.”

Understanding what motivates these different personality types will help you create an environment where everyone—including you!—can flourish.

Some other LinkedIn Learning courses you might be interested in are:

For more on managing different types of personalities, check out: