A good leader in the workplace sets a strong example through his or her actions but knowing how to motivate your team is a crucial skill that they probably didn’t teach you in school. Every coworker or employee at your workplace requires their own leadership style and knowing how and when to press those buttons can empower your team and produce incredible results for your organization. It doesn’t have to be complicated; if you consider the personality types of the people you work with, you will understand how to connect with them, and get their best performance!
Obviously, no person can be described with one word or title, but throughout history, thinkers have attempted to distinguish between the main styles of human temperament. Today there are many tests and breakdowns that explain different personalities, but for the sake of this article, we’ll use the original categories Greek psychologists came up with over 2,000 years ago. Here are the 4 basic personality types along with some simple strategies for motivating them.
Sanguine personality types are energetic, social, and adventurous. You can motivate them by putting them in a team environment, asking them to tackle new challenges or projects, and providing them with the opportunity to present in front of their coworkers or clients. These folks love the chance to be in the spotlight and will be invigorated by trying new things.
Phlegmatic personality types are compassionate, calm, and loyal. They are very risk-averse and avoid conflict at all costs, so you can empower them by encouraging them that it’s ok to make mistakes and speak their mind. Just because your phlegmatic coworker isn’t the life of the party doesn’t mean they aren’t contributing, they are great listeners and caretakers and have a talent for connecting people.
Choleric personality types tend to be intense, competitive, and independent. Let them know what the mission is and they will pursue it with passion; they have a knack for practical problem solving and attacking big challenges head-on. Choleric people are often better leaders than they are teammates, their single-minded focus on their goal may lead them to be blunt and bossy, but you need a few of them around when you really need to get something done.
Melancholic personality types value routine, community, and precision. They enjoy the predictability of repetitive tasks and projects and will make sure that every single detail is perfect. Melancholic people also tend to be great managers because they are honest, respectful, organized, and won’t let anything or anyone slip through the cracks.