Different people will react and respond in different ways. To understand how to communicate effectively with someone, it is useful to be aware of their personality type.
Personality types or styles have been around for a long time, in fact about 2,500 years. The Greek physician, Hippocrates, first described them as the four temperaments associated with the four fluids (or humours) of the body.
At any given time, someone can be any of the four personalities but people typically feel most naturally drawn to one. Often a person will display a major and a minor type. No one personality type is better than the others – each type is unique and different and you should use different approaches to communicate to each of them.
Click on each of the sections below to understand the four Merrill-Reid personality types
They are driven to succeed – the fact-based extrovert. These employees believe results and winning are everything. They are risk-takers and good problem-solvers. Their desk may be crowded, but it’s ordered into piles.
Drivers prefer learning on their own, and since they are action-oriented, they are often bored in meetings and impatient with others. They can seem rude or pushy because they talk fast, present their opinions as “how things are,” and may be demanding.
Be straight-forward with them – they speak directly and expect you to do the same.
Analytical types are organised, systematic and deliberate. They love facts and figures. Sometimes seen as overly-cautious, their desk may be empty except for their current work, and they probably clear it every day before going home. Analyticals relate well to deadlines and prefer working on their own. They may seem cold or distant, but they’re simply focusing on their task.
Skip the chit-chat with them and get straight to the point. Give them detailed information, not generalities or opinions.
High-energy, enthusiastic and impulsive, expressive types are ‘big picture’ thinkers who are good at brain-storming. They are visionaries! They tend to talk a lot, often using dramatic language and exaggerations. Their desk is a mess, not only with work. They are natural ‘people’ persons and enjoy working with others and socialising. They can be very influential.
Expressives are good at starting things, but you will probably have to prod them to complete projects. Invite them for a project catch up over coffee and they’ll respond.
Amiable types aim to please and are generally soft-spoken, calm, laid-back and non-threatening. They can be very loyal employees and will go out of their way not to upset or offend others. Their work space is highly personalised, with family photos, knickknacks, plants etc. but they know exactly where things are on their desk.
They like working in groups but can be hesitant to offer opinions, preferring to listen and absorb before speaking. On the other hand, when they do make decisions, they make them quickly!
Play to their person-centred side by noticing the personal items around them and engaging in friendly small talk.