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The key to working with different personalities

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In the words of the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey says: “Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.” It can’t be more true in a work environment, where you might find yourself working with various types of HR colleagues found in every office. With different people needing to be dealt with in different ways, here’s the key to working with different personalities.

Truly understanding your employees

According to Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding, finding out if your employees are thinkers or feelers will make it much easier to manage them.

In a report by American Express’ Open Forum, he said: “Thinkers are more prone to making decisions based solely on logic, while feelers make their decisions based on relationships and value what is “good” over what is objectively best for the team.”

“If you’re not sure who fits which type, gauge how they react the next time someone disagrees with them, and you’ll have your answer,” he added. He further advises to adjust your managing style to their way of working. On that note, he recommends being more sensitive to feelers, while focus more on talking points when dealing with thinkers.

Separately, professional speaker Allison Mooney has categorised people into four personality types – the Playfuls, the Peacefuls, the Powerfuls, and the Precises – in her book Pressing The Right Buttons.

Sharing on what makes them tick at an Entrepreneurs’ Organisation event, she commented on how the Playfuls need attention, affection and approval; the Powerfuls need credit, loyalty and appreciation; the Precises need space, quiet and sensitivity; while the Peacefuls need respect, value and harmony.

From here, she reminds: “The importance of understanding and respecting each other’s differences is the key essence in what we need to create in developing high performing teams.”

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Wani Azahar
Senior Journalist
Human Resources Magazine Singapore
Wani Azahar is passionate about the art of conversation. She shares this with readers across the APAC region through engaging interviews, discussions of latest industry news and the occasional relevant Gifs – because she believes in ‘personnel’ touch.

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