Managing Different Personalities in the Office

February 12th, 2014 • By Real Street Staffing

One of the hardest parts of being a manager is learning how to manage the different personality types and work styles of your employees.  This is especially true when you’re managing employees from the Baby Boomer, Gen X, and Millennial generations.  Some employees need constant direction and feedback while others hate being micromanaged.  As a manager, it’s your job to make sure everyone on the team is being both productive and efficient, even if that means you have to treat everyone a little differently in order to help them achieve their highest potential.  Here are a few tips to help you communicate with and motivate the different personalities in your office.

1. Identify personality types.
There are two main types of personalities in the workplace: thinkers and feelers.  Thinkers are prone to making decisions solely on logic, while feelers make decisions based on relationships and value what is “good” over what objectively makes the most sense for the team.  The quicker you can figure out whether a person is a thinker or feeler, the easier it will be to manage them.  One way to gauge this is by observing how they react to confrontation when someone disagrees with them.  When managing feelers, you’ll need to be more sensitive to their emotions.  When managing thinkers, focus more on your reasoning and provide logic for your reasoning.

2. Build relationships.
You may have already noticed by now that the millennial generation doesn’t like to be micromanaged. In order for them to be successful, you’ll have to adjust your managing style to their way of working.  To get through to this generation, you have to focus on building a relationship with them first.  Gen Y places high value on authenticity and transparency in the workplace.  If you can gain their trust by being honest with them, you’ll quickly find how loyal they become.

3. Set high expectations.
When you don’t set the bar high, employees get in a routine of doing the same work day after day and become bored.  This leads to them producing mediocre work because they know they can get away with it.  They’re highly aware that their manager doesn’t have high expectations, so they won’t go above and beyond to have above average feelings about their work.  Both Gen X and Gen Y employees are highly independent and creative, so it’s your job as a manager to push them and encourage creativity.  If you do so, you can use their skills to your advantage.

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