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The 4 Personalities You’ll Work With in Business—And How to Deal With Each One

4 min read

People are an excellent source of wisdom, intelligence, creative ideas and solutions to problems. While working with someone who sees or does things differently than you do can be ultra-inspiring, it can also present problems from time to time. Dr. Ivan Misner, author, columnist and the “Father of Modern Networking” according to CNN, says that there are four distinct personalities you’ll encounter in business; he also gave us some advice that’s sure to make spotting and working with each one a bit easier, whether they’re an employee, boss, colleague or client.

Personality Type #1: The Promoter

Positivity is a wonderful thing, but folks who are over the top can be hard to take when they avoid confrontation or go out of their way to be front and center at events. “A promoter is likely to schmooze with clients, rather than rolling up their sleeves at the office,” Dr. Misner elaborates. “Despite their happy-go-lucky nature, they’re big ‘idea people,’ meaning they’re dreamers who excel at getting other people to buy into their vision.” You’ll know you’re working with a promoter when you spot these signs and see them making important decisions based purely on intuition, rather than carefully examining the data or facts.

How to deal: “When working with promoters, stay upbeat and playful,” Dr. Misner offers. “Strike a balance between listening to their stories and gathering the information you need. To speak their language effectively, demonstrate exactly how your approach or take can improve their image or bring them more recognition. And, always agree to specifics in writing!”

Personality Type #2: The Go-Getter

Chances are that you’ve met or worked with a super driven person in your life. Dr. Misner describes a go-getter as someone who is “results-driven, fast-paced and impatient.” While collaborating with a person who goes the distance to get stuff done can be an awesome experience, Dr. Misner cautions that go-getters tend to take expedience a tad too far and aren’t afraid to bend the rules when it comes to excelling.

How to deal: Dr. Misner suggests that upping your own efficiency to manage a go-getter can be an effective solution. “Cover high points quickly, refuse to follow a script and keep relevant information simple,” he suggests. “If you’re problem solving for them or with them, stick with limited options and outline the pros and cons for each.” The most important aspect? Fully deliver on everything you promise—it’ll save you major stress while helping you build trust and credibility.

Personality Type #3: The Examiner

Have you ever suffered at the hands of a micromanaging boss or client? If you’re nodding yes, you’ve likely encountered an examiner. Dr. Misner clarifies, “These people tend to be thorough, efficient and task-driven; they love to check things off their to-do list.” Even more, because examiners love to be fully informed, they tend to make decisions slowly and as a perfectionist. The silver lining to working with an examiner, according to Dr. Misner, however, is that this type of personality is usually a good conversationalist who is in charge of their emotions. “You might find that their wit gives them a great sense of humor,” he offers.

How to deal: “When working with examiners, avoid small talk. Always ask relevant and fact-oriented questions,” Dr. Misner says. “Back up your ideas with data, especially when trying to win their business. Show what you do better than your competition with facts.”

Personality Type #4: The Nurturer

You might count your blessings while working with a nurturer, as Dr. Misner says this personality type is patient, kind, caring and helpful. “Nurturers are great listeners and enjoy things at a slower pace; they are excellent team players who appreciate quality time with people they do business with.” There is, however, a tricky aspect to this kind of collaboration: Nurturers are often very risk-averse.

How to deal: In this case, slow and steady will truly win the race. “When working with nurturers, behave honestly, sincerely and attentively,” Dr. Misner suggests. “Allow time for them to open up to you.” To win their respect and trust, try to simplify their work and allow them an appropriate amount of time to be thoughtful and feel certain. “Most importantly, stay in touch regularly and never rush them,” he advises.

Need more tips for running your business? Check out our full series, the Business of Wellness.

About The Author

Krista Gray

Krista Gray

Krista Gray is a web producer and freelance writer who lives in San Francisco. When she's not working with clients through her company GoldSquare, she loves reading, traveling and learning new things.

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