In this final article of the four part series we look at how to manage people with an amiable personality. In the first three parts we looked at employees whose dominant characteristics were those of analytical, expressive or driver personality. Each of these simple personality categories are based upon those identified in the book, People Styles At Work by Robert and Dorothy Bolton.
Recognising An Amiable Personality
The employees who demonstrate this style are very friendly with a clear focus towards people. Typically they can be shy when you first meet them and once you get to know them they are very easy to get on with. Very conscientious in their work they will become very loyal if they are treated well. Disliking conflict of any kind they tend to avoid confrontation preferring to work through difficult situations by developing relationships with others.
Amiable people tend to nod in approval and smile freely. In team meetings they usually sit at the front of the group and closest to the person taking the meeting. They are very supportive and want you to be comfortable. They also tend to be the peace maker in the team helping to calm down arguments.
One of the key strengths of an amiable personality is that they help to create a harmonious atmosphere in the team, smoothing over potential conflict situations. They tend to be quite steady in their approach to the work and they are often the ‘backbone’ of the team.
On the weakness side they might let people walk all over them because they are patient and easy going. They can also take time to make a decision particularly if there is a possibility of conflict.
Response Under Stress
Generally under pressure amiable people will submit or accommodate other people and their ideas. They are usually passive until it gets to a point where they can’t take it any more. When it gets to this situation be wary as they can get aggressive without warning which often comes as a complete surprise to other people in the team.
Managing Someone With An Amiable Personality
When communicating with someone of this disposition it is usually best to be sensitive to their feelings and show interest in their personal situation. Be friendly and agreeable in your management approach and avoid confrontation were possible. Always stress the benefits when asking them to do something and do not push for quick decisions as they prefer to think about things first.
When recruiting new people into the team and you want them to feel comfortable give the responsibility for a proper induction to an amiable personality. They will make sure it is done well and will focus on the person’s needs. It will take longer but at least you will know that it has been done as it should be.
If you have read about each of the four personality types as described by Bolton & Bolton you will appreciate the flexibility of behaviour you will need to exhibit as a manager. Treating people how they want to be treated will help to motivate and get the best out of them.
If you would like to learn more about managing and motivating people in your organisation, please contact MTD and we will find a way to help you. This may be attendance on one of our open courses; one to one help from one of our experienced coaches or an in-house programme for you and other management colleagues.
Head of Training