Managing Different Personalities – Part Two

In the first article in this four part series we looked at how to manage people with an analytical style personality. This is one of four simple personality categories based upon those discussed in People Styles At Work by Robert and Dorothy Bolton.

In this article we look at people who display the characteristics of an expressive personality.


Recognising An Expressive Personality

People who have a more expressive personality use broad facial expressions and often show their emotions – they ‘wear their heart on their sleeve’!

When meeting you for the first time, they usually actively introduce themselves and offer to shake hands. They laugh willingly and are genuinely interested in and considerate to other people. Sometimes they may appear ‘over the top’ and can speak or express themselves loudly. They generally nod in approval when you are talking. They enjoy talking and sometimes for too long! They may use big gestures when explaining something. They also like to be the centre of attention.

Response Under Stress

In stressful situations expressive people tend to talk louder and faster. However when in a confrontational situation, they may go quiet and just comply to keep people happy.

Managing Someone With An Expressive Personality

Generally the expressive personality likes to be liked and they are quite sensitive to what other people think. Remember they may say what you want to hear rather than what they think themselves. You will need to check to see whether this is the case by asking for their real opinion.

As enthusiastic people expressive personalities like you to be stimulating and enthusiastic too. They tend to be visually orientated so will appreciate visual references and diagrams, pictures etc. They also like to see something demonstrated when learning new things. They may not be interested in the finer details so offer concepts to start with. Often flexible and impulsive people they are usually may be ready to act immediately. They also like to be included and invited to events.

One of the main strengths of somebody with these traits is their positivity and enthusiasm. Involve them where possible in new projects as they particularly enjoy taking on new tasks. If possible give them the opportunity to be the centre of attention by letting them talk about something in a team meeting. They are very adept at expressing themselves and can be very persuasive in their arguments.

Looking at the personalities of people in your team can be very useful in understanding their behaviours and your own reactions to them. By appreciating them for what they are will reduce the level of conflict and give you better strategies for communicating and managing them more effectively. Look out for the next article on managing different personalities.

Many thanks

Mark Williams

Head of Training

(Image by D Dpavumba at

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Mark-WilliamsMark Williams

Mark Williams is a learning and development professional, using business psychology and multiple intelligences to create fascinating and quickly-identifiable learning initiatives in the real-world business setting. Mark’s role at MTD is to ensure that our training is leading edge, and works closely with our trainers to develop the best learning experiences for all people on learning programmes. Mark designs and delivers training programmes for businesses both small and large and strives to ensure that MTD’s clients are receiving the very best training, support and services that will really make a difference to their business.