How to Work with Different Personality Types

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How many of these types of people work in your marketing department?

  • The individualistic art director who bases every decision on creative inspiration.
  • The anxious data maniager who’s moods rise and fall based on website metrics.
  • The didactic project manager who makes it her mission to get everything checked off her list no matter what.
  • The vanishing tech guru who does a disappearing act every time your company’s back-end systems go down.

It takes a village to run a successful marketing department today. You’re likely dealing with individualists and team players, thinkers and doers. It can be difficult to manage and work with all the different personality types that populate your marketing village. Here are five tips on how to do so effectively.

1. Get to know how different people respond to things

  • Are you interacting with a “thinker” or a “feeler”?
  • Is someone you’re talking with a “debater” or “decider”?
  • Are you managing a “creative” or “number cruncher”?

Knowing how someone thinks, feels and responds to things is key to connecting with them.

Using hard data to convince someone who cares more about feelings than facts won’t do much to move them toward your position. In the same way, presenting conclusions to someone who likes to debate will fall flat with them. A creative person won’t necessarily respond to data, but they’ll likely react well to stories.

Learning about the personality types of your co-workers or employees will allow you to adjust your management and communication style to better connect with and influence them. This will help you get the results you expect and reduce friction on your team.

2. Don’t objectify workers

Work is central to most people’s lives. It’s where they spend most of their time each week. And except for family issues, it’s what they put most of their personal energy into. Because of this, they feel a lot of emotion about the work they do. This is particularly true of creative and strategic marketing employees who instill so much of their personalities, talents and intellect into their jobs.

It’s important to treat employees as individuals — people with emotions and passions. Objectifying them as merely “workers” diminishes them, what they do and their feelings about their jobs. They’ll respond negatively if their individual contributions aren’t acknowledged.

Always make it a point to personally thank others for the contributions they make toward the success of your marketing team.

3. Build relationships.

Effective managers build sound relationships. Acknowledging what’s important to each person you work with will create a solid foundation with them. Asking about children, significant others, pets, hobbies and passions will go a long way toward personalizing work relationships. People enjoy interacting with those who take the time to really get to know them beyond the function they serve in the workplace.

4. Aim high even when you’re feeling low

Negativity is one of the biggest factors that can damage workplace relationships. Unfortunately, it’s the first emotion many people turn to when facing conflicts or challenges.

The best way to combat this is by staying positive when things go wrong. Consistently challenge your team to do things that are newer and better, especially when tried-and-true processes are failing. Reward people who achieve and exceed goals. Nothing breeds positive behavior and results than positivity and encouragement.

5. Understand what motivates individual people

People respond to things in different ways.

  • An employee who hates sports won’t consider hockey tickets a meaningful reward.
  • Giving a dieter a gift certificate to a pasta restaurant will create resentment rather than appreciation.
  • Offering more challenging assignments to someone who is overworked will lead to stress rather than job satisfaction.

The only way to get the results you want from workers is to find “motivators” they’ll respond to. Take time to learn what individual people care about. In some cases it could be “stuff” like gifts, money or raises. For others, it might be “perks” like freedom or flexible schedules. In a few cases, it could be enhanced responsibility, better assignments or the opportunity to network with a mentor.


Key take-away: Always be personable, but don’t take things personally. If you find resistance when working with marketing co-workers and employees, it probably has nothing — or very little — to do with you. It is more about who they are and how they see the world. Keep trying to find ways to connect with everyone on your marketing team in meaningful ways.

Are you looking to expand your marketing village? Carpenter Group can help. We have a deep bench of experienced financial and professional services marketing professionals who are all easy to work with and can help you with your branding, digital marketing, creative, collateral, social media, advertising and other marketing needs. Contact us today.