This blog post is part of our Truity at Work series for those who are new to people management. In these posts, we’re creating useful content for managers and teams alike, helping you to understand personality, improve communication, and navigate conflict and change with ease. For an overview of the series, start with our introductory post here.
It can be hard to know how others see us and it's not always easy to ask for feedback, especially from our staff! But every person, and every personality type, has their strengths and weaknesses. And it can be helpful to know how yours affects the people around you, and how you might need to account for that in order to manage effectively.
To discover your management style, take the first and last letters of your Typefinder for the Workplace four-letter code (ENTJ, ISFP), then read on to find out how your personality might affect how others see you, and how you can use those insights to up your management game.
EJ - The Influencing Manager
Extraverted Judgers enjoy being in charge. The most overachieving of all types, they will have a clear agenda and the stamina to keep going until it's achieved. Influencing managers are likely to blame someone or something else when things go wrong, rather than seeing how they might have contributed to the situation.
When they speak, their statements sound like someone speaking with expertise and certainty. To others, EJ’s appear self-confident, capable and assured, even when they are not.
Given the appearance of certainty, team members are less likely to question their manager and won’t realize they are uncertain or need support. Staff can be intimidated by the EJ manager—but the EJ will also have many followers.
EJ’s can take it to the next level by:
- Encouraging people to question them
- Letting people know when they lack certainty or expertise
- Openly asking for their team’s support
- Considering their own role in a project that is going off track
IJ - The Grounded Manager
Introverted Judgers, while liking things ordered, take a different approach to managing their team. They give clear expectations to staff and establish a focus around the end game, which others will appreciate. Team members tend to welcome the IJ’s focus, reflection and how they organize the team in a way that reduces interruptions, such as scheduling recurring meetings and sending the agenda out in advance.
However, the strong and silent IJ can forget to share relevant information with the team about what they are working on. They might also take their time to think things through, and thus be slow to engage on key issues. These traits can make them appear disconnected, disinterested or even arrogant.
IJ’s can take it to the next level by:
- Making time for an open door policy when team members can interrupt without advance notice
- Making the effort to provide additional information about the project, even when it doesn’t seem relevant to share
EP - The Energizing Manager
The Extraverted Perceiving Manager wants everyone to have a good time and feel excited and engaged about their work. That doesn't mean it’s all social events and parties, but they want to know that their staff are enjoying the process of working.
Energizing managers will encourage their team to be creative and not feel locked into a set agenda, rules or outcome. Because they aren't as focused on a set outcome as other personality types, some staff can see the EP manager as flighty, indecisive or chaotic. They might even be a distraction to their staff, because EPs like to drop by people’s desks for a chat!
EP’s can take it to the next level by:
- Making sure that things do not change more quickly than team members can handle
- Slowing down and allowing time for reflection and consideration
- Establishing more concrete constraints and a clearer outcome, which many team members will need in order to enjoy their work.
IP - The Contemplative Manager
The Introverted Perceiving Manager is quiet and reflective. They don’t want to appear like a traditional hierarchical manager and will encourage people to work in a way that is right for them. They typically will not provide a lot of oversight or micromanaging, but they will expect work to align with the team’s purpose.
IP’s have a different way of looking at things than most people, and they can take a long time to share that with staff. They can appear mysterious or inconsistent to their team as much of their reasoning happens internally. Some staff will need more guidance and structure than an IP manager would normally provide.
IP’s can take it to the next level by:
- Sharing some of their reasoning for a particular position
- Providing greater clarity over the outcome
- Giving out team status updates while you are contemplating how to move forward, since many will struggle with waiting for you to make a decision
Managers come in all shapes and sizes, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. It can be very helpful to ask your team to share with you how they find your management style, including what they appreciate about it and what they struggle with. Each answer they provide will be shaped around the needs of their own personality type, so their answers can help you tailor your management style to each person while also addressing any common issues that come up.
Want to learn more? The Truity at Work Platform has assessments tailored to the workplace – with in-depth analyses and reports that focus on core personality strengths and workplace skills for every member of your team. If you would like to go beyond the assessments, Truity also offers a custom training session to help you better understand your team’s test results and walk you and your team through their strengths in a live, facilitated Zoom-based workshop. Click to book a virtual workshop or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.