The Four Personality Types in Your Meetings

By Cameron Herold
Everyone has his or her own unique personality, and it has an effect on the workplace. Understanding how these personalities interact in meetings can make the difference between productivity and stagnation. Cameron Herold, founder of COO Alliance and author of Meetings Suck: Turning One of the Most Loathed Elements of Business into One of the Most Valuable, is here to help in today’s Advisor.

During any meeting, you will encounter four types of personality traits: Dominant, Expressive, Analytical, and Amiable. Everyone, including you, has a primary and secondary trait. Understanding the different personalities and your own will help you to better manage and engage with everyone during a meeting.

1. Dominant Personalities

These individuals are extroverts, assertive, verbose, forceful, strong, type-A, and driven personalities. They will say what they mean, argue for it, and act forcefully. They believe so strongly in their opinions that they will push for them. Often, these people will argue for the sake of being right rather than for having the better solution.

2. Expressive Personalities

These individuals are also extroverts, plus they are animated, talk with their hands, and think out loud. They tend to get excitable and emotional, and they eagerly jump in to speak.

3. Analytical Personalities

Analytical people will literally think through their answers before speaking and tend to be introverts. Typically, they think through their answers for so long that Dominant and Expressive people feel they’re too slow or not really thinking. This doesn’t mean that Analytical people don’t have the right answers; it means they have a different thinking process.
Often, the Dominant and Expressive personalities in a group appear to wing their remarks or shoot from the hip. However, it’s not really shooting from the hip, but instead, it is thinking out loud. These types need to say seven things out loud before arriving at their final answer. The Analyticals, by comparison, do their thinking in their heads. When they speak up, they’ve already gone through the seven possible answers internally, so the answer they share is their final one.

4. Amiable Personalities

These individuals avoid conflict and tend to get along in a passive manner. Amiables will say things like, “Well, whatever,” or “Whatever you’d like,” or “That’s fine,” or “I’m okay too.” Truthfully, they mean it most of the time.
However, when they walk away, they often feel as if no one really cared how they feel. Or they will leave a meeting thinking they didn’t add value or didn’t have anything to say, or no one asked them anything, so they should have stayed at their desks. Sometimes these personalities can be passive-aggressive, but more often they are passive.
Of the four types, Amiables have the hardest time getting their ideas heard and embraced. And there’s some truth to their feelings and the thoughts they commonly have when they leave a meeting. But, wouldn’t it be great if we did hear them and even once in a while took their ideas into account? Because if we don’t care about their ideas or want to listen to what they say, or if they’re not going to speak, then why are they coming to the meeting?
Generally speaking, Analyticals and Amiables often work in fields such as IT, finance, or communications. Dominants and Expressives tend to work in sales, marketing, and public relations.
In tomorrow’s Advisor, Herold discusses how to get all these personalities working together in harmony during meetings.