The four personality types

by Jo Ellis on Mar 3, 2023

four personality types

A study published in Nature Human Behaviour indicates four personality types — average, reserved, role-model and self-centred. 

Understanding the different personality types can be a great asset in life, both professionally, personally and if you sit on a board of directors.

Recognising how people think and act differently can help managers and business leaders build stronger relationships with colleagues at work, friends, or family members.

In this guide, we’ll discuss the four personality types and explore some tips on best interacting with each.

We’ll also look at some strategies for managing teams of multiple personalities so that everyone works together effectively towards common goals.

The four personality types include:


The most common type are people with high neuroticism and extraversion, while lower in openness.


People of this type are not open or neurotic but emotionally stable. They tend to be introverted, agreeable and conscientious.


These people are natural leaders with low levels of neuroticism and high levels of agreeableness, extraversion, openness and conscientiousness. They listen to new ideas and are reliable.


While these people score high in extraversion, they rank below average in openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness.

By understanding the unique traits associated with each type and learning how to navigate their differences in communication style and conflict resolution preferences, leaders can build strong connections with all kinds of people more successfully.

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What are the four personality types?

Personality is essential in understanding and defining who a person is. It provides a framework to know what you think, feel, and interact with others.

As outlined above, the four main personality types can also be described as introvert, extrovert, thinker, and feeler.

A basic understanding of these different personalities can help directors connect with others more efficiently and provide insight into their behaviours and motivations.

For example, introverts might find it easier to get through tasks alone, while extroverts are more comfortable working on a team.

Someone more of a thinker will be able to draw logical conclusions based on facts, while a feeler will consider emotions before making a decision.

Everyone has qualities from all personality types, but we tend to lean heavily towards one or two specifically.

How to work with an introvert

Working with an introvert may require a different approach than working with someone more open and outgoing.

Start by building an environment that allows them to feel comfortable expressing their ideas, opinions, and feelings.

Give them the time to think things through before talking or responding.

Validate their thoughts and feelings by listening actively and providing feedback when appropriate.

How to work with an extrovert

Extroverts tend to be more open and vocal in their interactions, so they may need less time than introverts before providing feedback or contributing to conversations.

Directors should encourage them to share their ideas and opinions openly, even if they don’t agree with everything they say.

Provide constructive and well-intended feedback, so they feel supported and motivated to keep contributing to the team.

How to work with a thinker

Working with thinkers can be challenging since they tend to approach tasks from an analytical and logical point of view.

When working with them, it’s essential to provide clear expectations and deadlines that are realistic yet challenging.

Additionally, be patient when providing feedback or instruction, as thinkers may need extra time to process what has been said before jumping into action.

Encourage them to ask questions and provide feedback throughout the process so they can feel more in control of their work.

How to work with a ‘feeler’

Feelers are often more emotionally driven and may be sensitive to criticism or negative feedback. To get the best out of them, directors should provide positive reinforcement whenever possible, such as praising their accomplishments and recognising their hard work. Additionally, give them the time and space to express their feelings on issues without judgement or criticism.

Ensure feedback is framed positively, and don’t be afraid to ask for their advice or perspectives.

Tips for communicating with different personality types

No matter the individual, communication is critical when working with different personality types. Here are some tips that can help directors communicate effectively with a broad range of people:

  • Listen actively, and feel free to ask questions if something needs clarification.
  • Be patient and respect their need for time to think or process information.
  • Provide feedback that is constructive and considerate.
  • Try to frame feedback in a positive light.
  • Create an environment of open communication where everyone can feel comfortable voicing their opinions or ideas.
  • Respect the individual’s need for privacy if they are more introverted or shy.
  • Appreciate the individual’s strengths and be positive and encouraging.
  • Be mindful of their emotions and provide support if needed.

Dealing with conflict in a healthy way

The following strategies can help directors handle difficult conversations with different personality types respectfully and effectively:

Understand triggers

It’s essential to know triggers when entering a difficult conversation or conflict. Directors should identify what makes the other person uncomfortable and how they might react to better manage the situation.

Don’t take things personally

Remember that the other person may not be trying to attack but rather express their feelings or opinion. Try to remain objective and don’t take things personally.

Listen actively

It’s essential to actively listen to what the other person is saying, even if there is disagreement. Managers should ask open-ended questions to ensure they better understand their perspective.

Respectfully disagree

If a person disagrees with someone else, it is advisable to express their opinion respectfully. They should not hesitate to state their opinion but refrain from making it personal or attacking the other person.

Find common ground

Find areas of common ground and focus on finding a solution that works for both parties. It might be helpful to brainstorm together or come up with creative solutions.

Forgive and move on

No matter the conversation’s outcome, forgiving and moving on are essential. This will help directors build a healthier relationship with the other person, even if they don’t always agree.

Learn effective leadership techniques

Every successful business or organisation needs respected and influential leaders. However, staying current on the constantly changing expectations of good leadership can be challenging, so it pays to invest in your growth with a course like the Diploma in Corporate Governance.

This comprehensive program will equip you with the foundational knowledge and strategies to become a more effective leader, helping your team reach their peak performance. With quality training and experience, you can maximise everyone’s potential and grow a business that delivers meaningful results.

Learn more about the Diploma in Corporate Governance today. Download the course brochure below.

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