5 Personality Types in Business and How to Work with Each

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every day at work was streamlined and stress-free? Aside from the demands of projects and deadlines, there’s a veritable melting pot of personalities to manage as we negotiate daily dealings with clients and colleagues.

Entrepreneur magazine recently featured a thought-provoking article using the seminal work of Willhelm Reich to outline the different types of people in business. Reich, a colleague of Sigmund Freud, laid the foundation for five classic personality types, which to this day are well recognised in the field of psychology.

In the article, Michael Mamas, founder of The Center of Rational Spirituality, suggests that by knowing about and working with these five classic personality types, we can understand ourselves better and become more effective at working with others.

We’ve put together a brief version of Mamas’ theory. Can you see yourself, co-workers or clients in any of the personality types?


1.    Spirituality type.

Described by Mamas as being in “another world”, the classic Spirituality Type tends to be slim, somewhat emaciated and prone to looking dishevelled. Relating to people and being in the world can be frightening to them. Actor Jim Carrey is an example of the Spirituality Type.

Mamas says: “In business, to best deal with those who primarily demonstrate the Spirituality Type, it is important to not be aggressive or invasive. That would scare them. It’s best to be more soft-spoken and meet them where their mind is.

“Conversations do well to remain intellectual, conceptual, and non-aggressive. People who primarily demonstrate the Spirituality Type make great computer programmers, bookkeepers, or other occupations where they’re cloistered away at a desk with minimal client or customer contact.”


2.   Love type.

The Love Type is heartfelt, meaningful, and demonstrates loving connections with people. Physically there is a tendency for the chest to be a little collapsed and deflated, and the jaw to be a bit recessed; Woody Allen and Nicholas Cage are examples of this.

Mamas explains: “In a business environment, it’s important to be kind and understanding, but not get sucked into trying to fill these people’s emotional void with your attention and support. The Love Type tends to speak excessively and often in a sing-songy voice.

“It can be difficult to get them off the phone or keep them on track with the business at hand. The art lies in not alienating them by being rude, while sticking to the business at hand. The Love Type can be good at customer service or helping co-workers with personal issues, conflicts, or complaints—anything that requires connecting with others on an emotional level.”


3. Sensitivity type.

The Sensitivity Type have big, loving hearts and strive to please. They may volunteer to help you with your workload while struggling to keep up with theirs.

“You can ask a lot of the Sensitivity Type, but it’s important not to take advantage of that by asking too much”, says Mamas. “When they are pushed too hard, taken advantage of, or offended, they don’t tend to communicate that. Instead, they tend to hold in their feelings as resentment builds.

“Once their limit is reached, they can lose their temper. They are very sensitive and accommodating, and can be easily humiliated. The kindness in their heart makes them easy to connect with and work with on a daily basis, and they tend to be really nice people.”

4. Commitment type.

The control-loving Commitment Type find it hard to trust others. Avoid conflict with this type as even when you see they’re wrong, pointing it out is rarely fruitful. On the plus side, steadfast Commitment Types make great sales people and managers because they remain 110% committed to a cause. They’re happy to get people to conform to their opinion and are great at rallying the troops.

Mamas continues: “Because they’re afraid to be wrong, blindsided, or betrayed, they always have their attention on the big picture, which in the business environment can be a real asset.”


5. Perfection type.

Perfectly proportioned and detail focused Perfection Types are excellent at organising the office. Research, quality control and creating office systems and professional-looking documents is their forte. But behind the immaculate desk lies a sensitive soul prone to feelings of rejection if criticised.

“They can (also) be so obsessed with getting every detail right that it can be hard to get them to stop when enough is enough. As a manager, it’s best to give this type tasks to accomplish and deadlines to keep them on track.”

To read the full article visit www.entrepreneur.com

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