Being a leader in the workplace and managing a group of people from different backgrounds, education, skills and social status is pretty much like raising children with different personalities, likes and attitudes. You want to help them grow and thrive individually, but also work together as a productive team.

This can be a challenge for the modern leader. However, if well executed, handling such a challenge can showcase superior management and leadership skills. A team that works well together is more effective in achieving results, helping your organisation gain a competitive edge in the market, while also making you a more fulfilled leader. 

The more that leaders and managers can help team members develop solid relationships with each other, the more independent they will become, and ultimately function without you having to micromanage them. What’s in it for you is that you will have more time as a consequence of their autonomy; they will be able to solve problems on their own and as a team you will be more productive.

So what’s the magic formula? You must know your team. Know their personality traits, skills and how they can contribute to the team in a way that is congruent with who they are and in alignment with the values of your organisation.

There are four core behavioural personality types described in The Platinum Rule (Warner Books) that you need to be aware of as a leader in order to be able to build strong rapport and meet your team’s needs.

A team that works well together is more effective in achieving results, helping your organisation gain a competitive edge.

The Four Core Behavioural Personality Types

  1. Directors

    They like to take charge and be in control. They are very results-oriented and have an inner drive towards the end goal.

    How to relate to Directors? Directors are very time-sensitive, so never waste their time. Be organised and be ready to work quickly. Get to the point and give them bottom-line information and options, with probabilities of success, if possible. Give them written details to read at their leisure. Directors are goal-oriented, so appeal to their sense of accomplishment. When in groups, allow them to have their say, because they like to be heard and their ideas recognised.

  2. Relaters

    Relaters love people and are easy-going. They can resist change and are used to routines. Take things slowly; they are relationship-oriented, but slow-paced.

    How to treat Relaters? Focus on the performance, not personality. Go out of your way to explain that there is nothing wrong with being who they are. They want warm and fuzzy relationships. They need to know that they can trust you before they let you in. Support their feelings and show interest in every area of their lives.

  3. Thinkers

    Thinkers love to solve problems and are also results-oriented. You can easily spot Thinkers by their slow pace and attention to details. They speak relatively slowly and deliberately, pausing, if necessary, just so they can find the right words. Thinkers find joy from speaking accurately.

  4. How to relate to Thinkers? They are time-disciplined, so be sensitive to their requirements. They need details, so provide them with plenty of information. They are task-oriented, so don’t expect to become their friend through doing business or working with them. With Thinkers, in general, be thorough, well-prepared, detail-oriented, businesslike, and patient.

  5. Socialisers

    Socialisers are fast-paced people who thrive on admiration, acknowledgment, and applause. They love to talk, and while strong on fresh concepts, they execute poorly.

    How to relate to Socialisers? Socialisers thrive on personal recognition, so support their ideas, goals, opinions, and dreams. Try not to argue with their larger-than-life visions; get excited about them. With Socialisers, in general, be interested in them.

The Platinum Rule is a powerful tool that will serve you well in business. It opens the door to a multitude of possibilities. When your team members know that you care for them and know them individually, they will go out of their way to get results. Imagine a team with fewer conflicts, more autonomy and better rapport. What else could you possibly ask for?