Management by Personality for Healthy Workplace


Shelton (1), states that according to the results of a study carried out by the Institute of Conflict Management in Los Angels, strained relationships between employees cause over 65% performance problems in organizations. As a result, in the last ten years, managers have had to double the time dedicated to dealing with personality clashes in the workplace (Shelton 18). Personality clashes among employees in an organization normally distract people from work, demoralize employees, and jeopardize teamwork thus lowering the general output of the organization (Shelton 1). Personality clashes may also become so extreme as to cause confrontations and serious conflicts in the organization. Generally, personality clashes within the workplace are likely to affect the social atmosphere hence distracting the normal job routine.

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In combating such personality clashes within an organization, managers have to apply management by personality. According to Shelton (18), managers have to deal with their personality clashes to correct their behavior. This enables the manager to better collaboration and cooperation among employees. The manager has to deal with all types of personalities that exist within the organization by appropriately applying management by personality.

The Behavioral Management Theory

This theory views employees as individuals, assets, and resources who should be developed and worked with (CliffsNotes 3). The theory argues that it is important to understand human behavior in a workplace and factors that influence conflicts, motivation, group dynamics, expectations, and improved productivity in an organization (CliffsNotes 2). According to Elton Mayo, human relations as well as the social needs of the workers are very important aspects of business management (CliffsNotes 7). This theory supports the use of management by personality to help benefit an organization’s output.

Effectiveness of Management by Personality

Management by personality enables the manager/supervisor to understand their employee’s personality differences better and therefore learn how best to communicate with them to avoid clashes. According to Shelton (3), the manager has to understand the level of assertiveness in each employee by observing their extremes. This enables managers to understand the point at which the behavior of each employee reaches a threshold. Understanding each employee’s behavior enables the manager to devise approaches of countering reactions from each personality to situations in a manner that is likely to limit conflict in the workplace. This would enable managers to improve the bond between them and the employees by avoiding cases of misunderstanding. Understanding employees gives them self-esteem and also motivates them at the workplace.

Understanding each personality in the workplace enables the managers to understand the personal goals and the driving behavior of each employee in the organization and therefore help them align them to those of the organization and model them in accordance to the existing circumstance. Each personality has different goals. The aggressive personality normally works very hard to be recognized and get a reward. The manager is therefore able to help the personality to find the fastest means to achieve that in a way that would benefit both the person and the organization. The amiable personality would always want to adjust to the workplace by being neutral in most cases and accepting each request made to him or her and therefore over commits him/herself.

The manager is therefore able to make the person understand what they are committed to in the organization and how to manage and prioritize their duties and responsibilities (Shelton 15). The main goal of the analytical personality is to achieve perfection in whatever they are doing by looking at the inner details of the project/job. Understanding this personality enables the manager to help them understand the bigger picture involved in the job and the need to be fast to get on board with the rest of the team and thus avoid undermining the other’s morale. Finally, when the manager understands that the expressive personality is an attention seeker and that is the driving behavior in the manner in which the personality carries out the duties and responsibilities accorded to him or her, then the manager can press the personality to accomplish the job. Helping employees align their goals to those of the organization enables employees to better understand what is expected of them and how best to achieve them.

Management by personality also enables the manager to understand the positive personal attributes and talents which different employees come with to the organization and how best to exploit them to benefit the company. The aggressive personality is hard-working, hard-working, and can complete a bigger volume of the job within a shorter time. They understand the need for time management and need to complete the job on time. Thus the manager can recognize them and give them more responsibilities. The amiable personality is normally neutral to situations and would try to minimize any cause of conflict as much as possible. They are diplomatic, supportive, and people-oriented (Shelton 15). These people can help mediate problems between employees. On the other hand, the analytical personality can analyze the situations and the probable outcome of situations or jobs. If the manager understands the intent of such employees, then he or she can understand the risks involved in the job and take preventive measures. Understanding the positive attributes of an individual employee’s personality enable managers to make appropriate decisions that help the organization obtain the desired results. They assign employees responsibilities and tasks which they can perform best.

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Understanding the weaknesses in each personality enables the manager to know how best to solve conflicts or complaints that arise as a result of personality clashes. It enables the manager to understand the intent of their behaviors. This enables the manager to help the different personalities find alternative solutions to their behaviors and help the other employees understand and tolerate one another. It enables managers to alleviate negative emotions towards each other or amongst themselves and help them be tolerant of each other’s opinions. This generally improves interactions among employees and greatly contributes to job satisfaction in employees.

Applying management by personality helps the manager understand how each person’s personality is likely to affect the group performance and how best to model each person’s personality to adapt and achieve the group’s set goal. Understanding group dynamics is very important in aligning each individual’s goal and personality into the overall group’s goal and productivity. It also enables managers to understand an individual employee’s compatibility with the task to be performed as well as each employee’s compatibility with other personalities within the group (Osadume 1). The manager is therefore able to reassign other tasks to employees who are not compatible with the task or group or help them adjust. As such, the manager can influence the group’s effectiveness.


Applying management by personality creates a peaceful environment within a workplace that facilitates optimum productivity. The manager/supervisor, therefore, needs to ensure that he or she employs strategies that limit personality clashes among the employees. Management by personality requires that the manager listens and understands all employees working under him or her. The manager has to understand each person’s personality and behaviors which he or she comes with to the organization as well as the factors which have shaped his or her personality. Management by personality ensures that managers apply a win-win principle such that both opponents are satisfied with the outcome of the conflict resolution.

Works Cited

Cliffs Behavioral Management Theory. 2010. Web.

Osadume, Chuks. Personality Management., 2010. Web.

Shelton, Amiee. Increasing employee collaboration and reducing workplace conflict: a Managerial approach. Texas: Texas State University. 2003 print.

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