Management October 14, 2013 Last updated September 18th, 2018 2,386 Reads share

Matching Management Teaching Styles With 4 Different Personalities

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We are all aware of how personality clashes can disrupt the work environment, but there’s a more subtle — and sometimes more damaging — clash that you need to be aware of. When management teaching styles clash with personalities, productivity suffers, the employee suffers, and the company suffers.

Consider what happens if a manager suddenly approaches an employee at his desk and says, “Give me your ideas about this project.” Some people would respond with a “deer-caught-in-the-headlights” look.

  • For a person with an introverted personality, this approach is jarring; he needs time to think about the problem before responding.
  • Because the approach didn’t match the personality, the employee missed an opportunity to contribute, the company missed an opportunity to improve, and the boss now has an incorrect picture of the employee’s potential.

The Myers-Briggs personality indicator test identifies four of the most common personality types: Duty Fulfillers, Nurturers, Caregivers, and Guardians. To manage effectively, you should have an understanding of each of these personality types, as well as the best teaching style for each one.

# 1. Duty Fulfiller

The Duty Fulfiller (ISTJ) is a steady, productive contributor. He is a responsible organizer, driven to create and enforce order. He relies on past experience for guidance and is most comfortable in familiar surroundings. He wants a thorough understanding of the rules, will follow them to the letter, and typically seeks out predictable surroundings where he understands his role.

A Duty Fulfiller learns best when the instruction or learning situation is extremely detail-oriented and has a logical objective that can be achieved in a pragmatic manner. You should avoid interrupting his work. It is better to schedule a meeting, provide an agenda, and allow him time to process the agenda before the meeting takes place.

# 2. Nurturer

The Nurturer (ISFJ) is conventional, grounded, and enjoys contributing to the established structures of a business. He wants to work hard, get along with others, and meet expectations. He will frequently offer assistance to others in a modest, understated way. He is loyal, hardworking, and committed to tasks and projects that are helpful to his family, friends, and community.

A Nurturer learns better on his own. Though introverted, he is very in tune with the needs of others. If you let him know that learning a particular skill is important, he will learn the task in a focused, independent manner.

# 3. Caregiver

The Caregiver (ESFJ) is highly attuned to his emotional environment. He is attentive to the feelings of others and monitors how others perceive him. He acts according to a strict moral code and believes others should as well. A caregiver will view situations in black and white and is outspoken regarding other people’s behavior. He will easily and quickly take on an organizer role such as committee leader or event planner.

A Caregiver learns well when a friendly relationship with plenty of two-way communication is established with the teacher. In order to reach him, managers will need to spend time getting to know him. Then, when it is time to discuss work assignments, he will work harder out of a strong sense of loyalty to the manager.

# 4. Guardian

The Guardian (ESTJ) is a hardworking traditionalist, eager to take charge in organizing projects and people. He likes to get things done and tends to approach projects in a systematic, methodical way. He is conventional, factual, and grounded in reality. He will look to what has worked in the past to determine how current projects should be executed.

The guardian needs organized, straightforward instructions that can be processed in a practical, hands-on manner. Information must be logical and clearly connected to the objective at hand. Company leaders can successfully reach a guardian by utilizing structured milestone reviews.

No right or wrong teaching style

There is no right or wrong teaching style, just as there is no right or wrong personality type, but there are right and wrong pairings of the two. As a manager, it is your job to understand that everyone learns and works differently and to strive to interact with employees in a way that supports their individual personalities. This is the only way that both the employee and the company can reach their full potential.

Images:  ”He refuses to change the lightbulb until we change our management style/


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John Boudreau

John Boudreau

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