Dr. Bob Wright | May 5, 2016

What’s Your Work Personality
and Why Does it Matter?
Emotional Intelligence
in the Workplace

Everyone demonstrates their unique personality at work—and everyone is different. When we go to work, we’re faced with a combination of different traits in each and every employee and coworker.


 From CEO to manager to team member, everyone can benefit from understanding how the different personality types function at work. You’ll boost your social-emotional intelligence and you’ll understand how to better bring out the best in each other and in your team.

I’ve seen it work time and time again. Those with the highest social and emotional IQ learn how to work with different personality types to reassure them, bring out their strengths, and make sure their weaknesses work in their favor. They have a rocking career life, because they get it. Understanding work personalities helps you exhibit emotional intelligence in the workplace, allowing you to hit the big picture: increasing sales, creating harmony at the office, and keeping your clients happy.

For some it comes naturally, while others among us have to work a little to understand it and to heighten our sensitivity to the different personality types. By identifying what they are and playing off their various strengths, we can really create a strong team and keep things moving forward.

You might think there are certain people at work you just can’t get along with. There might be certain personality types that just rub you the wrong way. Maybe you can’t stand people who are data driven and “anal” (the Analyzer types), or maybe the constantly bubbly cheerleader types really grate on your nerves (Energizers). Maybe you try to accommodate everyone and help them to get along because you’re a Cooperator. Maybe you prefer to be in control and work within set parameters like a Regulator.

In the late 80s, we devised a scale to help you ramp up your emotional intelligence in the workplace by better understanding each personality type and where YOU fall on the spectrum. There are four personality types and most people fall into a combination of types.

Visit our website www.wrightliving.com to find out how you can take our personality assessment in Chicago to determine your workplace personality.

The 4 Personality Types, Explained

The four personality types are as follows:

  1. Cooperators: Prefer everyone gets along; low-risk takers.
  2. Analyzers: Hate making mistakes; would rather do something right than fast.
  3. Regulators: Prefer to dominate and lead; align with Analyzers over accuracy.
  4. Energizers: Lead, but without follow-through; may share vision with Regulators but prefer Cooperators.

We call this the C.A.R.E. profile. There are certain personality types that mesh well with each other and certain types who tend to butt heads. Regulators often find Cooperators to be too “Suzy Sunshine” and easy-going. Analyzers tend to get frustrated with Energizers because they aren’t concerned enough with accuracy. Energizers aren’t afraid to take risks but sometimes they have big ideas without the follow-through. Cooperators are low-risk and prefer an environment of cohesiveness and teamwork.

If you’re a visionary personality who really likes sales and rallies people around you, you might be an Energizer. To a Regulator, this energy can seem a little high-risk and out there. An Analyzer might find you frightening because you can’t always see the forest for the trees.

You can see how these different personality types might clash or mesh. The key to getting everyone to work together is to acknowledge each person’s areas of strength and each person’s fears about risk. Look at the ways you affect those around you and learn to embrace and play up your own strengths as well.

As I said before, most people fall somewhere on the spectrum within a combination of two or three personality types. If you’re a Regulator/Analyzer, you might draw on your big-picture visionary thinking to click with an Energizer and you might bond with a Cooperator when it comes to choosing lower-risk areas that are more beneficial for the team.

You can see how the different personality types translate when it comes to working with a customer or client. If you have high emotional intelligence in the workplace, you can shift from being excited to see an Energizer, to being detail-oriented when you’re dealing with an Analyzer. A Cooperator might appreciate a personal connection, where a Regulator might be more concerned about making sure everything is working correctly and according to plan.

How to Create High Functioning Teams

To get your team to gain a better understanding of each other, study each personality type and get everyone familiar with each of their strengths. Ensure your team members take the personality quiz or read through all of the personality profiles together. There’s no personality type that’s “bad” or incongruent with success. When each of your employees gains a better understanding of where they fit on the team and everyone’s strengths, they can use that understanding as a platform to frame their interactions.

If there’s someone you just can’t seem to win over, examine his or her personality type. When you’ve got someone who always points out the negative, they might be an Analyzer/Regulator who’s actually trying to protect you by watching your back. If you’ve got someone who does excellent work but often misses deadlines, they might be an Analyzer who’s so concerned with accuracy that it slows them down. Once you understand where each person is coming from, it can be easier to adjust expectations and goals.

Personality types can have a big influence on the way we interact with each other at the office and in our day-to-day lives. We can get hurt when we’re dealing with personalities incongruent to our own, but acknowledging those differences and working through them is key to finding harmony within our working life.

Our work should bring us joy! We should strive to have a “pay for play” workspace where we can have fun, learn and grow and share the things that excite us and ignite us.

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To continue the conversation on engaging with others and to discover ways to bring out your best self, click here to learn more about our next Foundations Weekend Training. You’ll learn skills to become more alive, more connected, and fully engaged in your life and your career.
Want to boost your career? If you’d like to learn more about what the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential has to offer check out:

Want to improve your sales? The Wright Sales Program is a hands-on, experiential program that provides sales professionals with an opportunity to boost their sales performance through the application of social and emotional intelligence to their selling techniques. [Learn more!]


About the Author

Bob-300x250-1

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


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Featured image “Link Humans business team meeting” courtesy of Flickr user Link Humans licensed under CC by 2.0. The original image was modified for this use.

Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

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