Managing Employees

Understanding Strong Personalities

Written by Chukwuma Asala for Gaebler Ventures

How do you effectively lead and manage strong personalities in your organization? In the course of being a manager or supervisor you will inevitably encounter a number of different personalities, some of which will be easy for you to manage and some which will be very difficult best on your leadership-style and personality-type.

Here are two quick tips on how to effectively lead a much stronger personality in your organization.

Treat them as an equal

Most Type-A or strong personalities tend to be very confident, driven, and ambitious people. This can be a challenge if you are not secure in your leadership. There is a common tendency in young leaders who are not used to being in a position where they have someone who is just as strong as they are to become threatened by their strength. Having a good self-image will help with this but care must be taken to not stifle one of the stronger members of your team. These people can also be classified as dominant. They are driven and motivated by things like control, influence, respect, etc. They are drivers and very ambitious so they may come across as very competitive but in reality they only compete with themselves. It is important you understand these things about this type of person because they are very loyal when they feel they have the respect of their superiors. They also need to feel that you are worth the respect they give you which will keep you on your toes, but remember they know they're just as good as you in what you're doing so treat them as an equal.

Affirm their leadership

This is usually the toughest thing to do for most people trying to lead strong personalities. Their demeanor is very confident and self-assuring that it may raise warning signs that perhaps they may be too overconfident. Do not be tempted however to start micro-managing them in an attempt to confirm their competence. This will disrupt whatever trust you have been building with them up till this point and it will be hard to rebuild from scratch. With these types of people less is more with regards to management. The less you meet with them to talk about what they're doing the more confidence they have in themselves and in turn the better the feel about you as a manager and will start to see you as a mentor. In the world of Type-A personalities anything that is done their way is the best way. Let them know you have the utmost confidence in their ability to do what they're supposed to do but if they ever needed your advice they could always get in touch with you. You will be amazed at how often they come to your for counsel because they know you believe in their leadership.

Chukwuma Asala is an international student from Nigeria who is studying to earn an MBA from the State University of New York in Albany. He has analyzed more than 20 industry case studies throughout his education thus far, and hopes to bring some of his business knowledge to

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