“Where there is personality, there is discord.” No wonder, meeting rooms are witnesses to ego clashes and conflicts. But, it doesn’t have to be so. Understanding different personality types and how they interact can have a significant impact on meeting productivity in both traditional meetings and remote team meetings. This article will help you discover all the personality types in the meeting room, including your own and use it to run a productive meeting.


The Four Personality Types

In his book “Meetings Suck” Cameron Harold outlines the personality types that you will encounter in a meeting room. There are 4 broad categories, the Dominant, the Expressive, the Analytical and the Amiable.

On August 6th, 2017, Herold tweeted about his book “”This book is for ALL employees to read - it will save every company 100X the cost of the books - Meetings Suck:” @CameronHerold

The Dominant Personality Type

These individuals are extroverts. They do not hesitate to express their opinion, sometimes even forcefully pushing it. They are self-assured, confident and Type-A personalities. They may not have the best solutions, but they are willing to argue and prove that they are right.

Interacting with Dominant Individuals During Meetings

Dominant individuals do not need encouragement to participate.However, they may hijack the conversation and cause the meeting to go off-track. They may be so focused on getting their point across that they fail to hear what others have to say. It is important to let the dominant individuals know that their opinions and viewpoints have been heard. As a meeting facilitator, invite input from those who haven’t spoken to ensure that dominant individuals do not control the conversation.

The Expressive Personality Type

The Expressive personality type is characterized by enthusiasm, spontaneity & extroversion. They are emotional, excited and are eager to contribute to conversations. They love to be in the spotlight and thrive on popularity and recognition. They tend to think out loud and verbally express numerous answers before arriving at the final one.

Getting the Best Out of Expressive Individuals During Meetings

Expressive individuals are known for derailing meetings, just like the Dominant type. This leads to unproductive meetings where the agenda is not followed. Gently remind them to stay on track and allow others who have not spoken to participate. Encourage input from all attendees and ensure that everyone’s opinion is heard. Establish ground rules prior to the start of the meetings and create an environment where everyone is comfortable sharing their thoughts.

The Analytical Type

Analytical people use a very formal tone for all their communications. They use minimal eye contact and gestures while speaking. Analytical individuals are introverts. They think before they speak, because of this, others assume they are disinterested in the conversation. They often keep their opinions and ideas to themselves and do not speak out.

Getting Analytical Individuals to Participate in Meetings

Prepare the agenda in advance and share all relevant documents. This will help the analytical personality type to come prepared to the meeting with their point of view. It will give them time to think through the issue and come up with creative solutions. Be patient and give them time to speak. Assure them that they add value to the meeting and help them recognize their own worth.

The Amiable Personality Type

The Amiable individual will do anything to avoid rejection and conflict, they tend to go along with the general opinion. They often converse in a very relaxed manner. but become stubborn when forced to make a decision. They feel that no one listens to their opinion and that they don’t add value to meetings.They find it very difficult to express their ideas and be accepted.

Getting the Amiable Individual to Add Value to a Meeting

Call on Amiable individuals by name and ask for their opinion. When critical decisions are being made, specifically ask each attendee if they accept the decision of the group. Encourage all participants to be open to all viewpoints and consider them carefully before rejecting any of them. Encourage them to speak out and use the ideas they contribute, this will motivate them to contribute to future discussions. Before the meeting ends, ask attendees to rate the meeting and monitor the feedback. This will weed out discontent and resentment.

Identify Your Personality Type

Individuals often possess a primary and secondary type. Identify your primary and secondary type and also those of your team. Analyse the strengths and weaknesses of each type. Develop ways to overcomes the negatives aspects of your personality, so that you can contribute effectively during meetings.

Dominants and Expressives should wait before jumping into conversations. Listen to what others in the meeting have to say. Try and understand their viewpoints by asking questions. Amiables and Analyticals must realize they have been invited to the meeting to add value. Don’t keep ideas and opinions to yourself, speak out. Start small, make an effort to speak at least once during the meeting.

Personality need not be a source of conflict. You can harness the creative force of diverse personalities and achieve meeting greatness.

Cameron Herold provides great insight on how to run successful meetings. Read his book and make your meetings better.