Leaders are typically considered to have one of four personality types: driver, expressive, amiable or analytical. Read on to learn more about each one and how to overcome the issues these characteristics present when working under pressure.
Strengths: Drivers are advantageous in an emergency. They see the end result they want and go after it. They have no problem in making difficult decisions quickly and they will marshall resources effectively. Most people instinctively follow their strong lead and are grateful that someone is telling them what to do.
Not every pressure situation is an emergency, and the tendency for drivers to revert to their typical bruising style in every case can be damaging. It can even result in a mutiny among subordinates.
If this is you:
Allow time for people in your team to understand the challenge at hand, and think about it. Listen carefully to input and allow discussion. Curb your desire to force everyone to do things your way. There is often a better way that will ultimately benefit the business, and build loyalty and support among your team.
Strengths: An analytical leader will get the facts – and get the facts right. Given enough time, an analytical leader will see the patterns and connections crucial to finding a solution. They are very effective leaders in complex financial or technical situations, where often they are the only ones who can see all the moving parts.
Weaknesses: The keyword here is time. The characteristic that drives people around you nuts is the fact that you won’t make a decision unless it is well researched, and that takes time.
If this is you: In an emergency, you will have to make fast decisions on less evidence than you would like. If you do not force yourself to do this, someone else will make the decision for you.
Strengths: An expressive leader can pull a rabbit out of a hat. Creative and courageous, the expressive can sometimes see the solution in a blinding flash.
Weaknesses: It’s fun working for an expressive, if a little terrifying in pressure situations. Like drivers, they are not good listeners, and will sometimes crash and burn because someone (usually an analytical) could not get some pertinent facts across.
If this is you: Slow down. Understand that you can be exhausting. Let other people talk, especially the ones that you think are quiet and boring. They often have the facts you need.
Strengths: The amiable puts people first in every emergency or pressure situation. Their instinct is to preserve relationships, and so they are perfect to lead in cases where there is a PR disaster.
Weaknesses: Amiables find it hard to make difficult decisions where there is a call between saving jobs or saving the business, for example.
If this is you: Accept that the buck stops with you, and make a deadline to make that hard decision. Then act fast and with compassion.