Psychologists classify personality types in a number of ways. One is to classify people's inherent personality traits is as either an type A, B or C. Each of these three distinct personalities lead employees to think, act and interact with others in different ways. Subsequently, small business owners and managers must use different strategies and techniques when leading employees with different personality types.

Manage type A personalities by giving them opportunities to work toward performance incentives or to place them in leadership positions, for which they are naturally suited. These employees do not hesitate to let their voice be heard and to take charge in team settings. Take a hands-off approach to managing type A employees, allowing them to self-motivate. Type-A personalities are driven by personal achievement and recognition, always pushing themselves to come out on top in any kind of competition.

Spend time working directly with type B personality employees, not so much to supervise their work as to increase their motivation through collaboration, where they thrive. Avoid placing a type B employee in a solitary job position; instead, place these very social employees in a team setting or least in work areas where he is free to interact with co-workers throughout the day. Give these employees responsibility for things like organizing company events or administering employee surveys. Place type B employees in positions with high levels of interaction with customers or suppliers to give your company a competitive edge. Social acceptance is extremely important to type B personalities, and they often find themselves as the center of attention in social settings.

Place type C employees in internal processing jobs, such as internal auditing, accounting or other data-driven positions. Type C personalities are detail-oriented and love to work behind the scenes. To get these employees motivated, trust them with large, detail-oriented tasks and give them the autonomy to solve complex challenges on their own. Rely on these employees when details are more important than hype or style. These employees do not especially care for leadership positions and they are not extremely compelled by social acceptance. Rather, type C employees are in their element crunching numbers or performing other systematic processing tasks.


Include personality testing as part of your pre-employment screening process. Personality testing can reveal whether a job applicant can truly thrive in a specific open position or can provide guidance as to which open position to offer to specific candidates when there is more than one opening. Small business owners can download free personality tests online, such as the one at