Emily Marsh July 16 2019

Learn how to manage different personalities with Facet5's "Leading Edge" report

The Facet5 Leading Edge report describes how a person’s manager can successfully motivate, inspire and engage them. So what do manager’s need to know about different personality traits and what they mean for getting the most out of their direct reports?

There is no “one size fits all” solution for effective people management. Managers need to be sophisticated about how they motivate and engage a group of people who are all inherently different. And personality profiling makes this possible.

By understanding the personality of each direct report, managers can devise development and engagement strategies that are personalised to those individuals.

Facet5 was designed specifically for the workplace and recognises that not everyone responds to managers in the same way. This is why they created the "Leading Edge" guide to leading as part of the full Facet5 report that each individual gets when they take the Facet5 personality assessment.

We examine how Leading Edge can help managers understand how to motivate, engage and influence their team or line report - and get the most out of them - by getting to grips with their personality.

The Leading Edge report - a guide to leading

The Leading Edge guide is slightly different from the rest of the Facet5 report in that it is designed for the person managing the individual. It provides a guide for the individual’s manager on how best to lead and manage them.

Leading Edge is based on a leadership model originally developed by Bernard Bass, who suggested that there are 7 core elements, based on the competencies of transformational and transactional leadership, that people need to develop in order to be seen as successful.

  • Creating a vision
  • Stimulating the environment
  • Treating people as individuals
  • Goal setting
  • Monitoring performance
  • Providing feedback
  • Developing careers

By understanding how an individual’s personality may impact and influence how they respond to being managed, managers can see specifically what they need to do to get the best out of that person.

Let’s take each of the 7 core elements in turn and see how people’s personality traits might play out.

Creating a vision

This is about having the ability to inspire, motivate and engage others with a vision. Managers who do this well communicate a sense of purpose and focus, make people feel they understand where the organisation is going, and enthuse and motivate people about what can be achieved.

Leading Edge recognises that not everyone is inspired and motivated by the vision in the same way. People with high Affection scores are likely to be inspired by the potential the vision holds for other people to develop their skills, while people with low Affection may need to hear a more businesslike & logical argument in order to be convinced. Some people will respond better to the bigger picture while others will want to understand the finer details (e.g low Control), and so on.

Stimulating the environment

This about having the ability to provide a challenging, positive and stimulating environment for others. But again, what constitutes a challenging, positive and stimulating environment for one person isn’t necessarily going to be the same as it is for another. People with high Will scores are independent and determined, so may do best when given the freedom to do things their own way. By contrast, people with low Will scores will want the space and opportunity to find out what others think before deciding upon what to do. They will also naturally want to collaborate more.

Treating people as individuals

Managers should be creating an environment where people feel valued and encouraged to contribute. This means being attuned to the feelings and nature of the people they manage and allowing them to contribute in the way they work best and not imposing their own way of thinking. For example, a high Energy person is likely to be quicker to discuss and debate things with their manager. Asking a low Energy person questions on the spot will require them to think and consider before offering a view. They may need time to process their own feelings before opening up to others about it, if at all, and managers need to give them this space they need.

Goal setting

Goals are the engine of activity, providing a specific, practical focus for efforts. And goal setting is one of the key responsibilities of a line manager. But not everyone responds to the idea of goals in the same way.

For example, high Control people are very responsible and thrive when they have clearly defined and measurable goals. They want to know where they are going and to see they are on track so they’ll need regular check-ins to feel successful. At the other end of the scale, people with low Control prefer a more relaxed atmosphere and may feel stifled by having goals that are so defined. However, they may be the people to benefit the most from clear goals as they are more prone to procrastination or being distracted.

Monitoring performance

Once goals have been set, effort needs to be made to determine whether they are being met. Some people - again those with high Control - will prefer a very structured performance review, for example with monthly or fortnightly catch ups. Low Control people are likely to prefer a more fluid set up. Though again, low Control people can have difficulty planning activities and managing their time effectively (especially when High Energy), so it can be important for managers to be firm and definitive about what they expect and when.

Providing feedback Feedback is a crucial part of workplace culture. Without feedback, people can't improve and nor will they feel valued and appreciated. But giving feedback to high Emotionality people versus low Emotionality people can sometimes be a very different experience, for example. People with high Emotionality are always seeking to understand and alter their impact so will always take feedback seriously. They can also be oversensitive and may hold onto criticism. People with low Emotionality, on the other hand, take things as they come and will often be more disregarding of criticism and less responsive. They may also come across as complacent or unmoved by feedback - but this doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t taking it on board.

Developing careers

The key to developing talent is to demonstrate a genuine interest in both their career and their wellbeing. This means understanding what value they get from their work and what their goals are - both short-term and bigger picture.

Personality can play a big part in this. For example, people with high Affection may have big aspirations to help and support others as well as a desire to feel part of a team. People with high Will can be very independent and have desires to create something of their own, something with their name on that reflects their own views and philosophies. The role of a manager should be to guide people on a journey that allows them to fulfil these inherent needs.


Personality profiling is an extremely powerful tool for helping managers understand what makes their direct reports ‘tick’. And the Facet5 "Leading Edge" guide describes how a person’s manager can successfully motivate, inspire and engage them. The result? More effective managers and happier, more motivated and more engaged employees.

Beyond the Personality Test

Subscribe to insights from our blog here:

Would you like to know more?

How would you like to start a conversation?