Unlocking Personality: Learn How to Read Your Colleagues

Want a shortcut to revealing someone’s personality?

Want to read people?

Want to know why some personalities behave a certain way?

How to recognize them at first sight?

OK, so everybody knows there are four basic personality types that all of us can be classified into. I’m sure at some point you took personality tests to find out for yourself.

But did you ever wonder if there is a correlation between the object on your desk and type of personality you have? Or maybe you want to know what your potential employer is really like?

If so, take a look around their office.

Waste no time and let’s get started.

The Dominant aka the Driver


  • Organized.
  • Decoration of the walls: diplomas, awards, certificates.
  • Desk: organized and simple, not cluttered with papers, more awards.


In one word, the Dominant can be described as competitive. They are motivated by winning, competition and success. They tend to be self-confident, strong-willing, determined, direct, fast-paced and enjoy taking risks. However, their weaknesses are lack of concern for others, impatience, and stubbornness.

  • Fears: seen vulnerable, be taken advantage of, not taken seriously, loss of control.
  • Goals: independence, accomplishments, control of others.

Work attitude:

  • Do it NOW!
  • Focused on results and tasks.

How to communicate with the Dominant?

  • Be direct, stay professional and formal.
  • Give them the feeling that they are in control of a conversation, let them talk.
  • Provide compliments and praise.
  • Emphasise on results and benefits, provide details if needed.
  • Be quick and to the point.
  • Expect quick decisions.

The Analytic


  • Practical and arranged.
  • Decoration of the walls: graphs, tables, boards.
  • Desk: covered with documents, books but organized.


People who have analytical personality type can be described as thorough, accurate, systematic, careful and diplomatic. They are reserved and prefer solitary while working. Their weaknesses are being overcritical, overanalyzing and slow in decision-making due to the need of having all the information available.

  • Fear: criticism, being wrong.
  • Goals: stability, correctness, predictable results, personal growth.

Work attitude:

  • Do it RIGHT!
  • Task focused.

How to communicate with the Analytic?

  • Be thorough, specific, precise, formal.
  • Focus on facts.
  • Give them time to think and decide.
  • Stick to the theme of conversation.
  • They might be a little distant.

The Amiable aka the Nurturer


  • Desk and wall decorations: pictures of family, friends, colleagues.
  • Collection of personal mementos (gifts, presents, souvenirs).


People with amiable personality are collaborative, supportive, constantly searching for opportunities to help and they definitely value loyalty. They enjoy working in teams. They are also described as being patient, humble, accommodating, even-tempered, stable and consistent. Their weaknesses include being slow, sensitive and have a tendency to avoid change. They also want to please everyone and are having a difficult time saying NO. Their fear of offending others gives them hard time to make a decision so they prefer supporting others instead.

  • Fear: change, offending others.
  • Goals: group acceptance, stability.

Work attitude:

  • Do it TOGETHER!
  • People focused.

How to communicate with the Nurturer?

  • Be friendly, patient, relaxed, informal.
  • Take time to talk to them, give them time to respond and feel.
  • Search for things in common, show empathy.
  • Their focus is on a relationship — minimise the conflict, give them reassurance.

The Expressive aka the Promoter


  • Pictures of selves, friends.
  • Desk: disorganized, random stuff, sticky notes.
  • Decorations: desk accessories are modern, handy picked and shows “social status”.


People with the expressive personality are outgoing, enthusiastic, optimistic, lively, warm and they seem trusting. Usually, they get along with colleagues and have the ability to create an informal atmosphere. They can make a quick decision and are seen as a very fast worker. They also enjoy working in groups. However, their weaknesses are being impulsive, disorganized, they suffer from lack of focus and are superficial.

  • Fear: disapproval, being ignored.
  • Goals: friendship, popularity, personal status — appearance.

Work attitude:

  • Have FUN doing it!
  • People focused.

How to communicate with the Promoter?

  • Be enthusiastic, positive, friendly, informal.
  • Provide praise, respond to their stories or jokes.
  • Give them feeling of I need you, consult with them.
  • Give them recognition in front of others, let them have fun.
  • If you don’t agree with them allow time to pass. They are quickly distracted and excited about so many things they’ll move on in no time.

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