Leadership, Total Rewards

Adjusting your Feedback Methods to Personality Types

/ November 26, 2016 November 26, 2016

Personality has a huge impact in the workplace, especially when giving and receiving performance feedback. Not everyone is going to respond to feedback in the same way.  Their personal characteristics will largely impact how they receive it, which is why it’s essential to be aware of this. In order to build and maintain good working relationships with your team, peers or managers, the key is to not always treat them in the way you would personally prefer. It’s important to consider people’s individual personalities and values so that you can temporarily adapt your behaviors to align with them.

Award winning conference speaker, Allison Mooney, characterizes the four personality types which you are most likely to interact with in the workplace: Powerfuls, Playfuls, Peacefuls, and Precises. She emphasizes that once you can recognize yourself and your peers in the types outlined, giving and receiving feedback will become a much more effective process.



Who they are: Powerfuls are proactive individuals that do not shy away from hard work. They are risk takers and decision makers. Powerfuls have a long stream of goals and targets, and will truly exert themselves to acheive them.

How to give them feedback: When it comes to receiving feedback, Powerfuls value clear-cut communication revolving around their goals or targets. They are also likely to be very strong personalities who show confidence in their work. Therefore, they are likely to appreciate concise 360-feedback around their work, as it allows them to take a step back and view things from different perspectives.



Who they are: Playfuls are the “people-people” of your workplace. They love to network and are full of enthusiasm. Despite being less structured and organized than other workers, they are very creative. They enjoy working closely with others, rather than alone.

How to give them feedback: Playfuls need to know when managers are happy with either them or their work. They enjoy feedback that is personal, and they appreciate hearing that their contributions, creativity and enthusiasm are valued. Since they are the fast moving extroverts, they like short, snappy and ongoing feedback that fits with their pace and keeps them going!



Who they are: Peacefuls are easy-going and patient and often avoid conflict and confrontation. They are very stable and consistent in their work and are usually appreciated for this quality, likely having good working relationships with those around them.

How to give them feedback: Due to their laid-back nature, Peacefuls are generally receptive and open. They may however find it difficult to give and receive constructive feedback due to their strong desire to maintain harmony. For this reason, when introducing a 360-feedback culture, it’s vital to explain to them the perks of constructive feedback, and that when it’s given correctly, it often results in a more communicative, harmonious environment.



Who they are: Precises are the perfectionists of the workplace. They’re structured, organized and highly attentive to detail. They are similar to the Powerfuls in that they value work over play, and work not just very hard, but very efficiently. They are planners; they do not particularly like spontaneity or disorganized environments.

How to give them feedback:  Precises generally prefer structured feedback that is all collected in one, documented place. Similar to Powerfuls, Precises are likely to prefer feedback relating to goals or achievements over more general comments about their working practices. It’s also vital to give Precises time to digest their feedback as they prepare for everything they do. Therefore, giving them feedback and then looking to discuss it immediately will be less effective than if they are given time to reflect first.

It’s important to note that as with any classification system, not everyone will be easy to categorize! Some individuals will exhibit a mixture of several personality types. It’s clear that personality plays a large part in individual working practices, so it’s vital to keep employees’ personalities in mind to ensure that you are interacting with your team in a way that is beneficial to everyone.

To learn more about these types, visit Allison’s site HERE.



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