What you will read here goes back to the days of Hippocrates and has been developed and refined by famous psychologists and philosophers. Most of them men. Major human resource agencies currently use this information in their management development programs and seminars to help executives improve communications with and between employees. Of course, some use different names or apply different labels, but the basics are fundamentally the same.
You can now easily use the same secrets discovered by the best known medical minds and employed by top executives to better understand and communicate with the men in your life.
To uncover the mysteries of how to understand men and how to communicate with men read on.
- 1 Background To Understanding Men’s Personalities
- 2 The Driver
- 3 The Analytical Personality
- 4 The Amiable
- 5 The Expressive
- 6 Introvert vs Extrovert Test
- 7 Task Oriented Vs People Oriented Test
- 8 Demonstration of the 4 Personality Types
- 9 How to Communicate with each of the guys?
- 10 How to Communicate With An Analytical Guy
- 11 How To Communicate with an Amiable Guy
- 12 How To Communicate With An Expressive Guy
- 13 How To Communicate with a Driver Personality
- 14 Myers Briggs Personality Types
Background To Understanding Men’s Personalities
Understanding 4 personality types will help you to learn how to understand men
Hippocrates (an ancient Greek known as the father of medicine) and Erich Fromm (an internationally renowned German social psychologist and psychoanalyst) spoke of the four temperaments or the four humours. Carl Jung a famous Swiss Psychiatrist spoke of eight personality types.
These great psychologists understood that one very important factor of personality is whether we focus more on tasks or on people. Another factor is whether we are introverted or extroverted. They believed that all personalities are various combinations of these two factors which resulted in distinct personality types (see table below ). While different psychologists use different names to describe the personality types, in this lens we will discuss:
- The Driver
- The Analytical
- The Amiable
- The Expressive
The Driver: One of the most difficult men to understand
Many people are put off by the Driver’s impatience. The driver is in control, knows what he wants, and can be very impatient, pushy and difficult to be with. Learn how to understand the driver and you have taken an important step in learning how to understand men.
The Driver Personality
If you want to understand men, get to know the Driver
The driver focuses on the goal, the objective and will do what is necessary to achieve it. He likes to “gets to the point” and admires people who don’t “beat around the bush”, but others can say that his form of communication is sometimes tactless and cold. The driver does not try to avoid conflict, in fact, some say that he is drawn to battle. He believes that the “end justifies the means” and will resort to almost any tactic to achieve his objective. Seen as an aggressive personality by some, the driver works hard, plays hard and seems to have an endless supply of energy. The driver usually works relentlessly at whatever task he takes on until he feels he has achieved the success he envisioned from the start. Dick Cheney is an extreme example of a driver.
The Analytical Personality
The analytical is detail oriented. He will want all of the facts before making any decision at all. He is probably highly critical of people and can be seen as pessimistic. He is thoughtful and will get things accomplished. But only after a long soul searching analysis where he reviews all of the pros and cons and looks at it from all of the possible angles before reaching a decision. He is risk adverse, and would prefer not to take a chance than to risk failure. Like the driver, he usually also achieves the success he envisions, but at a much slower pace and on a few, lower risk projects. Keanu Reeves is probably an example of an analytical personality.
The Amiable Man Is The Nice Guy.
The Amiable may be frustrating for some women to understand. He is the nice guy with a possible lack of direction.
The Amiable Personality
What makes the amiable a difficult man to understand is his shyness.
The amiable is a kind-hearted guy who prefers to avoid conflict than to challenge a bad decision. He can blend into any situation and group but can appear wishy-washy and may be seen as a doormat at times. He may have difficulty making a decisions. He may be the gentle and soft-spoken guy, but he is certainly shy and rarely aggressive. Johnny Depp is probably a good example of an amiable.
A people oriented guy, the expressive will talk your ear off and help you to understand him.
The Expressive Personality
The expressive is an easy man to understand because this man is a talker
The expressive is the natural salesmen. He is highly enthusiastic and a top notch communicator. But he often talks more about doing things than he actually does them. This expressive is often dreamer, with lots of energy, talent and charisma and less goal orientation or structure than the driver. The expressive tends to be an optimist and is usually the life the party. Tom Cruise is a good example of an expressive personality type.
Introvert vs Extrovert Test
Most of the time, it will be clear if your guy is an introvert or an extrovert. But sometimes it is not so easy to judge. Ask yourself the following questions:
* You invite your guy to join you in a social event with friends. How does he behave:
A: He loves joining you with your friends and will enthusiastically agree.
B: He reluctantly joins you.
C. He prefers to stay home and watch TV, read a book, play video games or spend time with his buddy.
* By the end of the week does your guy:
A Know what he is going to be doing on the weekend?
B Sometimes know what will be happening on the weekend?
C Have no suggestions about the weekend?
* How easy was it to get your guy to open up when you first started to get to know each other
A Easy. He was an open book
B.It took some time, but eventually he opened up
C It has always been difficult to get him to talk about himself
* Does your guy’s work involve:
A Daily contact with the public (sales rep, customer service, therapist, teacher etc) or teams (coach, manager)
B Some contact with people (journalist, lawyer, bus driver)
C Infrequent contact with people (bookkeeper, programmer, scientist)
* At a party will your guy
A. Talk to several people
B. Talk to a few people
C. Spend much of the time by himself or talking to you
Task Oriented Vs People Oriented Test
Ask yourself the following questions to determine if your guy is task or people oriented:
* If something needs to be reparied your guy will:
A. Get it repaired almost immediately
B. Get it fixed after some delay
C. Leave it for a long time and eventually call a repairman
* Your guy has to choose between doing something for work and doing something for you or his family. He will almost always choose:
B. Depends on the situation
C You or family
* You suggest to your guy to take a day off and just spend time together. He is most likely to:
A. Tell you to wait for the weekend
B. Agree, but feel guilty about it
C. Jump up, run to the phone and call in sick.
* Your guy has to deliver bad news to someone, Will he:
A. Look them in the eye and give it to them straight
B. Tell them after doing lots of soul searching.
C. Agonize over it for hours or even avoid saying anything at all.
* When arriving for a social function your guy is:
A. On time plus or minus a few minutes
B. Sometimes punctual, sometimes late
C. Usually considerably late.
Demonstration of the 4 Personality Types
This is a great video in which an actor demonstrates the four personality types by showing how each would react after sitting a tack.
The problem? It is subtitled. You will not understand the words. But it does not matter, you will understand by the tone and the expressions of the actor and of course, by reading the subtitles.
Also, instead of refering to Driver, Expressive, Analytical and Amiable, they use the terms which Hipprocrates originated namely sanguine, choleric, melancholic, phlegmatic.
How do these names translate to our system?
Driver = Choleric
Analytical = Melancholic
Expressive = Sanguine
Amiable = Phlegmatic
How to Communicate with each of the guys?
Each type of guy requires a different type of communication. You can not turn an amiable into an expressive, nor would you want to. It would be impossible and probably end up in disaster. And while each of us has different communication skills, it is not impossible to change the way we communicate with our partner. Below are a few tips on communicating with each type of personality.
How to Communicate With An Analytical Guy
Remember that the analytical guy thinks a very long time before making a decision and once he has made a decision, he is reluctant to change his mind. Therefore, the best time to pursuade an analytical guy is BEFORE he has made up his mind. Just provide detailed information to help him reach his decision. But even after he has made his decisions, it is still possible to persude him. Try this:
* When discussion with him, stay calm. Do not get emotional.
* Provide facts and analysis.
* He is detail oriented. Be prepared to go into depth.
* Recognize his need to be logical
* Avoid pressure and the need to rush
* Compliment his detailed decision making process but point out any facts he may have overlooked.
* Make a list of the argumentation, both pro and con and explain the logic in your analysis of the situation.
The analytical guy can be a bit of a nerd. If you are in a relationship with an analytical guy, don’t expect him to the life of the party or take high risk decisions. If you suggest running off to Las Vegas for a wild weekend, don’t be surprised if the analytical guy gives you a list of 100 reasons why it is not a great idea. That is just who he is.
It can be difficult for an expressive personality to communicate with an analytical personality. Make sure that you address the analytical’s need for logic and reason before making a decision. Be patient with your analytical guy. He may not share your love of spontaneity. But as long as your spontaneity is not life or career threatening, he may admire this trait in you.
How To Communicate with an Amiable Guy
The amiable guy will naturally avoid conflict, so do try not to push him into a conflictual situation as it will only upset or stress him.
On the other hand, it is relatively easy to pursuade an amiable personality. You prefer to see a movie rather than to visit his mom? No problem. In fact, the major risk is to pursuade him too often which may give him the feeling that you are manipulating him or taking total control over the relationship.
Listen closely to his thoughts and keep him involved in all decision making. Make sure he feels part of the decision making process and not simply a bystander to the relationship.
Amiables like to take life at a slow pace, so don’t push him. If you are the driving personality, you will have to reign in your urge for speed. You will have to consciously slow down your thoughts and at times even put on the brakes. If you push him, he will simply run (not walk) away.
How To Communicate With An Expressive Guy
Communicating with an expressive guy can be a challenge, because the expressive guy loves to talk. He is a diplomat and a charmer and he is used to getting what he wants.
Listen closely to your expressive guy, otherwise he will feel frustrated. When you get a chance to express your feelings explain to him how your ideas will improve the relationship or his life in general. Be enthusiastic and open as he is. Stay upbeat and warm. Avoid critisizing his lack of progress but rather encourage the progress he has made and help him to understand why he must continue. Help to keep him to keep focused on the task, without sounding like a nag or an anchor.
For example, If you are the analytical type, try to be more expressive and open and show a bit more emotion with him. Be a good listener and try not to sound too critical or negative of him or others. Don’t expect him to be organized and have everything planned out. Try to relax and go with the flow.
How To Communicate with a Driver Personality
Many drivers are so focused on task, they have a very difficult time dealing with women’s emotions. They have fast minds and short attention spans and make decisions quickly.
Pick a time to discuss when his mind is clear and not focused on other subjects. If faced with a difficult problem, avoid calling him at work or hitting him just after he has returned from work as you may not have his complete attention.
In a discussion with a driver, it is important to get to the point. If you present a long discussion of facts (as you might with an analtyical personality) you risk losing the driver’s attention. Give the driver brief and organized reasoning. Keep the discussion to the facts and don’t focus too much on feelings. Don’t give the driver the impression that you are wasting his time by arguing details. Give the driver several options and explain why the option you support is the best for him and your relationship.
Never try to control the driver. If you are in a relationship with a drive it may be best to provide several options and let him chose. Don’t smother him with affection when his mind is occupied with work or any other task, otherwise he may feel frustrated and you may feel rejected. Save your moments of passion for the (rare) times when his mind is relatively free of thoughts of work or other responsibilities.
Myers Briggs Personality Types
Myers and Briggs came up with a similar descripion of personality types which is based on the theories of Carl Jung, a famous psychologist. However the key difference is that Myers Briggs is based on 16 Personality types. As you will see, there are strong similarities to the discussion in this article, but rather than the two personality differentiators (Task/people orientation and Introvert/extrovert tendencies) four personality differentiators are used. Read our article on How to Meet People.