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How to Coach the Expressive Personality Type

How to Coach the Expressive Personality Type
May 13, 2015 Anya Anderson

How to Deal With Expressive Personality Types at Work

The Expressive personality, a verbally adept personality, is engaging, accommodating, supportive of others, persuasive, socially adept, and relationship- rather than task-oriented.


It sounds pretty self-explanatory, but here’s the expressive personality definition, as we see it: The expressive personality type loves to be one of the ‘gang’.

Sales, service or any type of social working environment are great jobs for expressive personality types because they appeal directly to their need to be a part of ‘the gang’.

While these people are heart-on-their-sleeves type of people, some of the expressive personality type strengths and weaknesses may surprise you.

The expressive personality type has a number of strengths, including; enthusiasm, diplomacy and the ability to inspire others.They’re always ready for something new and exciting, especially if the rest of the gang is ready to join in and participate.

On the other hand, Expressive personality weaknesses involve impatience, a tendency to generalise, verbal assaults, and sometimes irrational behaviour. They can also be seen as egotistical, manipulative, undisciplined, reactive, unorganised, or abrasive.

Take our Expressive, Driver, Amiable, Analytical personality test to see if this is you!

Our expressive personality test will ask you a few short questions to help you determine if you’re the expressive personality style at work, or if you’re one of the other three (Driver, Analytical, and Relator). You can even share it with your team to learn more about their expressive personality traits.

How to Work with Expressive Personality Types in a Coaching Environment

They’re always ready to exchange information and life experiences, and their main need is to be appreciated and accepted. They take pleasure in recognition and approval while their pain is isolation and lack of attention.

When coaching an Expressive personality:


Focus on developing a relationship

Rapport building is very important to these people. They’re interested in your life, and it’s important that you show an interest in theirs.


Try to show how your ideas will improve his or her image

This is often a delicate line to tread, so approach with caution. Because the expressive person holds other people’s view of them in a high regard, it’s important to link any desired skills or behaviours to this. Be careful not to focus on the ramifications of getting it wrong, instead place focus on how performing a skill or behaviour will make them appear in a good light.


Be enthusiastic, open, and responsive

The overly expressive personality has a lot of energy, and while you don’t need to match their level of enthusiasm, it’s very important that you appear open, responsive and genuinely enthused about your coaching interaction with this person.


Be forthcoming and willing to talk

We all know expressives are talkers, but resist the urge to shut down conversation or push past it and get straight to the point, they won’t respond well to this.


Agree clearly and often

As agreeable as an expressive personality is, they also like to be agreed with. Similar to the Relator, look for the things you can agree with (this doesn’t mean you need to agree with everything they say) to keep them engaged and your interaction positive.


Remember to be warm and approachable at all times

Expressive personalities often strive to be warm and approachable with everyone they encounter, and don’t respond well to personalities that are too direct, or who feel ‘cold and factual’. This extends beyond your coaching interactions with this person and means you should work to be open at all times.

In Summary

When coaching or communicating with an Expressive personality:

  • Focus on developing a relationship
  • Try to show how your ideas will improve his or her image
  • Be enthusiastic, open, and responsive
  • Relate to the need to share information, stories, and experience
  • Be forthcoming and willing to talk
  • Ask and answer “who” questions
  • Agree clearly and often
  • Remember to be warm and approachable at all times
  • Work to minimize his or her direct involvement with details or personal conflicts