Tips on Dealing with Coworkers with Different Energy Types

Ever experience a conflict with someone you've worked with? These tips will help

No matter what kind of work we do in the world, we all interact with a variety of people—and most of the time it’s with people who usually think and act differently from us. (And that’s a good thing! Even if it doesn’t always feel like it at the time.)

Conflict shows up in our lives as a teacher and can help us grow. That growth is accelerated when you begin to understand these 4 Types of people—and discovering which one you are, too.

According to my Energy Profiling system, every person expresses a dominant Energy Type. Find out more about which Energy Type you are here and in my book, It’s Just My Nature. Still trying to figure it out? This clearing session will help you determine that more easily.

Knowing this information about yourself will forever change how you approach your life, your career, and your workplace relationships. Knowing more about who we are and how we move through the world gives us insight and grace for understanding others.

Here are 5 tips for working with each of these 4 Types of people based on my Energy Profiling system.

How to honor your Bright & Animated Type 1 co-workers

The energy of Type 1 people is naturally fun-loving, upward, and animated. Type 1 people are the “light” of the party since they bring a smile to our faces and are full of brilliant ideas.

  1. Socialize with them. When you have work to do together, don’t dive into business right away. Socialize for a few minutes, ask a fun question, or exchange random stories.s.
  2. Encourage their ideas. Their gift for coming up with ideas is pure gold! But all of the ideas? Not always golden (they already know this). But never squash an idea. Create an idea incubator so you can capture ideas together for the future so they aren’t lost or ignored.
  3. Let them try new things. Keep things fresh. Too much structure and routine will deplete their energy. Encourage them to step out and put some of their ideas to work.
  4. Don’t isolate them. Make sure they are working with a team, otherwise they can wilt or lose confidence in themselves and even in their job. Include them in what you’re working on—or just reach out to bounce some ideas off of them.
  5. Learn to love and appreciate their light and positivity. These people are naturally playful and spontaneous and they bring a dose of fun wherever they are. And they’ll light up a room when they are in their element.

How to honor your Soft & Subtle Type 2 co-workers

The energy of Type 2 people is naturally more fluid, flowing, and subdued. Their steady, sensitive natures make them great at connecting with people and tuning in to the details.

  1. Don’t rush them. And don’t demand a quick decision. Give them a heads up if you’d like them to come prepared to share something. And give them time to process and think about things first.
  2. Let them ask their questions. These people need details in order to make a plan to do a job. So encourage time and space for them to ask questions—they’ll often get to the heart of a matter!
  3. Take time to connect with them. Slow down and connect with them, one-on-one. Ask about their families, what’s important to them, etc.
  4. Don’t be put off by piles. Let them organize their physical environment in a way that makes them comfortable. Piles represent information that is connected and they’ll know how everything is connected and where to find things.
  5. Learn to love and appreciate their subtle sensitivity. These people are more emotionally connected and heart-centered individuals. They’re tuned in to the people around them because they can connect with people well. So honor their ability to lead from the heart.

How to honor your Rich & Dynamic Type 3 co-workers

The energy of Type 3 people is active, reactive, and dynamic. They are natural go-getters who like to be challenged and create bigger results.

  1. Challenge them with a big project. They’ll enjoy the challenge, so encourage them to take on projects where they can influence and see their results. (And trust them with enough autonomy and time to actually get things done on a deadline.) That brings us to…
  2. Minimize meetings. Or at least make sure there is a point to all of them! Having an agenda to keep things moving make meetings productive for them.
  3. Let them think big. Don’t squash their desire to think and go big. Encourage this while also reminding them of the goals.
  4. Recognize their results. Reward their contributions and even express your gratitude by sharing your reactions. (If you have a friendly workplace competition, expect the Type 3 people to jump on it!)
  5. Learn to love and appreciate their push-forward energy. Their gift is taking action, so they can and will move people and projects forward (and can be prone to abrupt changes at times)—so if they come across as “pushy” to you, recognize and honor that their push-forward, go-getter energy is trying to help get the job done efficiently.

How to honor your Bold & Striking Type 4 co-workers

The energy of Type 4 people is constant, still, bold, and focused. They have a keen eye for seeing what can be perfected and improved.

  1. Let them focus on the big picture. When you combine their ability to see the big picture and their keen eye for perfecting things, you get a powerful ability to focus. Let them work independently in structured blocks of time so they can focus well. (Moments of solitude also help them stay balanced.)
  2. Embrace their ability to find and solve problems. These people are deep thinkers with a gift for reflection and the ability to spot the exact problem and simplify a problem and solution. So give them appropriate opportunities to share their feedback—they’ll naturally notice what could be improved.
  3. Respect them at all times. When you are with them, respect their time and respect their opinions—you don’t have to agree on everything, but you show respect by honoring their work, their thoughts and opinions, and how they structure their time and their space.
  4. Don’t interrupt them. If they are speaking, let them finish their thought. If you need them but they are focused on something, ask when they could meet with you and be specific. When you take them out of their zone, it can take a longer time for them to get back on track.
  5. Learn to love their bold, blunt, straightforward approach. They have the ability to see things for what they are and tell it like it is. You never have to guess where they stand or where they stand with you. When you embrace that side of them, you’ll see it for the gift that it is.

I’ve learned so much from each Type of person I’ve ever worked with. And I can say with all sincerity, that I’ve enjoyed my work relationships so much more ever since I learned this information and applied it with the people I worked with. It’s made conversations, projects, and teamwork so much more satisfying because of it.

And by no means are these the only tips—they are only a tip of the iceberg! (But they can help you improve your workplace culture so you enjoy going to work.) So I’d love for you to share YOUR tips too! Share them in the comments section below.

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