If you are looking to develop your career in management, you must show you have the skills for the job. That includes attributes like competence, organisation, enthusiasm and dedication.

A particular challenge many managers face is dealing with a range of very different characters working under them. It is not just that they may vary in age, gender, beliefs and other characteristics, but they will have very different personality traits. Some may be a joy to work with and make life easy, but others require a lot of personal management.

Good coaching can help you develop this skill, which can enable you to make the very best of the situation. It might seem easiest simply to fire difficult personalities or give them less responsibility, but more skilful management may get the best out of certain characters, with your firm benefitting if they can fulfil their talent.

There are various kinds of awkward personalities. Recruitment agency Reed lists five, while one list describes ten. Problematic behaviours can range from miserable cynicism to excessive jokiness, endless drama and laziness. Gossips, blame-shifters and the paranoid may be added.

Because these vary so much, dealing with each of them requires a different approach. It is useful to speak to them individually and establish if there are underlying personal issues – or problems with other colleagues – prompting their behaviour. Nonetheless, you may find while some need a verbal rocket, others need to feel appreciated and valued.

Discerning which way to respond to each type of employee is a critical skill, one which can be taught to an extent, but depends much on you developing your own personality to be flexible and bring the right approach to every situation.

However, it is by bringing such flexibility to get the best possible result that you can achieve the greatest success. If you can do so and get the most out of all your team in the process, it will be noted approvingly by those higher up, who will make decisions on your future promotion based on how well you can deliver results.

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