Leadership Lessons: Know Your Crew, Part 4: How to Lead the "Amiables"

In August, I started a five-part series about knowing your crew and the four different social styles on your team, based on the Merrill/Reid Social Style Model. If you haven’t read the first three columns, be sure to start there so this month’s column makes sense. Last month, I shared with you the traits of the “Driver” social style on your crew. In this column I cover the “Amiable” social style.

Amiables are the “support specialists” on your crew. They are “askers” and are “relationship-oriented.” They are very laid back and easy to get along with because they don’t like conflict. They are the “Why can’t we all just get along?” people on your crew. They are very likeable people who support others, work well with others and promote harmony. They are found wrapped up in causes.


Qualities of “Amiables”

Amiables like to have direction. They often observe others and seek deep meaning in relationships and experiences. They prefer interaction to action. Amiables are very compassionate with those who may be hurting. They are patient, good listeners and are filled with integrity.

Some of the strengths of the Amiable include: Low-key personality, easygoing and relaxed, calm, patient and well-balanced, sympathetic and kind, competent and steady. Some of the weaknesses of the Amiable include: Avoids conflict, not goal-oriented, finds the easy way out, indecisive, too compromising, avoids responsibility and lacks motivation.

I want to share some tips with you for leading an Amiable. First, Amiables are more concerned with people than projects. They need leaders who will work closely with them. They need assurance that they will not be left alone to complete tasks that they are not familiar with or comfortable with yet. Amiables need leaders who will not treat them harshly and will be kind and considerate. They also need leaders who will provide a tremendous amount of direction. They do not like to let their leaders down.

Amiables do not like relationship tension at work and need to be reassured that everything is all right. Leaders need to show sincere appreciation to the Amiable. Amiables like to work on teams and with others and do not work well alone. When put in a team environment, they build team spirit and increase cooperation. They inspire a positive attitude and encourage others to work together. Amiables try to avoid getting too much attention, but still need and appreciate praise and compliments from their leaders. They usually let others take credit for things and stay in the background while others get praised.

Amiables have a difficult time saying “no,” even when their workload is already stressful. Leaders need to be sensitive to this and make sure they are not putting Amiables under too much pressure. Amiables also need sufficient notice if they are asked to complete a task by a certain deadline or within a specific timeframe. They do not appreciate leaders who come on too strong, so shouting or showing anger by the leader is very stressful for the Amiable and should be avoided.

A great way to effectively lead Amiables is to know what they value and what annoys them. Amiables value contribution, compassion and loyalty. Trust, kindness and peacefulness are also important to them. They value cooperation and friendliness. As nice as Amiables can be, they still have a list of things that annoy them. Conflict, pressure and harshness all irritate the Amiable. They are also annoyed by rudeness, pushiness and disharmony.


Build relationships

Amiables will be very supportive team members if you know how to deal with them. They respect leaders who show kindness and consideration. If you want to gain a high level of productivity from Amiables, work closely with them and build relationship.

My next column talks about the “Expressive” social style on your crew and why they can be the biggest liability for harassment suits.