4 personality types


Understanding the four personality types and your own strengths and weaknesses is paramount to getting out of your own way.

Fist take the Personality Purpose Test HERE to know where you fall between the 4 personality types

I am a Driver/Expressive and in a former life, I was in a job that required attention to detail. It was very monotonous, consisted of detailed work, and was in a quiet, solitary environment. I love science and enjoyed so much of it, but it didn’t line up with my strengths at ALL. Not surprisingly I found myself unhappy and unfulfilled, but I didn’t really understand why until I had to break this down for my coaching clients.

You may be in the same trap I found myself in. If you’re not exactly where you want to be at this moment or if you keep asking yourself “what is my problem?”, chances are you’re getting in your own way. You’re trying to do or be something that is not aligned with who you truly are and does not match up with the unique gifts that you and only YOU possess.

There are many different classifications for personalities out there, and everyone has their preferences. Many of the different classifications systems are based on the four major types that stem from Hippocrates, way back in the 4th century B.C. in Greece. I reference Florence Littauer’s book Personality Plus in this article, and base most of my understanding of the personalities from her work. I suggest you check out her book because it’s the best one I’ve read that explains, in easy anecdotal terms, the personalities and how to manage them.

I prefer to use adjectives instead of the terms used in the book however, which are based on the Greek physician Hippocrates’ humors. I find it is much more likely that I will remember what an ‘Expressive’ temperament is like than a ‘Sanguine’ temperament.

The four personality types are: Driver, Expressive, Amiable, and Analytical. There are two variables to identify any personality:

  1. Are they better at facts & data or relationships?
  2. Are they introverted or extroverted?

For a more in-depth explanation of each of the personality types check out my last post where I outline them each in detail. Here we will be focusing on the strengths and weaknesses of each and how you can use this knowledge to leverage your skills and get out of your own way so you can get S*%T done. But I will summarize with a graphic:

4 personality types

How Can You Use This Information to Get Out of Your Own Way?

Once you understand your dominant and secondary personality type, you can look at the strengths and weaknesses associated with those temperaments and take stock of which ones you possess so you can harness them to your advantage.

Take your Personality Purpose Test HERE

Both Expressives and Drivers see their strengths quickly and identify with them immediately, however, they can hardly bear to evaluate their weaknesses. One of their greatest faults is their feeling that they don’t have any. On the other side of the spectrum, due to their pessimistic natures Analyticals and Amiables have to ruminate awhile before accepting their positive qualities, but may embrace their weaknesses without hesitation.



If you find your dominant personality (or perhaps secondary personality) is an Expressive one, here are some places to look for your inner strengths and for ways you may be holding yourself back:

Expressives are often a bit naïve and don’t take themselves seriously, which can result in an attitude of complacency. They may not accept that they have faults or perhaps feel that their faults are not detrimental enough to demand action.

Expressives are endlessly positive and optimistic and are amazing at making friends and inspiring people. They can captivate and motivate others with their dazzling and exciting optimism. They are great at generating enthusiasm and momentum and are often very creative and colorful. They have an amazing ability to make anything fun and to make people laugh.

Expressives want to be liked above all else. Praise and other people’s opinions are more important to an Expressive than any other temperament. They seek out praise, thriving on it, which can lead to despair and emotional turmoil when they do not receive it. This can negatively affect the way Expressives make decisions and how they interact in relationships.

They excel at jobs and activities where they are front and center, interacting with people and using their creativity to drum up new ideas. (They will likely need an Analytical or a Driver to see the ideas through though).

Lack of follow through is a common trait of an enthusiastic Expressive. They often get really excited about a new project but lose interest part way through because they get bored, it gets hard, they’re disorganized, or too immature to see it to the end. They also lack patience and will plow forward without much planning or thought for consequences.

Expressives are also rather forgetful and absent minded. This stems from a place of self-centeredness. They are often so wrapped up in their colorful stories that they would rather talk than listen, resulting in a poor attention to detail and an inability to focus or remember key facts such as other people’s names.

Expressives can be too talkative. They often interrupt and have a hard time focusing on other people’s comments and suggestions. They are also very uncomfortable with silence and have to fill it with mindless chatter.

Expressives – How to Use this Information to Your Advantage:

  • Realize that creativity and enthusiasm are your strengths and motivate others to help you organize and follow through.
  • Know that you are likely to lose interest when things get hard or boring and plan accordingly; have an accountability partner or make a reward for getting halfway through a task.
  • Know that you are charming but resist the urge to always be the one talking. Give others room to talk and maybe you can learn something.
  • Focus is not your strength, and details and facts suffer because of it. Make a concerted effort to write things down and repeat them out loud.
  • Your strength is in your charisma, optimism, and desire for attention. Don’t get into a job or field that requires you to be quiet, detailed, or working solo.
  • Get help! You hate planning and detail-oriented tasks so get someone to do that part for you.

Have fun. You’re great at it!



If you find your dominant personality (or perhaps secondary personality) is an Analytical one, here are some places to look for ways you can harness your inner strengths and for ways you may be holding yourself back:

Analyticals are very deep and thoughtful, appreciative of beauty and intelligence. They are often very creative and inventive and great with numbers and linear thinking. They are very orderly and organized and often perfectionists. This perfectionism can lead to procrastination because they spend too much time in the planning phase afraid of getting something wrong.

They put unrealistic demands on themselves and others. They demand perfection, which can push others to rebel against them and can push themselves towards a downward spiral into depression.

Analyticals are very thoughtful and compassionate and make great listeners. Their ability to empathize is a great strength, and being a thoughtful listener can make others feel well supported.

Their emotional nature, however, is often moody, and they can sometimes influence others with their moodiness without being aware. They also take everything personally. Because Analyticals plan out every thought and comment to a tee and assume others do as well, a flippant comment from an Expressive or Driver can feel to an Analytical like it must have a deep and hidden meaning. They often go out of their way to be hurt, or to feel excluded or undervalued.

They tend towards pessimism and can therefore turn positives into negatives, so people might avoid inviting them to events or asking their opinion on important matters. They often hold onto and remember wrong-doings and negatives (keeping a score card, if you will).

Analyticals are often brilliant and tend towards genius. They think they are unique or above classification which can lead to a sense of superiority. They can also be very judgmental and they are most likely their own harshest critic.

Because of their inborn negative inclination and perfectionism, Analyticals often have low self-images and may feel insecure in social situations. They might make self-deprecating comments like, “I never get anything right” but really, they are insecure and fishing for a compliment that they will more than likely reject.

Analyticals excel at jobs that require attention to detail, careful planning, and linear thinking. They are also very economical and good with finances. Creating and staying within a budget are easy for an Analytical.

Analyticals – How to Use This Information to Your Advantage

  • If you are an Analytical, chances are you don’t believe it. You hate being put in a box and believe you are unique and unclassifiable. You are unique! But you are also an Analytical and there are lots of people like you! Embrace that fact but also understand that there are people who are not at ALL like you, so lighten up on them okay? And on yourself while you are at it!
  • You know that you have a tendency towards moodiness and depression so be mindful of the times you feel like descending into darkness. Take a step back and ask yourself if it is really as bad as you think.
  • You have a gift for organizing and focusing on details so put those skills to work in the plans you have for your life, work, and career.
  • Understand that it (whatever “it” is) will never be perfect! So just finish it already!
  • You are an attentive listener and deep thinker, so use these powers to help others be heard. Don’t use it to dwell on your – or their – shortcomings.
  • Get help! Enthusiasm and excitement are not your strong suit so get someone else to help drum up support for you and sell your ideas to others.

Go Be brilliant!



If you find your dominant or secondary personality is a Driver, here are some ways you can harness your inner strengths and ways you may be holding yourself back:

Drivers always think they are right. They are hesitant to accept that they have faults that may need addressing. They often rationalize their failures as being the fault of another, not due to their own actions or weaknesses.

Drivers Get. S*%t. Done. They are amazing at multi-tasking and finding the most efficient way to accomplish any task. Because of this they often take charge and then dole out orders. However, they are compulsive workers. Drivers can get a lot done but they don’t know how to just say no and relax. They always have to be productive and often feel guilty when they take a break.

Drivers have amazing follow-through and can always be counted on to complete a task, however, unlike an Analytical, their attention to detail is low, which can interfere with productivity. This can result in rushing through something and leaving out a critical detail, for example.

Drivers may claim they are perfectionists as well because everything could be better, faster, neater, more organized, but the reality is that Drivers lack the patience of a true Analytical perfectionist. (Unless that’s your other temperament, and then watch out!) This ‘perfectionism’ leads to Drivers pressuring themselves and others. Similar to an Analytical, Drivers put too much pressure on themselves to perform, resulting in guilt when they don’t live up to their own high expectations.

Drivers excel at leadership roles because they often don’t feel at ease when not in control. Because drivers always think they’re right, they can be short-sighted and miss where they went wrong or how to fix it. This can keep them spinning their wheels, doing the same wrong things over and over again. (Relationships, anyone?)

Apologizing is hard for Drivers, as is admitting that they’re wrong. Saying sorry feels like a sign of weakness to a Driver, and admitting weakness is difficult for this personality type.

Drivers always believe that they “always” know best, which can quickly turn into being judgmental of others. Drivers can also come across as bossy and overbearing when they think they’re just being helpful.

Drivers must realize that not everyone is as motivated and goal oriented as they are, so other types might not respond with enthusiasm to all of their ideas and plans.

Drivers are also very optimistic and outgoing. They are always pushing themselves and others to do and be better, and they truly believe in the possibilities.

Drivers – How to Use This Information to Your Advantage

  • Drivers, lighten up! Learn how to let go a little and relax. And maybe delegate?!?
  • Accept that others’ ways are equally as good or better. And remember that not everyone wants your advice!
  • You have a great ability to get stuff done and an unending pool of optimism to draw from, but don’t let those tools make you feel guilty if you don’t achieve it ALL. You’re already crushing it. Others are most likely in awe of you, so don’t be so hard on yourself! (But also, don’t let it go to your head.)
  • You are a natural leader, so don’t put yourself in positions where you will be subordinate (if you can help it).
  • You can rub people the wrong way by being bossy and manipulative. Keep this in mind and slow down, listen to others, and realize that they probably have some good advice and ideas too.
  • Get Help! Let someone else make the detailed plans, you might overlook something in the rush to accomplishing EVERYTHING.

Now go kick some ASS!



If you find your dominant or secondary personality is an Amiable, here are some ways you can harness your inner strengths and ways you may be holding yourself back:

Amiables are amazingly flexible and calm. They’re not emotional or explosive and can help the other three temperaments remain calm in tumultuous times. They are very agreeable and great at making friends. However, they never want to hurt others’ feelings so they have a hard time saying no or expressing how they really feel. They are often reluctant to communicate out of fear of difficult situations and rocking the boat.

Amiables are not easily excited or enthusiastic, which can really hurt and deflate others. They have little need for excitement and are often hard to get out of the house. They can stay home all month if no one drags them out! (I’m sure that came in handy in 2020!)

They are also very resistant to change and prefer the status quo. Even if they’re not completely satisfied, they would rather stick it out than risk change.

Amiables are champion procrastinators. Their mantra could be “I’ll do it tomorrow.” They procrastinate in hopes of avoiding ever having to make a decision. This often comes across as lazy. Amiables struggle with making decisions and taking responsibility for fear of making the wrong decision or upsetting someone in the process. Easier to just not make the decision… right?

They are often apathetic. Amiables need motivation from others to actually do something but are also very resistant to being pushed. They can be very stubborn.

Amiables are very patient and well balanced. They are great at holding their tongue and staying calm even when provoked. This makes them great administrators, mediators and leaders. Their ability to get along with everyone and stay calm is valuable. 

Amiables – How to Use This Information to Your Advantage:

  • Get out of the house and do something already!
  • Decision making is not your strong suit. Remember this and impose a limit to how long you’ll allow yourself to ruminate over something. 10 seconds? 10 minutes? 1 day? Don’t push it till tomorrow!
  • Everyone loves you but that doesn’t mean they get to walk all over you! Stand up for yourself and don’t be afraid to speak your mind.
  • Understand that you need help in the motivation department, so find a friend or colleague who you trust (and who is not too condescending) and have them hold you accountable.
  • You have an amazing sense of humor so let it shine!
  • You can get along with anyone. This is huge. Use it to your advantage.
  • Get help! You need a little push to get going and get excited. Maybe you could use a little help from a mentor or coach who will push you and keep you on track.
  • And again, don’t put it off until tomorrow!

Stay cool and carry on!


How I am applying this in my own life

In writing this series on the four personality types, I’ve revisited some lessons I learned from my own personality test. I am a Driver/Expressive with all of the Driver weaknesses… especially the pushy and bossy ones. It never feels good to check those boxes, but I have to remind myself of how far I have come. Before I did all of this personality work in my 20’s, a lot of my friends would have called me bossy. Now? I don’t think that would be in their top three ways to describe me (maaaybe top 5?), but that’s still an improvement and I can accept that!

Another thing I’ve really noticed this time around is my lack of patience, which can lead to sloppiness. I need to find a perfectionist to take a good look at my website and business to help me stay organized, on track, and on point.

The final thing this deep dive has reminded me of is affirming my direction in life. In a former life I was in a job that was very monotonous, required attention to detail, and was very isolating. I love science and enjoyed that aspect of it BUT; it did not line up with my strengths at ALL. I am a Driver/Expressive… I hate detail, quiet, and solo work!

Now I see that being a Life Coach and professional Butt-Kicker is EXACTLY what I was meant to be doing! I mean come on; I get to motivate, inspire, and push (notice I did not say “boss around”) amazing women to be their Gutsiest selves.

If this article has done anything for you, I hope it’s that you see how amazing you are and what gifts you have to share with the world.

Know that there is NOTHING wrong with you. You just need to understand where your strengths lie and where you can improve or delegate, and then get moving toward the life you are meant to be living.

I would love to hear what you learned about yourself from this series. Leave a comment below!

And don’t forget to take the Personality Purpose Test!

Now go kick some butt!


Be Gutsy! Share the Love!

Amanda Richey