To Celebrate or Not to Celebrate: How to Tailor Feedback to the 9 Personality Types

To Celebrate or Not to Celebrate: How to Tailor Feedback to the 9 Personality Types

Some like to be yelled at, some like to be coddled. And some like to be acknowledged, while others hate being put on the spot. But how could you possibly personalize feedback for all your employees? Lucky for HR, there are ways we can classify employees based on their personality types – and after we have done so, we can tailor feedback based on their main characteristics.

So here is our advice on the different types of people you might see in the office, and how to give them positive or negative feedback.


The socials are your playfuls, the people people. The ones who never seem shy and somehow find a way to get along with everyone. They find it easy to speak and love building networks, constantly meeting new people and seeking new opportunities. They are creative, generating new ideas daily. Though they might struggle with organizational skills, they know how to work in a team and often become the glue that holds it all together.

These social butterflies thrive on approval, wanting to be reminded of their value within the team. When giving them feedback, make it personal and show them your approval. They most probably have short attention spans, so make sure your feedback is quick and to the point.

With the socials, it’s a good idea to keep feedback frequent and short. Since they jump from idea to idea quickly, they will find it easier to focus on feedback if it is directly related to what they are working on at the moment. And once they are motivated, they will continue to overperform.

Make feedback straightforward and focused rather than vague and generalized. Give pointers as to how they may improve in the future.


You’ll know who the perfectionists are because chances are they have already come up with a new filing system as well as a color-coded reference chart. They are detail-oriented master-organizers, focusing on work with unparalleled efficiency. They might find it difficult to work with the socializers because they do not necessarily deal well with spontaneity, finding it easier to plan ahead and to stick to schedule.

When giving feedback to the perfectionists, you will need to speak to them one and one and be compassionate. Though they are very motivated to improve and perfect their skills, they need this to come from someone they have a good relationship with. They do not want to feel judged.

Working best in schedules, the perfectionists appreciate a structured approach to feedback. Rather than receiving input sporadically, they like to be sat down for a full 360-performance review including all positives and negatives. Do this monthly or bi-monthly, and they will be good as gold.

Make feedback honest, drawing direct lines to how their performance has been contributing to goals and objectives.


Proactives are the star athletes of the workplace. They are goal driven and hardworking, setting objectives for themselves and putting in the hours to get there. They often revise their goals and set new ones, doing anything in their power to achieve them. They love work and do not shy away from finding new ways to get results. Strong personalities, they are powerful and confident.

When it comes to feedback, proactives will need the wording to be as specific as possible. The person giving them feedback will need to be as confident in their evaluation as proactives will be in asking questions.

Feedback given to proactives should be concrete and well-rouned, allowing them to take a step back and to look at the bigger picture. Include details on facts and figures, and do not be afraid to tell them how they could improve – proactives won’t take this personally. Though because they are also self-critical, make sure to give proactives some personalized positive feedback as well.

Make feedback to the point and personal, focusing on both the positive and the negative, and give them concrete evidence of their achievements.


The pacifists have most likely already become the serene epicenters of your office. They are unfazed and easy-going, liked by everyone around them for their easygoing tendencies. They stray away from conflict, choosing instead to focus on their own work at hand.

With pacifists, it is most important to give them feedback in private. Because they may be more dedicated to maintaining harmony and avoiding conflict, they might at first seem more sensitive than the other types in the office. Before suggesting ways in which the pacifists might improve, make sure to emphasize their strengths and congratulate them on the ways they have been excelling.

Despite their peaceful nature, their easygoingness also means that the pacifists are open to feedback - given that it is provided in a respectful manner. Make sure to explain to them how constructive feedback will contribute to their overall performance, and end on a positive note.

Make feedback well-natured, emphasizing effective communication and care.

Is your office space dominated by socials, perfectionists, proactives, or pacifists? Or do you have a mix of all? Now you know how to best tailor feedback to each and every employee!