4 min readAug 23, 2021


Temperaments make up a huge part of peoples’ personalities. Actually temperaments are the expressions of personality makeups and they account for most psychological analysis especially as relating to people management and HR. Understanding temperaments is the easy way out to understanding how people think, why they do what they do, and predicting future behaviour in different environments and situations.

In understanding how your team members or teammates think and what their behavioural strengths and weaknesses are, you may need to consider categorizing them into temperamental compartments. According to years of studies in the psychology and behavioural patterns of humans, there are 4 widely accepted and used temperaments. They are:

  1. Sanguine
  2. Melancholy
  3. Choleric
  4. Phlegmatic

These temperaments are not fault-proof or water-tight as a person can be two, three or even have traits of all of them. However, studies have shown that a person can be more than but have one major outstanding temperament.

There’s a lot to say about each temperament but to confine this thought to team work in social impact organizations, we would be looking briefly into each temperament and proceed to applying their definitions to our teams. Shall we? Let’s go!

Sanguines are the happy-go-lucky lively individuals who could care so little about what others care about and just wake up feeling good every morning. They fall into the extrovert super category.

Melancholics actually care too much about what there should really be no fuss about. They are intuitive, detailed, very meticulous and internally motivated people. They fall into the introvert super category.

Cholerics fall into the extrovert super category and they share some similarities with the melancholics only that they’re very expressive. They are internally motivated and go-getters. If you don’t flow on the same frequency with them, they would drop you off. They don’t tolerate slowness and might not even care about empathy.

Phlegmatics are introverts and they are the ‘sacrificial lambs’. They can do anything to ensure that there is no friction or discomfort. They are poorly motivated and they get easily uncomfortable and embarrassed. They easily throw in the towel as long as that makes everyone happy.

In your organisation and in team work, there might be some crucial tasks that the team needs to attend to and some issues might come up. Let’s see how each personality would react to the situation.

  1. Shortage of funds:

Sanguine- What can we do now? We can just use what we have. Get whatever we can afford and that’s all. We can’t beat ourselves up.

Melancholic- The beneficiaries of this project need us. If we don’t do this,we’ve failed our state, our country and the world. I’ll try to think up something.

Choleric- This project is one of our biggest projects and we cannot but accomplish it. We must get money to fund it by whatever means even if it means taxing ourselves. If you’re not in,you might as well leave the team.

Phlegmatic- We don’t have to do this project if there’s no money.

2. After a Successful Project:

Sanguine- Yasss! We did it! Where’s the party holding?!

Melancholic- Congratulations to our team. We had a great outing. However, let’s try to fix punctuality next time. Sandra came late and that almost ruined everything. I also noticed that Joey and Akueke had a brawl. Let’s talk about it now.

Choleric- We did it! I had sleepless nights and I just knew all that couldn’t go to waste. When is the next project? We can’t relax now.

Phlegmatic- Great outing guys. You guys are the real deal. I hope I can get a refund for the nose masks I branded for the team but if I can’t get it, it’s fine.

We hope you can relate to one or more of these examples. We’ll drop other instances. Please do well to comment what you think would be the response of each temperament to the situation.

  1. When the team lead is annoying
  2. When there is no remuneration for a while.
  3. When documents get carried away by water


For the HR manager, there is need to understand the temperaments of each worker in the organisation for an optimal working experience and relationship within the organisation. It is not enough to understand the person. How do you manage them?

For sanguines, there may be need to externally motivate them by creating a fun working environment and also spelling out the boundaries and expectations.

For melancholics, there is need for an emotionally conducive working environment. They should be respected and heard. A great feedback system should be made available so you can hear their thoughts. The feedback system could be anonymous for greater results.

For cholerics, boundaries should be set out too especially as relating to relationships amongst team members. Mutual respect should be promoted and ample space should be given to them to express their motivation. They can be team leaders but must be under supervision.

For phlegmatics, if they’re not carried along, they might become useless to you. Help them work better with others instead of being the ones to bear the brunt of others’ mistakes. A feedback system would also work perfectly with them. Praise them openly for their extra efforts and compensate them accordingly.

Hope you enjoyed this read? Do have a great week!