Working with Conceptual people can be very rewarding and challenging

Working with different people can be challenging, none more so than the Conceptual. They are undoubtedly friendly and enthusiastic, but the Conceptual can struggle with a number of work situations.


Whilst they can be brilliant at coming up with ideas and starting a project with infectious enthusiasm, when it comes to completing the project they can struggle. Completing work is not always a strength for a Conceptual. The project becomes dull, boring and repetitive to them. Other projects are much more interesting.


So if we’re working with a Conceptual we need to be prepared to re-motivate them towards the end of a project.


Ideas that may prove useful in working with a Conceptual include:


  1. Have a meeting to agree actions to complete the project, almost as a mini project in itself. Project X Completion, ensuring success…
  2. Pose the completion of the project as a problem that needs solving because developing solutions is a Conceptual’s strength; ‘How are we going to ensure we tie this project up?’
  3. Position the project as a case study which can be used as a template for future projects ‘It would be good if we could use this project as a template for the future, but how do we do this?
  4. Offer other projects which can only be started once this is complete.
  5. Break the project down into very small tasks.

If you have a Conceptual as a manager, this can be great fun and a nightmare at the same time; fun because of their enthusiasm and energy; a nightmare because the Conceptual can have the habit of continuously changing their mind.


I once met a person who said she took no notice of what her boss said until it was in writing. The Conceptual manager says a lot but when it is put in writing it can indicate they are more committed.


What to do with a Conceptual manager? We can be quite firm with them, whilst remembering to still be friendly. They know what they are like and we can allude to this without being too direct. So something like, ‘Are we sure this is the right path to take because I only have this afternoon to complete the task before I leave for the conference?’


Working with Conceptuals can be very rewarding and motivating as long as we use the appropriate tactics with the more challenging aspects of their work style.


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Working with Conceptual people can be challenging, but here are some tips…