It’s been said that skills can be taught but a personality is here to stay.
Smart managers know this and understand that individual personality types at work affect the culture and morale of a company. We may spend the bulk of our day with people we didn’t choose to be with, and we may not even like them very much.
However, this doesn’t mean that our working days need to be plagued with conflict. We’re unpacking how a proactive approach to dealing with different personality types at work can benefit everyone.
Common Personality Types at Work
While not exhaustive, this list offers an overview of the most common personality types that you’ll encounter. And, many of these behaviors stem from elements that we can’t see, or may not understand.
1. Type A Personality
A Type A personality at work is characterized by a constant sense of being on the clock and a strong competitive nature. They are typically more stressed, hate failure, and have a hard time slowing down even once they achieve their goals.
Working with domineering Type A’s can be challenging. Getting along with them requires calm, non-reactive, and clear communication. Being gently assertive and professional allows for a healthy working relationship.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you may find that you’re working with a wallflower – a quiet, diligent introvert. These people are more comfortable working alone and out of the spotlight.
It can be difficult to engage them, and some may feel frustrated by their seeming lack of interaction. They prefer to work alone, however, and can usually be trusted to beaver away unobtrusively. Respect their personal boundaries and allow them to operate in a low-key environment.
They know everything, they tend to speak over others, and can induce eye-rolling in other team members. A know-it-all is usually insecure, though, and overcompensates with a loud mouth and an overexaggerated sense of self.
Dealing with this difficult personality type requires a little more patience than usual. They may have something worthwhile to say, but their desire for attention and commendation may overshadow these gems. Listen and commend, but be sure to kindly remind them that others also offer value.
4. People Pleasers
If your personality assessment tests have uncovered a people pleaser, then you’ll understand how their traits can cause issues.
Their constant desire for acceptance forces them to say yes to everything, resulting in missed deadlines and burnout. Afford them the freedom to express themselves and the ability to say no to others if necessary.
5. The Narcissist
Narcissists are one of the most difficult personality types at work, being challenging to work with and detrimental to team morale. They can be some of the highest achievers due to their innate refusal to fail, but they have a way of manipulating others to achieve their own ends.
Getting along with them may involve gentle, consistent guidance on how to treat others while understanding that they tend to work best on their own.
People Are People
When thrust into an environment with these different personality types at work, it’s up to each one of us to make it work. Most people don’t set out to be difficult, but have baggage that we may never fully understand. Kindness, understanding, and open communication will benefit everyone.
If you’ve found this article helpful, then keep checking in for more practical insights on work, life, and personal development.