Personalities In The Workplace

It’s a given that working in an office environment means you will interact with all different kinds of people; and sometimes getting along with all of them can be a bit of a challenge. When people are hard to deal with, it can lead to slower productivity and missed deadlines.

Different people need to be dealt with in different ways and as individuals. A sensitive person would be dealt with differently than a “straight to the point” kind of person.

Read on for tips about dealing with various personalities.

Adapt & Be Courteous 
Do what you can to not interrupt other people’s workflows and you will be looked at as a team player. Find out what personality types people have, and adapt your behavior towards them accordingly. If someone would rather be emailed than have you stop by his or her desk, or vice versa, take note.

Pick Your Battles
When there is a conflict, you may choose not to engage because it causes work to get delayed and it stresses people out. Not everything has to be a battle, and you should asses when you should push something and when you should let it go.

Having various personalities at a workplace can be a good thing because there are many different opinions and ideas. It’s important to keep in mind that everyone is working towards the same thing: the success of the company. It’s ok for people to be passionate and have opinions about work; it means they care. Work with your colleagues and you will be most successful.

Kill Them With Kindness
If you can prepare yourself with a response to a repetitive, anticipated behavior, you’re on the right track. Play out the situation in your mind or with a friend, and come up with a solution that will resolve the issue in a mature and rational way that won’t set the other person off.

Don’t Take it to Heart
More often than not, people act the way they do because of something personal that is going on with them. The same thing goes for difficult co-workers. It likely doesn’t have much to do with you, even though it may feel that way. It doesn’t excuse bad behavior, but it can help to explain why it may be happening. Find some common ground somewhere with them, something that will at the very least help you to exist together civilly.

Mutual Respect
Almost everyone just wants to know they’re being heard. One person can’t know it all or do it all, so everyone needs to respect each other’s strengths, ask others for input and work together. You don’t need to be friends outside of the office, but you do need to work together effectively in order to strive in the company.

Problem Personalities in the Workplace:

These people resist direction, they think they always know what is best and they ignore even the nicest of advice or suggestions. Not only do they think they are the best at what they do, they think everyone needs to earn their respect.

How to Respond:
-Check your own ego before interacting; Trying to one-up them is usually not worth the time and energy.
-Be assertive: don’t let a bully walk over you.
-Distance yourself: deal with them in small amounts then walk away.

It can be hard to deal with gossipy colleagues. You can’t control what people talk about but you can help by not buying into it. Gossip is bad for the work environment; it leads to distrust and hurt feelings.

How to Respond
-If someone comes to you with “Hot Gossip”, don’t bite. Lead by example.
-Deal with people individually, don’t take on your team as a whole.

Grumpy Pants
Hearing someone complain morning and afternoon is exhausting for everyone, and can really hurt office morale.

How to Respond
-Provide a solution to their complaint. If they are complaining about something in particular, reply with, “well, we can solve that by…”
-Meet with them in private to have a discussion about their attitude. Maybe they truly don’t realize they complain so much, or how much it affects everyone else in the office.

Whatever the personality types that show up in a workplace, there are always going to be people that don’t get along or individuals that are much harder for everyone to deal with. But by arming yourself with some of these strategies, hopefully dealing with any difficult coworkers becomes just slightly less challenging then before.