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Understanding the Power of Diverse Personalities at Work

Communication permeates everything we do and our personalities – our attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors – are a natural driver for how we act and what say. Being successful in today’s workplace demands having an awareness and understanding of different personalities to avoid misunderstanding or conflict.  Many different personality types can complement each other, but in some cases, there is also the potential for conflict. A good strategy for career success is to learn about these different personality traits and understand the most effective approach for collaborating with each type of person.

Remember: everybody is different and no two people are alike. Throughout your work and personal life, it is inevitable that you interact with people whose personalities differ vastly from your own. Diversity is a powerful tool for any organization — companies thrive when it’s comprised of diverse personalities who can offer alternative strengths and weaknesses!

The Ego Monster

There is no project or task out there that The Ego Monster will not give a go. They are the first person to put their hand up and take responsibility for an idea, yet can also be rather fickle with their time, jumping from task to task. They are good at looking after both themselves and their team members, and the majority of the time, are great at brushing off any criticism or negativity.

The best way to get along with The Ego Monster is to understand that their behavior is often rooted in insecurity. Making changes can be difficult for this type of person and you may need to work closely with them on a personal level in order to make team interactions more successful.

The Solo Artist

You are most likely to see The Solo Artist alone; their work is immaculate and well performed and they prefer to work alone rather than volunteering themselves for big team projects. When getting to know this type of person, a good strategy is to offer a lunch date or post-work drink one-on-one, as opposed to with a group of people.

Try not to push this type of personality to engage socially, as doing this will only frustrate the both of you. Instead, you should try and show that you recognize their achievements, while giving them plenty of time to process more difficult communications such as constructive feedback or negative performance reviews.

The Socialite

The Socialite is everybody’s best friend and is usually a true extrovert. You will find them hanging out in the break room, stopping at other people’s desks or chilling by the water dispenser chatting.

A really useful way to channel this type of personality is to use it to help get others involved in group activities. Team building events are essential in the workplace and something that requires team involvement like a treasure hunt or problem-solving activity needs someone to take the lead – this is the perfect job for The Socialite.

Woe is Me

EVERYONE is out to get the Woe is Me. Whether it’s the person that keeps parking in their spot or the co-worker that’s not pulling their weight, there is always something to be complained about.

However, instead of confronting the issue head-on, it is better to have a chat one-on-one and work to gain their trust. This way, any issues can be resolved in a respectful way – once things have been sorted and talked through, the office environment will be a much brighter place.

Guest author:

7 thoughts on “Understanding the Power of Diverse Personalities at Work”

  1. I like your examples, Elizabeth! Diversity in the workplace will keep growing as more millennials join the workforce. That’s why managers need to adopt a flexible mindset to make teamwork possible.

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