Work “personalities” you’ll recognise and how to manage them

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The Shrewdest Moves in Business (4)

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link which means that dynamics between team relationships must be up to scratch. The problem is that managing people is not an easy task, but is one that as you move up the career ladder, you will at some point have to get to grips with.

Naturally you can’t control how others think or behave, and trying to do so would more than likely cause some bad blood leading to an uncomfortable working environment. Luckily there are more subtle ways to bring the best out in people which will make the work place a much more pleasant experience for all.

Here’s how to manage some common personalities you might come across at work, meaning a much more productive working environment, and more time for you to get down to the nitty gritty. Win win!

The Control freak

The control freak is a natural leader which is an excellent quality to have; control freaks aren’t always a bad thing. However they have been known to ruffle a few feathers here and there when they don’t always get what they want. Members of their team may find them difficult to work with and it may have a negative influence on morale where those around them are not feeling sufficiently valued.

How to manage: Where you may want to put two control freaks together so that the shoe is on the other foot, sparks will fly. The control freak is the hardest person to manage as you certainly don’t want to dent their high levels of motivation. Try not to challenge their authority, but find ways to get them to see that shared responsibility is a good thing- what they need to see is that they can trust others.

The Introvert

Quiet and reserved, introverts shouldn’t be mistaken for not playing their part as they are most often seen and not heard. Mostly extremely hardworking, introverts prefer to get on with their work, rather than waste time discussing it first. Focused, they will come to meetings well prepared with relevant questions but won’t always be the first to speak out with their ideas.

How to manage: Don’t feel inclined to constantly jump in during pauses in conversation, introverts are inclined to choose their words carefully so they may simply be thinking before they speak. Make sure you always give them the opportunity to say their piece, and involve them in group conversations by bringing up any ideas which they have discussed with you – they may feel too intimidated by large groups of people.

The Gossip

Hard to miss, they are the one to go to if you need any information on anyone; from the cleaner to the CEO. But knowing everyone’s business and spreading it like it wildfire isn’t going to do you any favours. Gossipers will cause an environment of distrust which may be detrimental to how your team communicates.

How to manage: People are always going to talk, so make a start at keeping the gossiper at bay by setting a good example. Be the manager that people feel they can approach by keeping everything they tell you strictly confidential, and don’t involve yourself in rumour mill filled co-worker discussions- no matter how juicy they may be.

The Tradionalist

This employee is likely to have worked at your organisation for long time, where they have made a great impact and are pretty much part of the furniture. However, they find it difficult to adapt to change which leans towards a bigger and brighter future. Most likely to say, “but we’ve always done it this way…”

How to manage: Get them involved in new projects from the offset, this way they won’t fear change, but be keen to help shape it. They are a wealth of experience, so although you might be introducing something new and innovative, they will definitely have opinions which will be of benefit.

The next time you are faced with a people management situation, think of their personality style and adapt accordingly, you’ll thank yourself later.

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