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Four common workplace personalities and how to work effectively with them
Everyone is different. We all have our own thoughts, experiences, beliefs and cultures. While this variety definitely makes life more interesting and exciting, it can be a bit of a stumbling block within the workplace when these differences collide. Learning how to work effectively with your colleagues and how to balance their personalities with yours is an important part of working life.
Who are they? Leaders are usually very ambitious, driven and confident individuals. They’re the type of people that take control of a situation, make clear decisions and you’ll probably find them putting in plenty of overtime. These positive traits are balanced by the fact that they have a tendency to favour their own opinion and can be insensitive to other’s thoughts and feelings. And while they’re great at seeing the ‘big picture’, they can sometimes miss the smaller details.
How can you work with them? Be clear, reasoned and logical in your approach to leaders, particularly if you’d like them to consider opinions other than their own. Follow their lead and give them the freedom they need to excel. Finally, try not to get upset or irritated if they say or do something that you find offensive – they probably didn’t intend for you to take it that way at all.
Who are they? Peacemakers are the heart of a strong and successful team because they’re patient, diplomatic and level-headed. It’s impossible to dislike peacemakers as they’re usually kind, inoffensive and sympathetic. However, they tend to avoid confrontation at all costs, sometimes at their own expense, put too much emphasis on trying to please everyone and get easily overwhelmed by their work or responsibilities.
How can you work with them? Make sure you know what else they’re working on before you give them a task, as they’re likely to say ‘yes’ even if they don’t have the time. Encourage them to step outside their comfort zone, voice their opinions and embrace new experiences. And remember to thank them for their work – peacemakers are so unassuming that they can sometimes get taken for granted!
Who are they? Socialisers are fun to be around and tend to be lively, enthusiastic, loud and talkative. They excel at networking and socialising, and their work often displays a creative flair. On the other hand, they can be disorganised, easily distracted and difficult to work with as they move quickly from one task to another.
How can you work with them? Give socialisers the freedom to exercise their creativity, while also giving them clearly defined tasks and deadlines to help them maintain focus. Participate positively in their conversations, but don’t indulge their tendency to like a good chat – and steer them away from any malicious gossip!
Who are they? Analysts tend to be serious and thoughtful, and are quite happy to work independently. They can be trusted to complete tasks to a high standard, but their need for perfection can lead to inevitable disappointment in both themselves and their colleagues. While analysts are great at following orders, they can also be negative and find it difficult to cope with uncertainty and new situations that take them outside of their comfort zone.
How can you work with them? Analysts appreciate having time to think and a lack of pressure when it comes to making decisions. They also love having all the information they need upfront so that decision can be an informed one. So give them the facts and a bit of space, and you should be rewarded with great work.
Of course, it’s not just about how you can form relationships with others – they’ll be looking to do the same with you. You may even recognise yourself in these descriptions, so why not maximise the potential of your work relationships by considering the advice from the other side?
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"Focus on…" articles are intended to provide users of the EURES portal with information on current topics and trends and to stimulate discussion and debate. They do not necessarily reflect the view of the European Commission.