Become Great at Juggling – Learn How to Manage Diverse Personalities

Matt| June 15, 2015| Managers

A workplace is usually home to a number of different personality types: some of which are a positive influence and some of which are not.

As an executive, supervisor or manager, it’s your job to not only navigate these personality differences, but also to set employees up for success within the confines of your business structure. Those with natural leadership skills should be assigned to take charge of projects or departments. Meanwhile, hard workers who shun the corporate limelight should be given behind-the-scenes roles.

Easy as ABC

Any business can be thought of like a rock band. The ‘lead singer’ is a type-A personality who thrives on taking charge and receiving public recognition. The ‘guitar player’ and ‘bass player’ are type-B personalities that prize collaborating and teamwork over individual accolades. The ‘drummer’ is a type-C personality that enjoys working behind the scenes and doesn’t crave public recognition. Obviously, you wouldn’t want your singer playing drums and your drummer singing. The same goes for placing staff strategically within your business structure.

Type-A personalities are natural leaders, but they can also have narcissistic tendencies. These folks may have trouble empathizing with those around them, so you will want to motivate Type-A people by framing rules and responsibilities around how both will benefit them.

Type-B people thrive on collaboration and should be placed in situations where they can work with others to achieve a common goal. Type-B people also excel in roles where they  interact with others such as sales or communications positions.

Type-C people tend to be detail oriented and will gravitate toward careers such as editors, software engineers or quality controls. Type-Cs  don’t crave working in teams, which means they can be given a great deal of autonomy in their roles.

Making Lemonade from Lemons

In addition to these three basic personality types, managers also have to consider people with sides of their personality that are counterproductive to the work ecosystem.

Often showing up late or not following though on promises they made, people with these passive-aggressive tendencies can be difficult to deal with at times. However, these tendencies can be handled by establishing a clear set of goals and expectations. Don’t expect passive-aggressive people to thrive in roles with large degrees of autonomy.

Everyone knows who the office gossip is, and while their gregarious nature can make them appealing to talk to, gossip often takes a turn toward the ugly and personal. Management needs to resist the urge to engage in any workplace gossip and should let employees know that gossip will not be tolerated. Management publicly acknowledging the issue of gossip gives employees permission not to participate in it.

Unfortunately, the workplace is often home to people who are unable to control their anger and release their feelings in violent outbursts. Management must make it clear that violent outbursts on the job are not acceptable. People with anger problems need to be told that their outbursts are putting their jobs in danger, and the company fully supports any steps they might take to curtail this behavior.

At Long Island Temps, we understand that having different personalities on staff is a blessing, not a curse. With a robust pool of talent, we are uniquely positioned to provide our clients with the type of employee that precisely fits their staffing needs. Contact us today.