HUMAN RESOURCES / JAN. 21, 2015
version 4, draft 4

The Eight Classical Types of Workplace Behavior

Various studies have sought to identify the various types of workplace behavior. For example, the Myers-Briggs inventory outlines 16 personality types in the workplace whereas Francie Dalton, a leadership development professional, identifies seven. Understanding the variations of workplace behavior of each of your employees allows you to attain overall maximum efficiency by making use of the strengths of such behavior. It also guides you on how to relate with your peers, subordinates as well as supervisors.

 

#1 The Commander

Telltale signs of this behavior include aggressiveness, domineering and demanding. Such workers are not tactful when speaking their mind and are, instead, direct, which is unintentional due to their poor human interaction skills. The commander displays tendencies that may seem like they are trying to usurp other people’s duties. This is a sign of their drive and initiative. Dealing with such employees requires evaluation and validation for their mettle to surmount challenges, implement and attain results.

 

#2 The Attacker

It is not uncommon to find such employees at the heart of workplace feuds that interfere with cohesion and teamwork. Adjectives, such as, angry, cynical, grumpy and hostile describe workers who are attackers. They can ferment low morale in other employees with their sarcastic remarks that are often personal. Avoid such an occurrence by minimizing other workers’ interaction with these employees. Counsel the affected staff members on coping with the attacker or – if worse comes to worst – assess the benefits or ramifications of keeping the attacker as an employee.

 

#3 The Pleaser

This employee displays thoughtful, helpful and pleasant characteristics, which make them the perfect people to get along with from a personal perspective. They find it hard to turn down other people’s request for their help and are allergic to conflicts such that they are prone to developing stomach complications or migraines in such situations. Workers with such behavior can avoid doing what is right for the company just to maintain good relations with others. Enlighten them on the need of committing actions for the ‘greater good.’

 

#4 The Performer

They are a preferred personality in the workplace due to their flamboyancy, mental quickness, charm and entertaining character. The performer stands out due to his willingness to volunteer for various functions, reluctance to accept responsibility and displaying a false picture of productivity. Self-promotion is another hallmark of such workers who exploit others to reach their professional destinations. Be wary of such people as they can mislead you by distorting the facts. Always verify the facts before acting on anything told by a performer.

 

#5 The Avoider

With such an employee, you should be prepared to constantly give detailed instructions on what you expect him to do. This personality type radiates quietness and insecurity, which often arises when criticized. Their preference is to work alone and can only validate other people’s opinions when put in a group setting. An avoider employee is fearful of taking initiative and will shy away from additional responsibility because of his low affinity for accountability and responsibility. Such workers prefer the status quo and would rather forego the prospect of career growth, increased salary or promotion.

 

#6 The Drifter

Drifters need a management style that accords them flexible work programmes, brief assignments as well as lots of fun. This is due to their short attention span that negatively affects their attention to detail and their disorganized character. Such employees have problems sticking to deadlines, work hours, as well as organizational rules. Their free-spirited attitude lights up an office environment but can be exhausting at times. Failure to rein in such personalities may bring your managerial capabilities into question.

 

#7 The Analytical

The analytical describes an employee who is so keen to detail that projects can lag behind when under their custody. They are diligent, accurate and cautious, which is highlighted by the way they are always proofreading every document before submission. Furthermore, they exhibit social awkwardness and often distance themselves from others. Handling issues with kid gloves can backfire on the analytical personality especially in urgent times. Coping with this type of personality will entail highlighting sections of projects that need their input.

 

#8 The Achiever

He represents the dream employee; he is easy to work with because of his high confidence in his beliefs and behaviors. The achiever is also conscious of his abilities and needs no arrogance to show them off. Absorbing criticism is not a problem for him because they realize it is one way of making himself better. Another factor that makes him the perfect workplace personality is his teamwork where he is always consulting with others for the greater benefit of the company.

 

Remember, these are general personality types some of which may be stereotypical. Certain employees may display traits that are fully consistent with one personality variation while others may possess an amalgamation of these characteristics. You can become vulnerable as their supervisor when these personality types reach extreme ends, which will necessitate your intervention through a customized approach.

 

Image: iStock

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