The 6 Most Difficult Personality Types and How to Deal With Each
Often in communication, barriers can be avoided if there is an understanding that a person’s perceptions, cultural background and personality are often different from your own. This means you have to be able to get your ideas across despite these differences and become sensitive to other people’s personality types.
But different personality types often lead to problems. While personality clashes in the workplace are nothing new, if disagreements and hard feelings are affecting your productivity, causing you stress or just ruining your days at work, it’s time to rethink your interactions. It’s time to better understand personalities and learn how to best work with people “wired differently” than you.
The Negative Person
If they’re a co-worker: Finding fault doesn’t come up with solutions so the negativity accomplishes nothing. Including them in the process to find a solution may diminish or stop the negativity.
If you supervise them: Put the responsibility on the individual to find an answer other than “no.” Reinforce their efforts. Do follow up.
The Blameless Person
If they’re a co-worker: “Touch base” often and see how they are doing, see if they need help or direction. Keeping up a friendly rapport will keep you informed about team projects and tip you off to any obstacles
If you supervise them: State the performance issue in clear, objective terms and then listen
to their feedback. Tell them how to fix the mistake and set a time and date for a follow-up meeting to talk about how the problem was fixed. During the follow-up meeting, compliment the person for fixing the mistake. Confront the “blaming” tactics and reinforce with them that making mistakes is okay. What’s not okay is placing the blame on others.
If they’re a co-worker: Provide them with the chance to do individual work, and then slowly include the loner in group meetings. Ask for their opinions when the group meets and include them in the process of planning the next step in your project
If you supervise them: Learn what incentives motivate the person. Discuss some individual sections of a group project they can work on, and then how this work can be incorporated into the group work
If they’re a co-worker: Empower the person by asking them to create solutions to their grievances. People whine because they feel they have no control. Point out what’s in their power to change/control. What are they willing to do?
If you supervise them: Have the person state specific grievances. Ask the person what they think would be a good solution. Have them implement the solution.
If they’re a co-worker: Get the facts and follow some of the basic recommendations for negative people. Ask the antagonist to provide some solutions.
If you supervise them: Ask for realistic suggestions or problem solving. When dealing with an antagonist’s insubordination, make sure to check organization policies and be consistent
If they’re a co-worker: If the high-maintenance person is needy because of a lack of confidence, be sure that you very carefully and thoroughly go over the “how-to” part of the assignment.
If you supervise them: Set up meeting times and dates ahead of time. Refuse to enable the neediness. During the meetings reinforce the needy worker for what they have accomplished. Ask for updates on progress. Hold them accountable for the work. Let them know you have confidence that they will complete the tasks satisfactorily.
Personality clashes at work are no fun. But if you can identify certain personality types and use the appropriate tricks to improve your communication, then you will spend less time dealing with office politics and more time on things that really matter. So solve those problems, resolve the conflicts, and get on achieving your goals!