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Managing many Personalities in the Workplace

teamwork, personnel, managing different personalities, workplace

Kay Vitee, CEO of Quest Staffing Solutions

Looking around any company, you will encounter many different people. With some, you will get on well. With others, you will constantly clash. Even at these moments however you need to acknowledge it takes a variety of personalities for a company to be successful.

“There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to managing the array of personalities in the workplace,” says Kay Vittee, CEO of Quest Staffing Solutions.

“But pin-pointing the types of personalities and adapting your management style accordingly, can bring out the best in your team.”

Vittee looks at a few recognisable personality types and how to manage them:

The Workhorse:

The workhorse is the person you can rely on to get the job done. They put their heads down and you will see them again when the task is complete.

They consistently go the extra mile to produce excellent work. Their work ethic is extremely valuable to the team.

Although they will become impatient with other personality types, their drive can motivate other team members to put more effort into their work.

“Their quiet nature often means they are placed in supporting roles and overlooked for promotions or other developmental opportunities. They probably won’t raise the issue, but will feel the injustice of this as they believe their hard work should speak for itself,” explains Vittee.

Vittee suggests managers need to keep a watchful eye on the workhorse’s workload. Ensuring it is realistic while providing them with opportunities forcing them to work with others.

Encourage them to take up leadership roles and develop their interpersonal skills to become more noticed in the workplace.

The Creative:

The creative person embraces the bigger picture. They think out of the box and invent new strategies.

Their ideas are often contagious. They inspire others to think in innovative ways.

Creatives are open to other people’s ideas and are great team players. They think visually and have a clear picture of the end result, but have trouble planning the practical steps to bring this about.

Says the CEO, “Managing the creative requires a fine balance. They do need to be brought down to reality. Beware it is not done in such a way that it demotivates them.

Creatives become easily discouraged. If they feel their contributions are constantly being met with negative reactions, they will stop contributing altogether.

Without their creative outlet, other aspects of their work begin to suffer.”

She goes on, “Instead, be open to their ideas and guide their thinking along the practical route. Ask how they suggest their ideas work within the constraints.

Their creative thinking means they have hidden problem-solving abilities and with the right guidance, this ability can come to light.”

The Smooth-talker:

The smooth talker is the person who is extroverted and the one you will hear before you see. They are the ones who contribute in meetings and are great at getting others to buy into an idea.

The smooth talker is a people person who enjoys forming relationships. Their relationship focus means their work ethic may suffer.

While they are likely to make promises they cannot deliver on, they will also be able to talk themselves out of any bad situation.

“Managers need to be aware of exactly what the strengths and weaknesses of their smooth talker are. Before ensuring they meet their deadlines and take responsibility for their actions.

Although the smooth talker needs to be reigned in, remember their sales abilities are an advantage to the team.

So, don't restrict them to the point that they feel stifled,” Vittee warns.

“What helps a smooth talker is to give them a very clear goal,” she says.

“Explain that their natural leadership qualities will make them great managers, but in order to get there, they need to achieve certain work ethic objectives.”

Pic Credit: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images.

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