Don’t Give Up On the Golden Rule in the Workplace

Have you ever been annoyed at your team member for being too loud or rambunctious? Or impatient with your employee for not getting to the point quick enough?

We all have different styles of communicating and preferred methods for getting our work done.

As a Manager, having a good understanding of how personalities work, will benefit you in playing to team members strengths and building a more productive & efficient team.

If we look at 4 common personality traits, we can begin to understand others & learn how best to manage them (and treat them the way they wish to be treated!)

First up – Introverts…Introverts typically dislike noise, interruptions, and big group settings. They instead tend to prefer quiet solitude, time to think before speaking (or acting), and building relationships and trust one-on-one. Introverts recharge with reflection, focus on the task at hand and typically love “me” time.

In contrast, Extroverts enjoy being the centre of attention and gravitate toward groups and constant action. They tend to think out loud, get distracted more easily and take the lead on projects. They are energised and recharged by being around other people and interacting or sharing ideas.

Most often, the work environment is set up to benefit extroverts – open plan offices, noisy smoko rooms, and team gatherings all energise extroverts, and sap the energy from introverts.

Here’s how to work with and manage both types of people.

With Introverts:

  • Go electronic – they prefer email or chat
  • Give them a quiet work environment & allow flexible time to work from home
  • Provide airtime – ask for their opinion in private
  • Give them space, but show your support
  • Provide regular feedback so they don’t assume the worst

With Extroverts:

  • Let them speak and be the centre of attention
  • Be assertive when communicating with them
  • Ask them questions
  • Allow them plenty of time to socialise
  • Let them lead group projects

In terms of working style, people also tend to have different preferences for how they go about their day and get things done.

Informal People tend to be casual & like to keep their options open, their office may look chaotic. They typically view structure or rules as being more limiting than enabling. They are generally curious and able to fit into whatever situation arises.

Self-Disciplined People, are the opposite. They plan out their lives and organise their world to achieve goals and results in a predictable way. They are conscientious, detail focused and may come across as rigid and opinionated. They get their sense of control by making decisions and seeking closure.

Here’s how to work with and manage both types of people.

With Informal People:

  • Allow time for things to flow
  • Bring in new ideas and possibilities
  • Let them be creative
  • Encourage autonomy and personal freedom
  • Realise changes in direction are not necessarily impulsiveness

With Self-Disciplined People:

  • Present a timetable and stick to it (or provide maximum warning if not)
  • Allow them time to prepare
  • Allow closure on consensus items, document those areas that require more work or discussion
  • Itemise priorities

If you’re struggling to manage the people and personality types within your team, give us a call so we can get you the information you need to understand how to best manage and motivate each individual as well as identify team strengths, blind-spots and iron out behaviours that lessen team effectiveness.