How to Navigate Different Personalities at Work

If you can recall the popular show The Office, you’ve already witnessed some of the different personalities at work. Some work with you. Others work against you. Meanwhile, there are those who play a neutral field or even strive to keep the peace. Whichever the case, the more you know about what motivates a person, the easier it is to get along with them and build a stronger relationship in the workplace. Let’s take a look at the four personalities you’ll encounter at work, and how to navigate them.

1. The Driver

The driver is, in summary, a natural-born leader. They are tenacious, hardworking, confident, and very active in the workplace. When they are faced with obstacles, they are not easily discouraged, but rather continue working until they’ve achieved their goals. Since they are task-oriented and goal-driven, they may often lack sympathy for others, often coming off as harsh or overly proud.

How to work in harmony with the Driver: Be straightforward and direct in conversation. Give them responsibility, and show your appreciation for a job well done once the task is complete. Also, give them some space to work on and achieve their workplace goals. Drivers tend to thrive in leadership roles.

2. The Peacekeeper

The Peacekeeper is typically liked by everyone in their organization. As their name implies, they are peaceful and balanced, being neither too loud or too quiet. The peacekeeper is sympathetic, easy going, and tends to avoid (or resolve) any drama in the workplace. While they are indeed pleasant, they often lack a strong voice in the workplace, and may be easily overwhelmed in high pressure environments.

How to work in harmony with the Peacekeeper: Be kind and gentle with them. In high stress environments, try breaking up projects into small and manageable tasks. Allow them to express themselves whenever possible to encourage openness. Peacekeepers tend to do well in human resources.

3. The Entertainer

This person is well-known around the office and aims to entertain, as their name suggests. They are confident, outspoken, fun, energetic, charismatic, and persuasive. As long as they are entertaining others or making them laugh, they are happy. However, they tend to lack attention to detail.

How to work in harmony with the Entertainer: Show excitement and interest in their charismatic ways. Allow them to entertain others, as long as it is not disruptive. Give them opportunities to sell or present in front of an audience, such as in group meetings. The entertainer does well in sales or entertainment roles.

4. The Numbers Guy/Gal

The numbers guy/gal is analytical and thoughtful. They are results focused and set very high standards for themselves. They tend to be very orderly and organized, which often means they can be left alone to their work without much need for management. However, they tend to have a more serious personality, and can be hypercritical of others or things happening in the workplace.

How to work in harmony with the Numbers Guy/Gal: Speak to them accurately regarding data. Allow them their space to work alone, as long as they are producing results. Do not pressure them for decisions, as they tend to be indecisive. Instead, encourage them to make their own decisions within reason. The numbers guy/gal tends to thrive in data-driven roles, such as a business analyst, product manager, or digital marketer.

Navigating the different personalities at work doesn’t have to be challenging, as long as you know what to expect of each person and understand what motivates them. As you can see, when given the proper opportunities and allowed to work in their preferred environments, each personality can bring tremendous value to the workplace.

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