Understanding Personalities To Better Manage A Workplace

Multiple traits and natural tendencies contribute to the personality of a person, however, by understanding these inborn preferences, including your own, relationships are enhanced and conflicts can be reduced.

Written By: Iqra Ali Khan

Date: 03 Dec 2019

We, as humans, tend to react differently to changes in our life, our career choices, our relationships, how we communicate with each other and so on. It is an undisputed fact that our personality influences every aspect of our life. We all have different ways of processing and receiving information which may lead to misunderstandings, conflicts or even bad relationships in general especially at work. This is precisely why we need to understand each other’s point of view first before reacting or judging another person.

Multiple traits and natural tendencies contribute to the personality of a person, however, by understanding these inborn preferences, including your own, relationships are enhanced and conflicts can be reduced. Since people spend most of their time at work rather than with family or friends, it is important to maintain a friendly environment at work where they are comfortable and feel positive and motivated.

A balanced workplace makes the employees enjoy the long hours alongside increasing productivity of workers. There is a high demand for skilled, diligent employees and they can surely find work elsewhere. Employee turnover tends to interrupt the workflow and embarking on new staff is costly. Having loyal and happy employees makes a huge difference in the quality of the work as they willingly invest in the job that they are appreciated in.

As a manager, it is crucial to understand the personalities of the employees you manage. Each action has its origin, and if you take the time to consider the foundation of every team member, you will be able to lead a productive department.

Identify Your A, B and C Players

It is a struggle for managers and departments because they are not able to identify their key players. One you are aware of who your key players are, it will be easier to understand them. In the perfect world, we all would love to only hire “A players.” Based on their interviews and resume, everyone personality seems to match our expectations. However, that may not be the case. Before regretting your hiring decision, you need to figure out how to bring out the best in this individual.

Here is a simple methodology to identify A, B and C players:

A Players – Always ready for a challenge

These workers will take on whatever project they are assigned, regardless of the difficulty. They will be at work early and, if necessary, remain until the last one to leave. Even if their plates are already full, they will take the initiative to do other tasks themselves. ‘A’ player is very focused on their careers and understands that outside of the job description, their way to the top is doing things in the best possible way and learning as quickly as they can. They know how to function independently and get frustrated when they are micro-managed as it makes them feel like they’re not good enough and you lack trust in them, therefore they stop giving the usual 110%. This is often how they end up in the player group B or C. ‘A’ players are not supposed to be caged; they need to know that you have faith in them.

B Players – Better Together

These employees are unable to work independently. They’re very good at solving the puzzle pieces. They must be assigned to a team, preferably with other ‘B’ players who have experience in various fields. At times, an ‘A’ player can have a mindset of the ‘B’ player. It is the managers responsibility to identify their employee’s personality and accordingly assign tasks. It is also very important to acknowledge their work and to make sure that they know their importance in the team.

C Players – The Clock Watchers

‘C’ players are just doing enough not to lose their job. You will find them looking at the time and being the first to head home. In the final hour of work, they know strategically how to complete their tasks and in the process, make everyone around them miserable. Many employees who are initially an ‘A’ or ‘B’ group eventually become ‘C’ players for various reasons. The ‘A’ and ‘B’ players in the ‘C’ group are tricky to manage and it is always worthwhile to understand what lead them to lose their drive and passion. Some problems can also be cured by adjusting assignments until they have passed through the difficult phase in their life if any. Ultimatums that are issued with support and care can also push the ‘C’ player back up the ladder.

There are ways to handle a true ‘C’ group, instead of terminating them. Some of these employees need to succeed but not in the same tasks as ‘A’ or ‘B’ group. They have their own specialties and the manager needs to realize what to offer and how to help them be better.

It surely takes time and effort to recognize your employees’ group or trait. It is a lifelong process to develop the skills that embrace personality traits. Through practice and learning you can understand yourself and your team better, which will inevitably make your work environment healthy and your business grow.

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