How To Blend Personalities At Work

Question:

I would like to learn which personality types work best together. For example, some people seem like they consider the work world as an extension of high school and form groups, etc.

Others see work as just that…work, and want to come in, do their job, and go home as they see work as a way to pay bills and do not view their job as a social event. Some people want to say “good morning” and be pleasant, but want to keep things professional, while some other people seem to view work as a social event.

Then, there are the people that actually work (and may make less money), and there are the people that sit around reading romance novels on the clock (and may make more money than the people that are actually working at work). So, how do employers decide if their business is more similar to a frat party and hire only those people interested in socializing, or if their business is more similar to a well oiled machine that gets the job done and only hires people that just want to do the job they were hired to do?

I am hoping that maybe hiring like thinkers will make some workplaces better for all employees.

Signed,

Not Into Socializing At Work


Answer:

Dear Not Into Socializing At Work:

Most workplaces do well with a blend of personalities. However, some workplaces use psychological tests to ensure that employees are a good fit for their type of work as well as for the general work culture.

The problem with that is that often people will surprise you with how they blend their unique personality into a workplace or career that would not seem the best for them. Often leadership by supervisors and managers is the key to success in such situations, along with personal work ethic and motivation.

The situation you describe doesn’t seem to involve personalities, it involves performance and productivity standards as well as workplace conduct in general. It’s pretty obvious that you feel negatively about those who don’t have your approach. However, the blunt truth is that if the work is being done and the employer is satisfied, you are limited in what you can do to change things and probably will just have to learn to deal with it or leave.

Consider talking to your supervisor to express openly that you feel you are doing more than your fair share of work. Consider asking for some quiet around your own workspace so you can concentrate better. But also consider just focusing on your own work and letting others figure theirs out as well.

If, when you were hired, you were told that many people in the office like to socialize, laugh and be relaxed about work, would you have turned down the job? If so, maybe you should turn it down now. If you would have taken the job anyway, just stick with it and figure part of your salary is for tolerating what seems to unfairness.

I am not minimizing how frustrating it might be to feel that you are working steadily while others are not. But it is also likely that you have not directly said, “I can’t do this work because I don’t have time. Kim has read a romance novel all morning and I think she should have to do it instead.”

If you’ve said that but no one cares and you’ve been told to stop complaining and do your work while Kim reads her romance novels, there are probably much bigger problems there and you may not be able to solve them or even make them a tiny bit better.

There isn’t a magical way to resolve the issue you mention because every workplace is so different. But usually when one person is on one side and everyone else is on the other, a decision has to be made by the one person. Sometimes time takes care of it as people leave and others arrive. Sometimes things just calm down. Most of the time all of us learn to tolerate more than we think we should and find enjoyment in life apart from work–which is what you say you want to do anyway.

Best wishes to you with this.

Tina Lewis Rowe