So you're bored at work and planning your next move. You've taken a personality test, read up on the type of careers that are perfectly aligned to work style, and made a list of all the different options. You may have spent a fair chunk of time researching those options, matching them up to your strengths, interests, passions and hobbies, and a few have really captured your interest. In fact, you're currently having a love affair with so many different career paths that you just can't pin down a single option to go after.
Do you work for a boss who refuses to delegate certain tasks or who “does not have the time to teach?” If so, then you’re not alone. Many managers have received no training in delegation and the lack of this critical skill can make them really tough to work with. If your boss doesn’t delegate, then you might feel like she doesn’t fully trust you. Worse, you could end up feeling like you’re being held back and bossed around from task to task instead of being allowed to grow in your career. What to do?
In an ideal world, every employee would finish every item on his to-do list without any problems or stress. Back in the real world, the sheer number of things to do is dizzying and there’s only a finite amount of time to get them done. This means that time management—the art of using your time productively, based on the day’s priorities—is one of the most important skills your employees can have.
When people talk about pre-hire personality tests, they usually mean questionnaires like the Myers Briggs Inventory, the Big Five or the DISC profile. A test, like a numeracy or literacy test, has a right or wrong answer so you can pass or fail it. A personality questionnaire, on the other hand, helps the employer figure out if your strengths and weaknesses match up with the job requirements. You can’t actually flunk or ace a personality test—it simply shows if you’re a good fit for the job.
Shyness is not the same as introversion, although the two personality traits sometimes overlap. An Introvert needs time alone to recharge after busy work periods and gets mentally drained after spending a lot of time with others. A shy person is much more anxious about the social interaction itself.
As a manager, it’s easy to put your direct reports into boxes. There’s the creative one, the empathetic one, the one who likes autonomy and the one who like clear boundaries and set routines. There’s also another special breed of worker in the world, and that’s the person who has borderline manic levels of productivity yet spends a lot of the time kicking back and doing...well nothing. Someone who is lazy and a hard worker, all at the same time.
How do you manage someone when you’re never quite sure where they’re at? Here are some tips.
Every well-constructed team should have a mix of personalities. Some people like to take the lead and work well with very little supervision. Others need a little extra help but are generally happy to follow the guidelines and detailed planning the manager has set for them. And then there are those who are not inclined to follow the rules at all. If you're in the latter group, you might be a powerhouse of generating ideas, and you might be among the most productive people in your department, but you just have to have flexibility in the way you do things.
Most people consider having high standards a good thing. Constantly striving for excellence is a sign that you're committed to your job and support others by setting the bar high for their performance as well. You can easily spot a perfectionist, because he's the one who takes extreme care in finishing work, always wants to do more, and is insistent on driving up quality standards.
Money can buy you happiness—but only to a certain amount. Experts reckon the correlation peaks at around $75,000 per year, and employees whose salaries rise above this cutoff are not reporting any major boost to their happiness levels. They're not even feeling less sad. And that might throw a major monkey wrench into how we think about motivating people at work.
Everyone likes the security of being in control of their time and their environment, but some people like predictability more than others. Guardian personalities (ESFJ, ISFJ, ESTJ and ISTJ) are hard wired to seek out situations they can control, where they do not feel any risk and where "business as usual" reigns supreme. This preference sounds great on the surface, but it has a habit of binding Sensing-Judgers in imaginary shackles that prevent them from taking on any challenge that might not be successfully overcome.