Have you ever worked with a team in which everyone just seems to be on the ball, tasks got done on time, and the entire project was just a pleasure to see to its end? Or have you ever worked with a team in which every member is quite talented, morale is high, and all the elements needed to succeed are there, and yet nothing seemed to get done?
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.
The idea of working from home may have seemed unusual a couple of decades ago. But given the rise of internet technologies such as shared work environments, VoIP, the advent of smartphones and high speed internet, that’s no longer the case. According to the United States Census Bureau, around 20-30 million people work from home at least one day a week in the USA alone. And those numbers are growing every year.
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.
More and research is revealing that bullying doesn’t just occur on school grounds anymore. According to The Workplace Bullying Institute, up to one-third of employees may be victims of workplace abuse. Further research from Stanford University suggests that productivity could decline up to 40% when workers become targeted and subsequently victimized by bullies on the job.
This comparison is fairly complex, so to give you some options, I’ll present it in 3 sections:
- Executive Summary (the “headlines”)
- Supporting Data (for the detail-oriented).
Feel free to skip to the part that you’re most interested in!
Next time your friendly office robot puts its hand on yours and offers you a piece of professional advice that absolutely nails your emotional state, don’t be shocked. The machine may know your personality better than you know yourself—and all from looking into your eyes.
Whether you work in sales, real estate, or in any service industry, you may have noticed that you seem to click with some clients more than others. Though it is by no means a natural law, we find it easy to relate to people with a personality similar to ours. As an INTP and a former real estate agent, I found myself naturally drawn to clients who chose which home to buy based on statistics such as location, square footage, layout, how it compares to similar properties, and the return on investment you could expect. You know, analytical stuff.
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.
In just 10 minutes, you can accurately predict whether your team will perform well or badly on a certain project – and it's all to do with how they communicate. Here are six of the most destructive types of communication that may be hindering your performance, plus tips for what you can do to improve your communication skills across the board.
Meetings bring results and solve problems – theoretically. In practice, they can lead to nothing, waste dozens of labor hours and throw up some of the most idiotic suggestions you've ever heard in your life. And in the end, no one feels responsible for implementing what has been decided. Why do we even bother if there are no motivational or productivity gains to be made?
It seems that everyone hates feedback. Employers and managers hate giving it as much as employees hate receiving it. No matter how tactful you are, or how thick-skinned your employee is, it doesn't take much for it all to go pear shaped. We're sensitive souls when it comes to the judgment of our work effort. It doesn't take much criticism to shatter our self-esteem.
So, how do you tell an employee there's room for improvement and leave them feeling inspired? Here are some tips.
The role of the manager is not to change the personalities of her employees to fit into a mold. But inevitably, you will be tasked with managing personalities who are just plain difficult. From the guy with the huge ego who thinks he knows more than you do to the talented loner who refuses to collaborate, some people do not want to be managed - and they may respond poorly to your efforts to do so.
How to react? By adopting one of the responses below.
Picture this: you've built a successful company from the ground up with dozens—maybe hundreds—of employees. But you are dissatisfied with how your staff are working. You're paying them well, and they all have terrific skills, but they just don't seem to be as dedicated, or as loyal, or as happy as you need them to be. What's going on?
Every workplace suffers conflict; it's unavoidable. And this being a personality blog, we spend a lot of time blaming it on personality clashes. It's comforting to think that all we have to do to stop conflict is take a personality test, recognize each other's quirks and foibles, and make sure certain people never work together. Analyzed through the personality lens, workplace conflict doesn't seem like a big deal at all.
Picture this: you walk into the office one morning and there's already a heated conversation going on. Brandon is berating Donna for not responding to his emails and causing him to miss an important deadline. Donna is furious with Brandon because she thinks his criticism is unfair – she has been snowed under with other commitments and helping Brandon did not feature highly on her list of priorities. She's upset that he's shouting at her in such an insensitive way.
We all know of those all-hands sessions where senior management announces the big, corporate goals that will determine the next few months and years. For some, it's energizing to hear about the great vision the organization has set for itself. Everyone should feel like they are contributing to the success of the business, and some personalities – notably Intuitives – get a real buzz when they feel part of something big.
People with a Perceiving preference – that's the "P" in their Briggs and Myers four-letter personality code – are spontaneous and adaptable workers. These types thrive in dynamic and ever-changing environments and may seek out employers that offer flexible working arrangements so they can remain wide open to schedule changes. If you need quick-thinking people who can respond resourcefully to changing situations, it pays to get a "P" or two on your team.
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