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By Citizen Reporter


Working towards harmony in the office space

Do you love your job but dread being in a colleague's company? You're not alone.

Most work environments are filled with people who are easy to get along with and others who are difficult to work with. The trick is to know how to deal with the draining personalities without getting annoyed.

According to Doctor Helen McGrath and Hazel Edward’s book Difficult Personalities, people with less easygoing personalities seem to dampen the mood and energy of your workplace, tiring you and making you less efficient and irritated.

Do such personalities sound familiar?

The “doom and gloom” types focus on whatever might go wrong. They assume the worst will happen, voicing their opinion over and over. The “moan and groan” faction complain all the time, even about trivial things.

They find the most annoying part of something and will focus on this and communicate their unhappiness. The “snitch and bitch” brigade make nasty remarks about others and their motivations. What they say may contain some grain of truth, but it is usually said in a sneering way, designed to ruin reputations.

The “superiority personality” has an “I’m better than you” attitude. These people are narrow-minded, arrogant and have a permanent smug look on their face. The best way to deal with them is to point out their obvious fortune in having such permanent good luck. As for the “inflexible personality” types, the characteristics of this rigid persona include stubbornness and over-controlling ways.

Always be assertive and firm in your dealings with them as they will try to walk all over you and blame you every chance they get. When it comes to the “bullying personality” never let anything slip the first time: report bad treatment. The bully should immediately know that you won’t tolerate their behavior or intimidation. Keep records of all the details especially what was said; save up your evidence.

The common trait that the above difficult personalities share is insecurity.

Other annoying personalities that are less draining but might still sabotage your work output are the “chatter-box” (cut conversations short and tell them you will speak later, perhaps placing the blame on yourself “All I do is talk, I need to focus on my work!”). There is also the “slow coach” (highlighting deadlines will help).

It might seem intimidating not knowing how to read an extrovert or an introvert, but once you understand their language you will be able to access the hidden meanings in their dealings with people. The extrovert personality prefers to discuss the issue then and there, and will push you for an answer. The introvert puts things off.

Be open with an extrovert. When you speak to them, keep your palms open and visible; body language can express your openness and enthusiasm to engage. With an introvert you should communicate through e-mails and use subtle words that aren’t pushy or demanding.

If you happen to be the introvert at work, try to socialise more with your co-workers.

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