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I recently read a book about workplace personalities. It had to do with how we can best deal with different personalities. From the book I picked the 10 most common personalities that we are most likely to encounter in the workplace and how to handle them.
10. Angry people
Often in the workspace we encounter people who are fuelled by anger. It is usually unclear or irrational when we try to understand their cause for anger. Here is a way on how we can follow up and find out what caused the anger.
Remain calm and allow for venting. Do not fuel to the fire by reacting to anger with anger. Let the angry person release all that’s on their mind. Let them have this opportunity. While they do this purposefully pay attention and truly listen to what they are saying. Follow up with questions in finding out the cause to the problem. This will let the person know that you are truly trying to understand why s/he is angry.
Keep uncovering the problem and start asking for ways and suggestions as to how the problem could be resolved.
9. Analytical people
These are the type of people who want full control of their lives. They are well organized and plan everything days or weeks in advance. Here is how you can communicate with an analytical person:
Understand that an analytical person is more of a listener than a speaker. They thrive on analysing things, making them really valuable for any organisation or team. However, they like to work alone.
Also avoid approaching them with unorganized things and if you want them to help you solve a problem don’t dump a whole pile of tasks on them at once.
There is a saying that if you find yourself gossiping with people about a friend, expect the same people to gossip about you too when you are not there. With this, it is more than evident that gossip benefits no one. Here are some tips on how you can break gossip habits in your workplace:
Set an example. Avoid gossiping at all costs. If you were part of the gossip group. Stop participating, it could be gradually or immediately.
Change the subject. If you sense that the conversation is leading to gossip, quickly change the subject.
Confront people. Present all information necessary to the concerned party instead of talking about it with others. Also confront chronic offenders, those who are always talking about others.
Play the “reverse gossip” game. When you find someone gossiping about another person, respond by mentioning one of the person’s good points. Example, Felicia says “Lucy is so clumsy.” You respond “really? I never noticed. All I know is that she gets the job done.”
7. Arrogant people
These unpleasantly proud people can be extremely hard to handle and they certainly do test your patience. Here is what you need to know in handling them without having them turn against you:
Arrogant people are highly self-motivated so you must recognize their strength. Affirm and acknowledge what they do really well. It’s wise to let them be, there is no point trying to pick a fight with them.
When it comes to scenarios where you are against their views, make sure to be accurate when presenting information. Most importantly stand your ground, as much as you wouldn’t want to waste time at war with them never let them bully anyone around.
6. Negative people
Negative people destroy team morale as they dampen any sense of accomplishment and hope for the future. Here is how you can deal with negative people.
Get them to face facts. Negative people often exaggerate. With this get them to look at scenarios more realistically.
Focus on the solutions. When a problem has been presented, focus on looking at ways to improve that problem.
Explain to the negative person how their behaviour is affecting everyone. Then to help the person improve with the negative behaviour, encourage the person to start thinking in more balanced terms. You can also implement a reward system for every time the person says something positive.
5. Shy people
A shy person is usually someone who is uncomfortable in the presence of others and is easily intimidated. It means you must approach a shy person carefully.
You can first try with non-verbal communication such as smiles or glances to let the person know you’re friendly and ready to talk if s/he is. As time progresses allow the person to take the lead in conversations whenever possible, this would signal the topics that the person finds more comfortable.
When asking shy person questions, keep it professional and avoid questions that lead to forcing the person to open up about more than s/he is willing to share. It is wise to also ask more open-ended questions, to avoid the person just answering “Yes” or “No”. The shy person is usually always looking for ways out of the conversation. You can also restart the conversation when it lags. You do this by picking up the conversation where s/he left off.
4. Creative people
Creatives are non-bossy, independent and humorous but tend to be more anxious than their co-workers. A creative person’s self-confidence strongly relies on their self-discipline. They could care less about good impressions and they enjoy challenges.
Expect a creative person to rapidly generate ideas, play with them with unusual perspectives or interpretations. The ideas of creative people usually come off illogical.
When dealing with creatives understand that they move slowly and cautiously when solving a problem because they like to break down things into parts, dealing with them one at a time. Expect a creative person to focus on results, these people do not care about who comes up with the solution to the problem. They tend to be non-quitters until they are sure that their approach will definitely not solve the problem.
3. Chronic complainers
Every organization has chronic complainers. They look for problems everywhere and with everyone. This is how you can handle chronic complainers.
Challenge them when they complain, this helps contain the problem. Do not hesitate to interrupt them. In interrupting them, rephrase what they say to show that you understand their complaints.
Don’t ever apologize to complainers when they’re blaming you for the problem. They don’t think about ways to solve the problem, they just look for ways to blame someone else. So, the best thing to do is ask them for solutions. Let them have the control to improve the problem they’re complaining about.
Finally, if all fails. Walk away. You have done all you can, and they will not change or improve.
2. Nonstop Talkers
The nonstop talker! s/he can be an excellent worker, but they are often a source of disruption, frustration, and noise. This is how you can deal with them in the workspace:
Meet the talker in their workspace. This gives you the opportunity to get up and leave whenever they start to go on.
Use assertive comments and body language to indicate that it is time to wrap up the conversation.
Ask for the short version when you ask them for information that they should share.
Paraphrase her main point to reassure her that you are up to speed with her message. This will invoke the conversation to move forward.
Avoid topics that are more personal and will trigger her to start rumbling. This means avoid bringing up her favourite show or hobbies.
Finally, give the talker direct feedback. You can tell her straight up that she gives too much information and strays from the main point.
Procrastinators are becoming more common in the workplace. These people hurt their chances of succeeding and anger or frustrate the people around them. But you can help these procrastinators, this is how:
Have them agree to a plan that will require a few changes. This will stop them from pushing the deadline.
Get them to commit, not comply. Get the involved in planning the project schedule. This way you’re sure you will not get half-hearted compliance but commitment.
Tell them to break down their task. Most procrastinators do so because they find the whole task overwhelming.
Appeal to their self-esteem with praise not criticism. When you criticize, they just waste more time to prove how it is not their fault.
Try logic. With logic they act with reason.
Finally, keep close tabs on them. A hands-off policy is the wrong approach to take with procrastinators. To keep them on track gently and constantly ask about their progress.
So, if you have any of these personalities in your workspace or team. Go ahead and try some of the tips.