5 influential personality types every workplace needs

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October 30, 2015

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While clashes of personalities can sometimes cause tension in a workplace, without these differences in character things would get pretty stale, pretty quickly. The beauty of disparity is that, between a group of professionals, all manner of obstacles can be overcome with a shared set of skills. Or, as Steve Jobs put it: ‘Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.’ In celebration of our differences, here we look at the five personalities every workplace needs.

The soundboard

Stuck in a rut? Writers’ block? There are times when we all need some inspiration and advice to restart those creativity cogs, which is when the office’s soundboard comes into their own. There to hear you out and offer objective guidance, the soundboard is the kind of person who strives to make time for whoever comes to them with a problem. Sometimes that feedback from your thoughts can turn an idea into a plan of action. Often, you know the answers to the problem without realising it – the beauty of a soundboard is that they help you realise this valuable information. They are valuable in meetings, too, as they absorb all that vital information ready for discussion and analysis post-meeting.

The motivator

The ideal counterpart to the soundboard, the motivator drives you to your next step, encouraging you along the way. When you doubt your ability, or you’re putting off a project, you need this type of personality to challenge and motivate you. They help you see what’s actually standing in your way (often your own insecurities or doubts) and help you create a clear plan. After a chat with a motivator, you often wonder why you hadn’t jumped at the opportunity to start that project sooner.

The problem-solver

The level-headed thinker, who takes time to weigh up your issue: every office needs a problem-solver. Logical and able to think outside the box, they are the go-to when you’re frustrated that none of your attempts at a challenge have turned out the way you’d hope. Again, someone with objectivity has the upper hand here, as the clarity that comes from not being absorbed in a project is what makes a problem-solver so winning.

The people-pleaser

The go-between among departments, the settler of disputes or tension – the people-pleaser is a valuable character to have on board. It can be all too easy to get engrossed in a project and all-consumed by it. So much so that you can potentially discount others’ suggestions or advice, and cause tension. The people-pleaser is there to diffuse this, while having the added advantage of bringing cakes on Fridays!

The perspective-provider

Sometimes, work can seem more important that just that – work. When everything feels like it’s on top of you and you’re feeling the pressure of the office, there’s that person who sometimes just makes one simple statement and like magic, balance is restored and you feel better about that work/life balance. A deadline, a special visit or an important meeting can sometimes seem like the most important thing in the world, but getting that all-important perspective is vital to a harmonious office.