By: Derek Heim
A strong organization mirrors a well-designed puzzle. In order for everything to look good — and function properly — all of the pieces must differ. If the pieces are all the same, they won’t fit together, and the puzzle can’t be built. Any stable organization will have a diverse group of individuals, with the same overarching goal. Just like a puzzle, each piece is unique, but when assembled, a unified image will be formed.
A lot of work goes into creating unity, and most of it is managing the pieces. The workplace is filled with many different personalities, ideas, and motivations. This variation is what adds strength to a team. A report from the Harvard Business Review points out that, “Diverse teams are more likely to constantly reexamine facts and remain objective.” Remaining objective is crucial to a thriving team, because it allows for rational and honest thinking.
It’s important to understand who you’re working with, so that everyone can be productive and efficient when collaborating on a project. Organizational communicators everywhere have strived to determine what kind of workers make up highly successful teams. Keep reading to learn about four different worker types that can be found in every office, and why their individual differences are so important to a company’s diversity.
Type 1: The Adventurer
The Adventurer of the group will actively seek out creative solutions to problems. For them, thinking outside the box is too narrow; they would rather think without a box at all. For the Adventurer, the sky’s the limit when it comes to brainstorming. Adaptive and imaginative are two words that describe this kind of worker, and having enthusiasm for what you do will push them toward success.
With this level of spontaneity, Harvard Business Review suggests that when working with this type of personality, avoid using the word “no” to often, and limit rules and structure as much as possible. Putting too many parameters on an Adventurer can leave them feeling alienated or stifled.
Type 2: The Warrior
The Warrior is an asset to any team. They are a massive team player, and unlike the Adventurer, this personality type will not thrive with ambiguous tasks, like brainstorming. When given a specific task, the Warrior will thrive. This worker will rally the rest of the office to achieve greatness. When satisfied, you can expect late nights, long hours, and high quality work from the Warrior.
When working with the Warrior, it is important to remember their one-track mind. In order to get the highest quality of work from this employee, assign them one important task, let them know how crucial it is, and give them the freedom to run with it. Forbes suggests that this worker won’t be as well-rounded as others, but will still be an incredible addition to any team.
Type 3: The Guide
This personality type will bring peace to chaos. The Guide values order and rigor, which can be invaluable when dealing with a team of Adventurers. This is the person in a group that reminds the team of the real-world implications of what is being discussed. You will find the Guide being the voice of reason in any group discussion.
Working with the Guide can be difficult, as Forbes mentions. This type of worker never fully expresses their emotions, which is how they keep their internal harmony. It is incredibly important to make sure they are shown the respect and trust they need in order to feel like a valued member of a team.
Type 4: The Diplomat
One of the more fluid workplace personality types, the Diplomat actively seeks out ways to bring everyone’s ideas together. Similar to the Guide, they desire harmony in the workplace. However, the Diplomat differs with their need for order. When this worker connects ideas, it’s less about control and more about avoiding conflict. The Diplomat is key when creating a fun, peaceful work environment.
The Diplomat is a key piece to the puzzle of a team. Without them, the Adventurers would push their ideas through, the Warriors would feel undervalued, and the Guides would be stressed from a lack of structure. When leading the Diplomat, it is important to listen to their ideas, and avoid heated conversations. Raising your voice or lecturing a Diplomat will not inspire them to work harder.
Managing different personalities can be one of the greatest challenges a leader may face. Even from a worker perspective, it can be quite aggravating when you don’t understand why your peers are behaving the way they are, or why they can’t see the strengths in your ideas. HR Magazine provides a list of tips to use when managing a diverse team, and one that really stands out is the need to listen in order to understand, and not to simply reply. Just like putting together a puzzle, a team requires open feedback and a feeling of satisfaction.
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