Coworking spaces bring you in contact with a myriad of people—some with personalities that mesh with yours, and others, well, not so much. The collaborative atmosphere that coworking spaces offer paves the way for extraordinary success, but the occasional personality conflict can inhibit productivity.
If you come across a difficult personality in the workplace, you probably approach the situation in one of two ways: You either avoid them like the plague or you communicate your issue in an ineffective manner, which often leads to a confrontation. Thankfully there are more effective ways to communicate through our differences; because coworking is really about meeting new people, having fun, and collaborating!
Here’s a look at 5 common workplace personalities that tend to create conflict, along with tips on creating more positive interactions!
The Gossip Queen or King
We’re all guilty of gossiping from time to time, but when someone in the office gets joy from reporting bad news, there’s a much bigger problem. Gossip can be destructive, hurtful, and dangerous, in the workplace. By knowing different ways to deal with a gossip frenzy, you can help create a more productive work environment.
When you come across someone gossiping in the workplace, the most important action you can take is to avoid participation. A gossiper gets no satisfaction out of gossiping if others don’t appear interested. Try politely shifting the conversation in a more positive direction. Gossipers tend to have strong social skills, so if you give them a positive subject to discuss, they will roll with it. Always encourage people in your coworking space to talk about ideas, not people.
A narcissist is defined as a person who is overly self-involved, and often vain and selfish. Although these sound like negative qualities, narcissist’s are also born leaders. Coworking spaces are home to entrepreneurs of all stripes. These people took an idea and transformed it into a successful business, more than likely all on their own. So don’t be surprised or offended when you come in contact with a narcissist in a coworking environment. Instead, try to learn from their confidence and communicate with them appropriately.
Expressing to someone how their actions or words negatively affect others in the workplace is not an effective approach to communicating with a narcissist. These individuals are extremely vulnerable to criticism and usually don’t respond well to it. Instead, assign them roles that let them feel in control. They thrive in management positions and can teach others about confidence and leadership.
It’s difficult to decipher whether this person has had one too many cups of coffee or if they truly want everyone in the office to hear their phone conversation. The energizer personality in the office is high-energy, loud, and often abrasive. The good news is that they’re also passionate and born networkers. Instead of feeling annoyed by this personality, try having a conversation with them. They are great people to bounce ideas off of and to get honest feedback.
If you feel this personality is having negative effects on your productivity, you should politely express your issues with them in a respectable and straightforward manner. Chances are, their actions are not deliberate and they will do their best to accommodate your needs.
This person is super friendly and loves to talk, but sometimes they do not know when to stop. Most of us are extremely busy during the workday, and unless we are on our lunch break, we don’t have as much free time as we’d like to participate in a friendly conversation.
Politely let this person know that you have an approaching deadline that requires your immediate attention. Tell them that you would love to continue the conversation over a happy hour after work hours, but right now you need to focus.
This Debbie Downer has something to complain about 95% of the time. They are negative and never satisfied. This can take a toll on your mood, which no one wants, especially on a Monday.
The best way to deal with a grump in the office is to listen to this person. Sometimes the individual only wants someone to hear them out, so the best thing you can do is be all ears. You can also try being a positive voice and offering words of encouragement.
We hope these tips will help you form productive relationships with every personality type in the office!
Stay tuned to the Launch Workplaces blog for more office tips!