It takes all kinds.
You’ve probably heard that phrase before. And, you probably know how true it is. Take your professional team. Whether it’s tiny or its sprawling, I’m willing to bet that your team encompasses many different personality types.
And frankly, some of those personality types may be easier to get along with than others.
Some people just rub you the wrong way. That can lead to workplace friction, but as the team leader, it’s your job to manage all personality types effectively.
How to Handle Difficult Personalities
To that end, maybe it’s worth taking a few minutes to reflect on some of the most difficult workplace personalities.
These are the folks who never take responsibility for anything; bad things just seem to happen to them. That can be frustrating, and the best way to handle it is to emphasize accountability. Be extremely clear in articulating what you expect from them, including the quality of their work, the timeline for delivery, and the metrics you’ll use to evaluate their efficacy.
Nobody likes a naysayer, but these team members can actually play an invaluable role. The trick is to work with them to use their negativity in pursuit of positive result. Challenge these employees not just to complain but to recommend some specific ways in which things could be done better or to help identify real problems that other team members haven’t picked up on.
Narcissists and egomaniacs can grate, but the key here is to remember that these employees tend to be extremely goal oriented. So, you can maybe help them by working with them on team-based goals. Help them set some benchmarks for collaboration and for working with others. Alternatively, if your egomaniac is actually really talented, maybe try to give them some solo projects to handle.
Do you have an employee who always seems to disappear when there’s work to be done? That can bring down the morale of the entire team, and the only way to address it is to sit down with that employee and have a blunt conversation about your expectations. Again, accountability is key!
Becoming a transformational team leader means working closely with your employees to improve their behaviors—and that includes effectively managing these tough-to-deal-with personality types.