If you are like most people, you spend most of your waking hours at work. Getting along with your co-workers is not only necessary for your professional success, but also for your sanity. Whatever your own personality type, it’s likely that you’ll encounter clashing personality types and traits that make existing in your office difficult. This is why knowing these traits and how to deal with them will make work more enjoyable.
Compassion opens the door to happiness. We all want to receive compassion from others, since it shows that people see and understand us. Compassion is the mode of expression that tells us we are not alone; that hearts and arms are open for us if we choose to accept them. It is the instinct that drives someone to serve food at a homeless shelter, donate money to famine victims, or help a friend in need without expectation of reward.
In today's economic landscape, it's more important than ever for businesses to accomplish more with less; a process known as boosting productivity. Productive employees output more work per specific unit of time than less productive employees. It is this increased efficiency that makes the business money.
But keeping employees productive is hard work. Why? Because productivity is primarily an inside job. You can't force it on someone. It comes from within a person and, essentially, is a measure of their motivation to close down tasks within a clearly defined timeframe.
One of the biggest sources of workplace conflict shows up in differences on the fourth dimension of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator - Judging versus Perceiving. A person whose style is "J" will schedule things in advance, organize their work with attention to deadlines and keep their eyes firmly on the goal. A "P" on the other hand, is pretty loose and free wheeling. They like to work on multiple projects simultaneously and to keep their options open until the very last minute, rather than forming a plan ahead of time.
There's a myth that some people are creative and others aren't. This myth is perpetuated everywhere, from the world of art and literature to big business. Marketing departments employ "creatives" to come up with new ideas. Governments rely on "creative consultants" for fresh insights. Yet there's no reason why creativity should be limited to a type or a job description.
Are people happy because they’re extraverts, or are they extraverts because they’re happy?
Decades’ worth of research has shown that some people tend to enjoy their lives just a little bit more, experiencing higher highs and greater levels of momentary happiness than others. They’re called extraverts. In one study done by Wido G. M. Oerlemans and Arnold B. Bakker, they note:
ESTPs are persuasive, action-oriented people who love nothing more than to get things done. They thrive on challenge and are able to handle stressful situations with aplomb. ETSPs are the quintessential “just the facts” personality type. They want to get the facts on a situation so that they can take action as quickly as possible to mitigate or improve it. They're logical, quick on their feet and nimble in their minds. Hot careers for ESTPs let these dynamic people show others what they can do.
Office politics is an umbrella term that encompasses many things. On one hand, it can refer to behavior whereby coworkers step on their colleagues in the interest of getting ahead at all costs. On the other hand, office politics at its best can describe a dynamic of cooperation, not competition. When colleagues vary in their personality types, understanding and empathy are the keys to cooperation, which enhances office productivity. Introverts and extroverts differ starkly in how they communicate and resolve disputes. Learning about personality typology can be a solid step toward promoting a greater sense of team spirit in an office environment.
Judgers and Perceivers differ significantly in how they make decisions and approach their lives. Where Judgers prefer structure and routine, Perceivers thrive on spontaneity and possibilities. These differences in style can cause clashes in the workplace. Office politics often gets a bad rap for amounting to nothing more than a collection of cut-throat behaviors, whereby some people try to advance themselves at the expense of others. It needn't be that way, however. Office politics can be conceived as a system in which people work together to accomplish goals, and understanding personality typology as it applies to Judgers and Perceivers constitutes a great start.
THE FINE PRINT: Myers-Briggs® and MBTI® are registered trademarks of the MBTI Trust, Inc., which has no affiliation with this site. Truity offers a free personality test based on Myers and Briggs' types, but does not offer the official MBTI® assessment. For more information on the Myers Briggs Type Indicator® assessment, please go here.