How Personality Affects Behavior in the Workplace

Personalities directly affect the workplace environment.
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The type of personality that you bring to the workplace can have a direct impact on the behavior of your colleagues. In the workplace, personalities also often clash, causing problems that might need to be remedied by managers or HR personnel. Before you take a certain job, you might want to take some time to figure out if your personality is well-suited to the position. Impatient people, for instance, might find customer service a pain. The right mix of personalities in the workplace can lead to increased productivity and job satisfaction.


    People often use the terms "extrovert" and "introvert" to describe their personalities. These terms extend further than the reaches of your personal life, however. Extroverts are well suited to positions where there is a lot of interaction with customers or colleagues. Their outgoing personalities can have a positive influence on workplace behavior by fostering communication and enthusiasm. At the same time, extroverted personalities might negatively impact behavior if they work in places that require quiet, focus and concentration. A colleague who is trying to work through a particularly complex accounting problem, for example, might not appreciate having to share space with a chatty extrovert.


    Introverts are people who prefer to spend their evenings at home instead of out in the world with other people. They like to be by themselves. Subsequently, they also prefer working by themselves, and may even be off-putting to extroverts who think that introverted employees keep to themselves because they don't like the other employees. This can happen because introverts stuck in a position with extroverts feel forced to interact and therefore come across as cold and uncaring. To the introvert, extroverts might also seem to be overbearing and can cause friction in the workplace.


    People obsessed with controlling outside influences on their own terms, often called "control freaks," will attempt to dominate every conversation or meeting in the workplace. This personality type is not accustomed to team-playing, and instead gives orders she expects others to follow. Don't mistake the controller as a leader, however. Many want control to feed their egos, not help the company. The intimidating and dominating nature of controllers might cause co-workers to feel uncomfortable, resentful and devalued because they feel they are not being acknowledged as a voice in the company.

Getting Along

    If you find yourself working with personality types that clash, remain calm and respectful to other people without being submissive. If you realize the person you are dealing with is an introvert or extrovert, respect her personality type and try your best to adapt to it. Don't attempt to control everything, either. Let others have their way every once in a while. It's far more common for the workplace to be made up of different personality types, so getting along is vital to workplace productivity and sanity.

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