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14 Typical Types Of Workers In An Office (Which One Are You?)

14 Typical Types Of Workers In An Office (Which One Are You?)

It takes all kinds, doesn’t it? If you work in an office, then you know the workplace can be a zoo of personalities. The commotion of the work environment can bring out the best and worst of us. And that’s just it – all of us have these internal opposing sides. We have strengths and weaknesses too, and the unique combination of these characteristics is what makes us distinct.

In the office, as in all work environments, it’s important for employees to focus on communication, teamwork, morale and an overall professional tone. Being the people we are, we can get in the way of our goals. One step that can help improve how we interact is to identify our personality archetypes, weaknesses and strengths alike. We can only improve how we work with others once we’ve acquired some sense of self-awareness.

With at least 14 personality types to consider, this process could get interesting. Yes, think of it at least in terms of entertainment, if nothing else. It’s an invaluable skill to be able to laugh at oneself.

Which One Are You?

The Micromanager

No one wants to be the micromanager, as they’re disliked by everyone. Yet, the micromanager is ubiquitous, transcending all industries and workplace environments. Without doubt, you’ve them in the office. You’ll know them by their compulsive ‘hovering’ behavior. Typically micromanagers are managers, or bosses of some kind. They question employees’ every move, demand constant updates, and struggle to delegate work or give up control.

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The Overcommitted Colleague

Similar to the overachiever, the over-committer cannot say ‘no.’ They stay at work late, chair fundraisers, volunteer to bring the donuts to every meeting, host work parties. The overcommitted do it all. They can be nice to have around, clearly, because they’ll take care of all the little jobs no one else wants to. This behavior creates a number of problems. It can make it impossible for their coworkers to get new opportunities. Overcommitted workers may be sincere do-gooders. But they may be manipulative and uber-controlling. They’re unpredictable and definitely hard to read.

The Office Gossip

This personality requires little explanation. They were likely the gossipers on the playground when you were little, gossipers in high school and college. Now they gossip in your professional life. Stay away. It’s hard not to be swept away once you involve yourself, so just don’t go there.

The Connector

The connector personality can turn your work life upside down – in a good way. They are the colleagues in the know. Connectors excel at hooking people up to build more productive teams. They connect work-seekers with employers. Once you find a connector, treat them well, and learn how to appreciate their gift. If you’re a more withdrawn personality, you may find the connector intimidating. Just remember that the connector type tends to like everyone, or at least can appreciate aspects of every personality.

The Anti-Social

It’s hard to say if the anti-social types are lonely. Maybe they dislike the company of others, and therefore find solitude a more satisfying experience. You’ll know the antisocial type by their absence, if that makes sense. They won’t be at the office parties or Friday happy hours. You won’t find them hanging around the lunch room. They’re just not to be found.

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The “Know-It-All”

They have an answer for everything. Everything. Know-it-alls interject their glowing insights at every chance. They speak up (and won’t shut up) at meetings, at social events. They give unwarranted advice and, unfortunately, don’t seem to take ‘no thank you’ for an answer. Another problem is that though they may seem knowledgeable, they often aren’t.

The Lazy Ones

The lazy workers depend on the overcommitted, even the micromanager. It’s a mystery to everyone how the lazy coworker is still employed, but there they are, doing nothing every day. They may frequent your cubicle, stopping by to chat, find out what you’re having for lunch, or maybe they just stand there, staring. It may be worth it to give them the benefit of the doubt, though. If you have an office full of overcommitted, go-getter types, maybe the ‘lazy one’ is actually an average worker.

The Talker

Similar to the know-it-all, the talker is successful at distracting their peers with their annoying, attention-seeking behavior. The talker wants to talk, not work. It makes a person wonder what the talker would do with themselves if they were out of the job. Who would listen to them? The talker can be nice to have around, though, if you struggle to interact socially. Sidle up to the talker at an office party, and it’s smooth sailing.

The Stressed-Out

You may know them as the office ‘drama queen,’ a derogatory term in my opinion. I’m taking the liberty to defend the stressed worker because I self-identify as one. Everything is a big deal for us. Every deadline, every change coming down the pipeline. Go easy on the stress freaks. We’re doing the best we can!

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The Chillax

The so-called ‘chillax’ workers are the type everyone in the office should probably hang around more often. Their keep their personal lives at home so they can roll with the punches at work. The chillax keep the stress in check. They may be seen as lazy by workaholics, but the chillax don’t care . . . because they’re chillax.

The Clown

You may love or hate the office clown. It’s a real toss-up. At their best, the clown can add value by breaking the ice in tense situations, livening up dull meetings and making their coworkers laugh on dreadful Monday mornings. At their worst, they aren’t funny at all. They may not know how to end a joke, take their job seriously, take anything seriously.

The Real Leader

The real leader at the office is the one people listen to, trust, admire and respect. They may not be at the top of the company, but they take their job seriously. Leaders embody the core values of the company without pretension. Real leaders inspire others by showing enthusiasm for working together toward goals. They’re socially astute but don’t go overboard like the talkers or the office gossips. They keep their priorities in balance.

The Stable Performer

Maybe less exciting, the stable performer is also known as the average worker. They’re the bread and butter employee, the one employers can depend on to show up and perform well on a regular basis. They may not be real leaders, but they’re not lazy either.

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The Genius

Think Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffett, Oprah Winfrey – the visionaries among us. The geniuses are the gods and goddesses of the professional realm. Many are entrepreneurs, some work inconspicuously from within the company. The genius has the big ideas and they typically need some extremely capable business partners to make those ideas reality.

Featured photo credit: Freepik via freepik.com

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Published on January 7, 2021

How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

Some people see the trees for the forest, and some see only the forest, meaning they lack strong attention to detail. But even if you’re one of the people who take a macro rather than a micro view, true professionalism requires balancing both.

If focusing on the fine points is not your forte, you will benefit from training yourself to pay attention to details. You will profit by saving yourself time, effort, money, and credibility.

Why Training Yourself in Attention to Details Pays Off

You add value to your organization when you make the effort to ensure that you performed your work thoroughly and effectively. This is why job postings often list “attention to details” among the required skills.

When you present your supervisor or client with well-completed, high-quality work the first time, it maximizes your value and minimizes wasted time. Detail-oriented people are also more adept at catching mistakes that could lead to costly blunders.

Moreover, attention to detail is an indicator of possessing other in-demand employee qualities, such as organization, thoroughness, and focus. In some professions, such as accounting, engineering, medical research, and more, you can only excel if you have trained yourself to pay attention to details.

In other professions, possessing strong attention to detail is the very quality that will get you promoted to a position where you will be asked to consider the big picture.

Finally, if you are the “go-to” details person, everyone else on the team can relax a bit. They know the project is in good hands and will likely throw you more projects as a reward. This will ultimately lead to your advancement.

3 Important Aspects of Becoming More Detail-Oriented

Here are the 3 important things you need to learn if you want to remedy your lack of attention to detail:

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  1. Respect deadlines
  2. Understand the work-flow plan
  3. Build in time to mess up

1. Respect Deadlines

Deadlines lend all projects a finish line. One smart idea is to take the given deadline and work backward from it, calculating when your piece of the project is due. Then, if you stick to the proscribed schedule for completing the mini-projects that you have, you will never miss a deadline.

One important note on this: It is smarter to stick to the deadline and turn in work that merits a “B+” than to blow the deadline with “A” work. Chances are, through revision and suggested changes from others on the team, you can bring up your B+ work to an A later. But if you disregard deadlines, you will lose the respect of your boss and fellow teammates.

2. Understand the Work-Flow Plan

Your team is developing work in conjunction with other teams who have projects and deadlines of their own. When you grasp the whole work-flow plan, you may be able to either add insight to the greater project or to your own smaller piece of it that others at the firm will consider valuable.

3. Build in Time to Mess Up

You can expect that “what can go wrong will go wrong.” Don’t overpromise on deadlines. Something likely will mess up, but when it does if you built in the time to fix it, those around you won’t freak out.

Chances are, you already give your attention to several details. Take heart. You can do this! You can overcome your lack of attention to detail and become more detail-oriented.

For starters, consider this: Most people take the time and put in extra effort into the activities or undertakings that matter to them most. Training yourself to become more detail-oriented can mean adopting a similar pattern of behavior.

Apply the same attention you give to your appearance. Are you a meticulous dresser? Do you pay attention to how you pair patterns and colors, and how you accessorize a particular outfit?

This is the same system to use when you lack attention to detail with your work. Give every item careful consideration so that each one contributes to the perfectly pieced-together whole.

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Assemble the ingredients the way you do when you cook. Cooking and baking from scratch require close attention to details as you measure and add each ingredient in sequence, and you time everything so that the meal comes together at the same time.

Similarly, your work product requires you to gauge whether all the ingredients have been added and that your final product is delivered on time.

Organize your business network like you do your social contacts. If you follow a broad base of friends and acquaintances on social media, you can apply similar skills to stay up-to-date on details associated with business acquaintances.

When you meet somebody who could be influential to your career or a resource for improving your skills, follow that person on social media. Respond to their posts to keep the lines of communication flowing.

12 Tips to Help You if You Lack Attention to Detail

Teaching yourself to take note of important details involves sharpening your perceptions and thinking ahead. The following tips will help you adopt these practices. Master these habits when training yourself to become detail-oriented.

1. Learn to Listen Well

You will pick up relevant information and needed nuance when you apply the skills of active listening. In conversations, train yourself to make eye contact, give your undivided attention to the speaker, and ask pertinent follow-up questions.

Training yourself to pay better attention to details in conversations includes learning to fully concentrate on what others have to say. If you find it hard, there’s no harm in taking notes on what they say.

2. Pay Attention to Social Cues

Make a point of noticing body language and facial expressions that provide insights into how others perceive a situation. Social cues offer details that give you an understanding of how words and actions impact others. The infamous character Michael Scott of the television show “The Office” epitomizes the consequences of not paying attention to others’ body language.[1]

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3. Follow Rules

Rules and protocols usually come about from lessons learned and are put in place to avoid further mishaps—whether from a safety or efficiency standpoint. If you’re given step-by-step procedures to follow, check them off as you go. Also, return to the rules at the project’s end just to make sure you adhered to them all.

4. Take Notes

Note-taking is a way to boost your retention and gives you something to refer back to when you need to keep track of pertinent details. You will also heighten your focus as you listen for relevant information. Review your notes shortly after the meeting or conversation and highlight the content that you intend to apply.

5. Prioritize What Needs Your Attention Now

When you have a full slate of work that demands your attention, take a few moments to sort assignments from most to least urgent. Keep a calendar, spreadsheet, or project planning software up-to-date with schedules and deadlines to help you stay organized.

As you tackle each urgent assignment, give it your full attention so no details are missed. Give yourself ample time—especially if you tend to be someone who waits until the last minute—as rushing can make you overlook important details.

6. Have a Detail-Oriented Assistant Check Your Work

If you lack attention to detail, then it makes sense to seek help from someone detail-oriented. If you have this option, take advantage of it. Two sets of eyes are better than one. Just be sure to credit your assistant for their help once the project is completed.

7. Learn the Rules of Writing Well

English is a difficult language, and grammar, punctuation, and spelling can all sabotage you unless you pay attention to detail. When in doubt, look it up. Free to use website services such as Grammarly can help.

8. Proofread Before You Hit Send

Nothing is perfect in its first draft. If you lack attention to detail, then put in the extra effort before submitting things. Before you send off any written work, check carefully not only for misspellings and incomplete sentences but also for improper tone, inappropriate colloquialisms, and inconsistent formatting. When your written communications are error-free, they will have their intended impact.

9. Minimize Distractions

It is impossible to stay focused when colleagues carry on conversations nearby or your mobile notifications ding you throughout the day. Do your best to limit distractions.

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If you are working where there is a lot of noise or side activity, try wearing noise-canceling headphones or seeking out a quiet corner. Disable your notifications when you need to focus, and resolve to only check them after you have completed your assignment.

10. Take Breaks

It may sound counter-intuitive to stop and take a walk, but it’s necessary. Walk away from the screen. Moving from one task to the next across the span of your workday is a recipe for brain fatigue. Give your brain a recess time when you come to a natural stopping place or after you complete one project and before you start the next. These short pauses are necessary for sorting through all the details needed for coming up with successful solutions.

11. Make Time for Reflection

At the end of a workday, take a few minutes to go over the day’s events in your mind. What was said or relayed in conversations? What is the status of the projects you worked on? What else occurred that you should pay attention to? Could there have been any details you might have missed that you should address tomorrow?

12. Keep a Detailed To-Do List

This simple organizational tool is your best ally for getting your work done on time and for paying attention to the details. If you are pressed for time (and who isn’t?), write your list to coordinate with dayparts.

Allot a certain number of hours to complete each task, do it, and then check it off. Nothing feels more rewarding than completing all the tasks on your list. But if you can’t finish them, then carry them over to the following day.

Final Thoughts

Details may seem small, but they can become a lot larger when they are overlooked. If you know you lack attention to detail, commit to training yourself to embrace the many facets that can help you consistently excel in the tasks you set out to accomplish.

When you begin to catch your mistakes in advance or apply the tidbits of information you gathered from paying close attention, you will know that you have trained yourself in the fundamentals of becoming detail-oriented. After that, you should start hearing the phrase “Great job!” more often.

More Tips on Boosting Your Attention to Detail

Featured photo credit: Cristina Gottardi via unsplash.com

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