Every office is bound to have a sampling of token office personalities: the gossiper, the loud talker, the know-it-all, the “teacher’s” pet, and the habitually late one.
Every office has at least one of these, at times, difficult to deal with personalities. Whether that person is sitting right next to you, or that person is you, here’s how to gain self-awareness of, and/or some tact in dealing with bold office personalities.
First, as an article from Incentive Magazine points out, it’s important to keep in mind that “these “annoying” people aren’t even aware of their own irritating habits, and they aren’t doing them intentionally. Just remember: most people aren’t striving to be the worst coworker ever, like this guy was. They’re just being themselves.”
The Loud One
Maybe he’s excited. Maybe he’s just blissfully oblivious of the world around him. For whatever reason, this employee doesn’t realize that his speakerphone conversations or club-volume music may be bothering the people around him. The easiest way to deal with the Loud One is through gentle but direct communication. Simply ask him, point blank, to turn his phone or music down. You’ll surely be the office hero for speaking up.
Acting like the authority on things that don’t concern them? Check. Rubber necking their way into every departmental meeting? Check. It sounds like you have and office Know-it-All on your team. This co-worker frequently offers unsolicited advice on how you can do your job better, or what you’re doing wrong. While their “advice” is probably coming from a good place, it can certainly be annoying. The less you acknowledge their misguided advice, the less likely it is that they’ll pipe up in the future.
News travels fast, especially in an office, and the Gossiper is the person whispering it through the transom. The Gossiper gets a thrill from having a little bit of dirt on everyone. Whatever this week’s latest dish may be, it’s simply best not to eat up whatever is being offered to you. And don’t be afraid to shut The Gossiper down if they try and pry into a personal matter. Just say you’d rather not talk about it. Although engaging in gossip may be tempting, it’s not worth jeopardizing your career for.
The Chatty Cathy
This is the person who always has something to say, even if it’s not a convenient time for you to listen. Often, this type doesn’t pick up on cues that you’re trying to exit the conversation or that you’re in the middle of typing an email. Even if you’re friends with Chatty Cathy, her latest long-winded story may arrive just as you’re scrambling to finish a project. Instead of relying on bodily cues (which she clearly can’t read), a good strategy is to enthusiastically ask to postpone the discussion until your deadline is met, because you can’t wait to hear what she has to say.
This is the co-worker who is far too up-to-date on hourly trending topics and types more on his phone than on his computer. The Slacker may disrupt a productive atmosphere, but typically his lackadaisicalness is harmless. It’s usually best to ignore his YouTube video marathons as long as they’re not impacting your own ability to get work done. However, if the situation escalates and you’re forced to do extra work to cover for the Slacker, then you’ll have to speak up. First, speak to your coworker directly. If the nonstop texting doesn’t cease, then approach your boss to address the issue.
There’s always going to at least one person in the office whose habits and temperament annoy you. Especially when working in such close and daily proximity with the same people. While dealing with every “type” of person requires a slightly different approach, it’s always best to be kind and direct. If the behavior persists, take comfort in the fact that if you’re annoyed, you’re probably not the only one. There are surely other people in the office cringing too.