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How Personality Affects Behavior in the Workplace

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When people arrive at the office, they bring with them their individual traits and personalities. Regardless of a person's position or responsibilities in the workplace, personality plays a role in how a person approaches a job, completes a task and interacts with others.


Individual personalities become recognizable during teamwork activities. Someone with an outgoing personality is likely to be a cheerleader for the group, focus on positive aspects of the project, and possibly volunteer for leadership and coordination roles. Likewise, someone who is shy and reserved is more likely to take a follower role and be more comfortable completing tasks that are assigned to him or taking direction from others.

Time Management

People who are naturally focused and organized are usually efficient in managing time and completing tasks on schedule. These people do well in leadership roles, but their personalities can potentially conflict with those who have a more laid-back and relaxed approach and aren't as deadline-conscious or motivated. This becomes a problem if a colleague has a manipulative personality as well, and attempts to sabotage other staffers' work efforts. While not necessarily poor workers, people with overly-relaxed personalities often prefer to work at their own pace without constraints of time lines, which can lead to frustrations unless appropriately managed.


Analytical personality types have the ability to problem-solve in an organized manner. They might accomplish this through leading brainstorming sessions, developing decision trees or workflow charts or creating detailed project plans. Indecisive personality types often throw a wrench in the works when they're unable to make a decision or choose a course of action, and it results in stalled work projects. This can be difficult in group work situations in which one person meeting deadlines is crucial to another person carrying out related tasks and responsibilities.

Interpersonal Relations

Extroverted personality types are comfortable engaging with colleagues and clients, and are often able to work out minor differences and create workable compromises. Neurotic personality types, however, are more likely to be disagreeable in nature. These individuals often do better in work environments or positions in which they have limited contact with clients, customers and co-workers.


Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.

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