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different personalities

Different Personalities Require Emotional Labor

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Working with different personalities can feel like a strain. It is true of all workplaces. Sometimes it is a peer, sometimes a boss, and as a supervisor it can be working with a direct report. Do you struggle with one or more different personalities?

Important Factors

First, and perhaps most importantly, you are not alone. If you feel like there are not any different personalities across the team, you may be the one who is different.

Another important factor to keep in mind is that you likely won’t change the behavior of others. What you can change is your reactions to behaviors that cause you to personally struggle.

We often call the emotional moans, groans, and strains of difficultly in the workplace, emotional labor. It is the work that you don’t want to do, but you must do, or it is the work that requires you to reach outside of your comfort zone.

Chances are good that in one form or another, you own some of the difficulty with navigating various personalities in your workplace.

How So?

For example, some people feel taken advantage of with performing the tasks and duties that are others responsibility. When you look at the evolution of how that happened it is often because the person became a crutch for someone else.

Certainly, teamwork and pitching in are valuable and appropriate, but nearly always there will be someone who will consciously or subconsciously begin to expect you’ll pick up the pieces in the future.

You can ask the other person to change. Good luck. A better alternative is to change the way you react to daily scenarios with this person.

Free yourself from being the crutch and things will change. Of course, with that said, the person who has been relying on you as a crutch will likely have some complaints that you will have to resolve.

Different Personalities

Many experts identify between about six to ten different personality categories in the workplace. What becomes more interesting is that there often is a blending of two or more of these traits with any individual.

Prepare yourself, you’ll have to put in some additional emotional labor. You’ll need to be accountable to yourself to make changes that aren’t comfortable. Short term pain for long-term gain.

If you don’t make changes, the constant drain can bring you and others down. Don’t be the victim.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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