Work is just like life: you encounter different types of personalities, dispositions and temperaments. But work is different because you can’t simply walk away and disengage when someone with a different personality or values crosses your path. You can spend as much as a third of your life at work, so learning the skills to cope with many different personality types can give you peace of mind when challenging situations arise.

Here are some ideas and tips on how you can manage different types of personalities in the workplace.

1. Remember: You all are on the same team.

Being a team player is one of the most common phrases in job descriptions. You have probably encountered people who seem to separate themselves from the group and work in a vacuum on a team of their own operating by their own rules. Some people work best this way, but you should always stay involved with your team and not close yourself off too much. Having ideas and being able to bounce topics off one another creates a comfortable and collaborative work environment for everyone. At the end of the day, remember everyone on your team is (or should be) working towards the same goal and outcomes.

2. Don’t take everything personally.

Right now, your coworkers are also dealing with their own issues, and the way they act could be a reflection of something they may be going through either at work or in their personal lives. If others are being negative or unpleasant to be around, remember, not every negative or uncomfortable encounter is directly about you. Take a few minutes to step back and assess the situation fully – maybe they are worried about something going on at home or stressed about a big project they have due. The best skill you can have is to just offer help and not create a hostile environment, even if someone else is. Learn from this and get into the habit of leaving your own personal problems separate from work. It can negatively impact your work and attitude around others in the workplace.

3. Learn to handle egos.

Some of your coworkers may go out of their way to prop themselves up and stand out by thinking of everyone else as below them in quality of work and stature. Employees like this don’t like to take direction and they tend to do things their own way, and sometimes their quality of work doesn’t match what they think of themselves. Coworkers with big egos usually don’t shy away from a fight, so reading the situation carefully is important. Try to concentrate on having a non-judgmental response. Also, when you focus on yourself and your work, the situation works itself out. Don’t tolerate being bullied, but you may find that most of the time letting the situation pass without incident works out the best for all parties.

4. Keep gossip positive.

You’ve most likely been in situations where there has been office gossip. You’ll find that some individuals really love to entertain themselves by talking about what’s going on around the office. Some of it’s harmless, but most of the time, it is not good to be involved with these kinds of interactions. Sometimes office gossip is unavoidable, especially when you’re in a conversation with a group but try to tactfully redirect the conversation to something positive.

Remember, your priority is to do great work and meet goals. That being said, you will encounter different personalities that may stand in the way of getting the job done. Try to maintain a non-judgmental attitude and know that it’s all about how you react to and handle situations.


Krista is a Creative Circle candidate, creative writer and content creator in Los Angeles. Her background includes news, marketing, copywriting and editing. If you are interested in working with Krista, please contact Creative Circle LA.