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Thread: Personalities and the workplace

  1. #1
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Personalities and the workplace

    How important are compatible personalities in the workplace?

    Would you not take a job if you didn't like the personality of a co-worker or boss?

    Would you not take a job if you didn't like the personality of a subordinate?

    Would you hire someone if they had the qualifications on paper but didn't seem like a good fit personality wise?

    Can a Type B person survive in a department of Type As or vice versa?
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    How important are compatible personalities in the workplace?
    Important, but you can still get things done

    Would you not take a job if you didn't like the personality of a co-worker or boss?
    I did, despite knowing beforehand that I would work with that person.

    Would you not take a job if you didn't like the personality of a subordinate?
    I would probably take the job.

    Would you hire someone if they had the qualifications on paper but didn't seem like a good fit personality wise?
    No.

    Can a Type B person survive in a department of Type As or vice versa?
    Guess so. Adaption is a strong trait in humans. Depends how much b.s. you are willing to stomach.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    I sense there is something behind your questioning...a potential new hire, perhaps?

    How important are compatible personalities in the workplace?
    They can be very important, but it also depends on the extent to which people will be working together and/or sharing space.

    Would you not take a job if you didn't like the personality of a co-worker or boss?
    I probably would not take a job under those conditions.

    Would you not take a job if you didn't like the personality of a subordinate?
    Not sure.

    Would you hire someone if they had the qualifications on paper but didn't seem like a good fit personality wise?
    No.

    Can a Type B person survive in a department of Type As or vice versa?
    I'm not exactly sure what a Type B person is, but I do believe that different types of personalities can work together effectively IF they are respectful of their differences and the assets they each bring to the organization.

  4. #4
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Qualifier: there are very few people I think I would be incompatible with. I'm good at adapting to other people's personalities and generally get along with 99% of people.


    How important are compatible personalities in the workplace?
    Very important. I would say bordering on being more important that qualifications/skill level. If personalities are compatible, you can more easily train one another to become better at your respective jobs.

    Would you not take a job if you didn't like the personality of a co-worker or boss?
    If it were the boss that I could sense being incompatible with, then I would not take the job. That's just asking for a strained working relationship with a superior and that usually isn't a good thing for the subordinate. Being incompatible with a co-worker doesn't bother me as much since there is not a reporting relationship.

    Would you not take a job if you didn't like the personality of a subordinate?
    Yes. As long as the personality of the subordinate does not cause massive problems or interfere with their work quality, I can deal with it. I don't need to be best friends with everyone I work with.

    Would you hire someone if they had the qualifications on paper but didn't seem like a good fit personality wise?
    If it is just me that the personality might conflict with, but they are compatible with everyone else in the department, then I'll give them a shot. If they are incompatible with the office and might jeopardize a cohesive staff, then no.

    Can a Type B person survive in a department of Type As or vice versa?
    I assume by type A you mean somebody that is very assertive, gregarious, and comfortable speaking in front of others. If a Type A goes to far, it can cause suppression of other's opinions, while if they keep themselves in check they can help tease ideas out of others in a comfortable setting. As long as everyone respects one another and acts like adults, it should be fine. People should be aware of one another's strengths and weaknesses, and work off them to create a strong working team. For example, my subordinate is probably a type B, fresh out of school, and more uncomfortable speaking in front of a group at our staff meetings. To help him out, I ask him one-on-one about stuff, which is an environment he is more comfortable with. I then mention it in the staff meeting while giving him credit for the idea. It has boosted his confidence and now he speaks more freely in the meetings.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
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    I have turned down jobs because I didn't like the personality of the boss. I have not hired a subordinate because their personality did not go with the others in the office, all of whom are wonerful and make a great team. I accidentally hired someone with the wrong personality once and it was a nightmare.

    Bottom line, personality is important. There may be jobs where the personality is not important, like something very specialized where one would not have to deal with actual people who have personalities, but I don't have any such positions in my office. And there may be occassions when someone's qualifications are so good, and so needed, that personality would not be an overriding factor.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    I pretty much like the civil service hiring system. That is, where an independent board reviews credentials, conducts preliminary interviews, and selects 3 top qualifiers. Then a one on one interview with the supervisor determines who of the 3 is the best "fit"...which often is personality. I have won, and lost, those situations.

    Suburb Repairman, I have got to introduce you to some of the people I have had the pleasure to work with!

  7. #7
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mike gurnee View post
    I pretty much like the civil service hiring system. That is, where an independent board reviews credentials, conducts preliminary interviews, and selects 3 top qualifiers. Then a one on one interview with the supervisor determines who of the 3 is the best "fit"...which often is personality. I have won, and lost, those situations.

    Suburb Repairman, I have got to introduce you to some of the people I have had the pleasure to work with!
    Oh don't get me wrong--I've worked with my fair share of winners. There's one now that I am eternally greatful is not in my department. I still have to interact with her, but its pretty minimal and far enough in between that I don't get urges to commit a felony. "Some people... you just can't reach..."

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    How important are compatible personalities in the workplace?
    pretty important that people can work together

    Would you not take a job if you didn't like the personality of a co-worker or boss?
    it depends, but if the person is a miserable wretch then yes, I would not take the job

    Would you not take a job if you didn't like the personality of a subordinate?
    less of an issue

    Would you hire someone if they had the qualifications on paper but didn't seem like a good fit personality wise?
    it depends how poor of a fit they are, plenty of qualified folks that are easy enough to get along with

    Can a Type B person survive in a department of Type As or vice versa?
    B can suffer A, A cannot suffer B :P I really don't know

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    For those who've replied "wouldn't take a job if I didn't get along with someone," how would you know this at the interview/walk around the department pre-tour?

    I once interviewed for a bicycle coordinator position within a municipal rec department. Was answering a question and glanced at the department head, who was fully engaged in picking his nose. The arrival of their rejection letter was a huge relief.

    At another job (which I landed), there were issues with one of the admins up front. The level of her concerns became quite clear when my supervisor walked around forcing everyone to sign the Violence in the Workplace Pledge. "I will not bring a weapon or firearm to the building."
    To placate her, I was told to not use the front door, which led past her desk and meant that she'd have to notice me and then she'd become unbalanced. (WTF??)
    On my first day she became a shrieking dervish when I attempted to visit the desk of my admin, which was adjacent to hers. (Her supervisor sent me a nasty-gram implying that I had raided the supply cabinets, based on her complaints.)
    Interestingly, all my hiring activities took place in another building, and I had met exactly two people from this 20-person department. Had I met her on a walk-around, the nature of her disability would not have been apparent.

    I've been working for thirty years, and it seems to me that the most important guideline in getting along is: make it work. These people are not your friends, so don't get too chummy. Treat them as though they are your first date's parents.
    And if management can't handle issues as described above, take cover. (I found something else within six months.)

    HTH

  10. #10
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Veloise View post
    For those who've replied "wouldn't take a job if I didn't get along with someone," how would you know this at the interview/walk around the department pre-tour?
    Yep, there's really no way to tell what you're getting into. I've taken two jobs thus far in my career and I've been duped into thinking my supervisors were something they're actually not (namely, competant and even-tempered). It is frustrating, but its hard enough to find a job in this field as it is, let alone one with good people to work for.

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