Have you ever been out on a date and it’s super awkward because the chemistry between the two of you is nonexistent? Ever felt that way about a co-worker? Chemistry isn’t just crucial for your dating life. It’s crucial for your work relationships as well.
Assuming you spend the majority of your time at work, these relationships can become some of the most important in your life. Not only during project engagement and team meetings, but for your career success overall. Maintaining a good relationship with your colleagues is just as important as the relationship you maintain with your boss but on a higher scale.
Suzanne Vickberg and Kim Christfort, authors of the new book, Business Chemistry: Practical Magic for Crafting Powerful Work Relationships, say their research identified four distinct personality types in every office space. Recognizing these differences in how your colleagues work and what makes them tick can drastically improve your work performance.
Vickberg is also a psychologist, and says that the more you understand about your co-workers’ personality types as well as how to flex your own, the better off you’ll be in your work environment.
“It’s flexing the way you do things so you can work better, and strengthening the relationships at work, to get more of what you want out of it,” Vickberg told CNBC.
Here are the four main personality types that are seen in most offices:
1. Pioneers: These are the workers who spark energy and imagination. They’re more outgoing than others and are extremely spontaneous. They are easily adaptable and are creative thinkers. They aren’t afraid of risks because they know big risks can bring great things.
2. Guardians: These are the more practical ones. They value stability and order and are very detail-oriented and reserved. They stick to what they know and are more apt to keeping to themselves.
3. Drivers: Drivers value challenges and generate momentum. They are technical thinkers: quantitative and logical. They are very direct in their approach to problems and people alike.
4. Integrators: These workers have the ability to draw teams together. They value connection and are very relationship oriented. They’re empathetic and diplomatic, and are aware of nuance. They believe that not everything has to be black and white all the time.
So how can you flex your personality type to match those of your colleagues?
According to Vickberg, it may take a little bit of practice.
“For example, a detail-oriented guardian may tend to write long, thorough emails. But if you are writing to a driver, who is more focused, then keep it short and only include key points to improve your communication. The more you can understand different people’s styles, the more engaged people will be and efficient at getting work done.”
Understanding these four personality types can also benefit you in your relationships outside of work as well. If you’re not sure of your personality type or want to learn more about your co-workers, there’s a quiz you can take here.