A new study has revealed there are four personality types in every workplace.
Do you like to keep the peace in the office or are you driven to take risks and get results?
Whether you're a manager or an intern, you've no doubt seen many different personalities and approaches at play in your office. And how these personalities interact can really affect the workplace dynamic and how your team gets along on a daily basis.
Now, new reserach published in the Harvard Business Review based on the assessment of over 19,000 workers has identified four main work styles.
Here they are -
Pioneers value possibilities, and they spark energy and imagination on their teams. They believe risks are worth taking and that it's fine to go with your gut. Their focus is big-picture and they're drawn to bold new ideas and creative approaches. Top leaders are most likely to be Pioneers.
Guardians value stability, and they bring order and rigor. They're pragmatic, and they hesitate to embrace risk. Data and facts are baseline requirements for them, and details matter. Guardians think it makes sense to learn from the past.
Drivers value challenge and generate momentum. Getting results and winning count most. Drivers tend to view issues as black-and-white and tackle problems head on, armed with logic and data.
Integrators value connection and draw teams together. Relationships and responsibility to the group are paramount. Integrators tend to believe that most things are relative. They're diplomatic and focused on gaining consensus.
According to the study, our thinking and behaviour are most closely aligned with just one or possibly two of these styles.
And furthermore, researchers say teams that have a good mix of these different personality types should, in theory, enjoy the benefits of increased creativity, innovation and improved decision-making.
While this isn't always the case, it's hoped that if leaders can identify these differing styles among their team members it will help them understand what makes them tick - and how they can best work together.
"Despite the havoc such differences can wreak on team performance, opposite styles can balance each other out," says the study report.
So, what's your workplace personality?
Count up the number of traits from each category that generally apply to you. You may find you are predominantly one or two types.
Integrator: Diplomatic, empathetic, traditional, relationship-oriented, intrinsically motivated and nonconfrontational.
Guardian: Methodical, reserved, detail-oriented, practical, structured and loyal.
Driver: Quantitative, logical, focused, competitive, experimental and deeply curious.
Pioneer: Outgoing, focused on the big picture, spontaneous, drawn to risk, adaptable and imaginative.
Tips to manage the different styles
Pull your opposites closer
While the biggest conflicts can occur when opposite styles collide, with a bit of time and effort they can also balance each other out.
For example, Guardians are generally more reserved than Drivers - but both types are very focused, which can help them find common ground. Guardians and Pioneers, however, are true opposites, as are Integrators and Drivers.
Elevate the “tokens” on your team
If you have a team where the majority are Guardians, you may think it's practical to cater to the greatest good. However the reserachers recommend focusing on the minority types and encouraging them to speak up.
When a team's makeup is lopsided, this can lead to what's known as a "cascade" - once ideas, discussion, and decision making start flowing in a particular direction, momentum keeps them moving that way and they can be difficult to manage and control.
Pay close attention to your sensitive introverts
Team members who are highly introverted or sensitive are at greatest risk of being drowned out - so as a leader, its important to delirbeately reach out to them.
For example: A Pioneer or Driver cascade can feel like Niagara Falls to Guardians, who tend to be reserved, to consider decisions carefully, and to avoid confrontation.
Read more: Top 3 personalities to avoid at work