The various types of colleagues


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Each office has a mix of colleagues and all need managing in different ways. This is a guide on how to deal with different colleagues.

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The various types of colleagues

  1. 1. The Gossip0 Every office has at least one, they have all the “news” and want to share it all with you!0 If you are a colleague: 0 Remember gossip contains both truth, lie and exaggerated stories. 0 Also don’t get sucked in to making up stories or spreading “gossip” of colleagues.0 If you’re a manager: 0 Don’t participate in the gossip, be limited with the information you divulge to them and if it becomes regular, confront the gossip.
  2. 2. The Comedian0 This character is one who is the office joker and enjoys making people laugh.0 If you are a colleague: 0 Enjoy their jokes but gently remind them that you both have work to do. Have lunch with them every so often as they will be able to lift your spirits on a tough day.0 If you’re a manager: 0 Think of them as an asset as they will be able to raise the spirits of your staff. You could even learn from them about how to motivate your staff. You might need to remind them a few times to get on with work though!
  3. 3. The Chatterbox0 The chatterbox is one who is friends with everyone but struggles to concentrate on work.0 If you are a colleague: 0 Be polite with them and ask if you can chat at lunch instead of during the working day.0 If you are a manager: 0 Give them a mix of long projects and quick jobs, all with deadlines to help them manage their day and their own attention span.
  4. 4. The Multi-tasker0 This colleague is one who always has more than one plate spinning at once.0 If you are a colleague: 0 Check-in with them to see if you can support them. If they are getting too stressed, help them prioritise and manage their workload.0 If you are a manager: 0 Ensure they are managing everything ok and are not stressed. If they start dropping plates, sit with them and re-evaluate what they need to do and what they should delegate out.
  5. 5. The Moaner0 The office moaner is one who is never happy and they are either bored, ridiculously busy or not happy with their work.0 If you are a colleague: 0 Don’t join in with the complaining and try and steer them off the subject and they’ll get the message eventually.0 If you’re a manager: 0 Listen to their concerns and ask them to suggest solutions to their problems rather than them complaining.
  6. 6. The Delegator (Slacker)0 The office delegator or “slacker” is one who looks like they are working hard but barely breaks a sweat. They are experts at getting others to do work for them.0 If you are a colleague: 0 Ask why they cannot get the task done, and if it becomes a regular occurrence, report it to your boss. Ensure you always prioritise your own tasks before theirs.0 If you’re a manager: 0 Give them deadlines and ensure they will have plenty of time to get it done. If it becomes obvious they have not completed the work, ask them why they are unable to complete their own work.
  7. 7. The Perfectionist0 The perfectionist is one who has high standards, high levels of professionalism and knows the company inside and out.0 If you are a colleague: 0 Use them to proof-read documents or to help with finishing off a project with professionalism.0 If you’re a manager: 0 This person could be ideal to support you with strategy, documentation or business finances. They could source alternative finance options such as invoice factoring or advise on how to how to improve working practices.
  8. 8. The Hero0 The hero is one who works hard and creates great pieces of work.0 If you are a colleague: 0 Support then when you can and make friends with them. They could become a mentor for you and help you get into the good books of your boss.0 If you’re a manager: 0 Reward this person with responsibilities and bigger projects and thank this person for their hard work and dedication.
  9. 9. Conclusion0 All offices will have a mix of these characters and they are important for a dynamic office environment.0 All have their own place in the office, it is just about how to manage each character individually.0 Some characteristics will be of huge benefit to you so it is important to help each employee to work to their own individual strengths.