Five worker archetypes and effectively managing them

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The trouble with working alongside such a medley of unique characters is finding ways to manage them effectively. From a managerial perspective, employing such dissimilar individuals has its pros and cons, and the secret to success is to find the strengths and weaknesses within each member of the team.

No matter what the business, most offices across the country attract a handful of characters that adhere to archetypal office stereotypes. But who are they, and how can you manage them effectively?

Here, we look at five business archetypes, and offer advice on how to get the most from your workforce – however unique they may be.

(1) The Alpha

Forever seeking to be the centre of attention, the alpha is arguably the most ambitious member of the team, and one whose sights are firmly set on reaching the big time. Alphas are self-confident to the point of narcissism, and will do anything to win praise from above, including crushing those they deem inferior.

Sure, they can deliver great results in the right role, but their egotism can distort their judgment when it comes to key tasks, something which can go unnoticed beneath layers of bravado and swagger.

In a recent BBC study, psychiatrist Dr Judith Orloff revealed that narcissism was one of five traits guaranteed to get under our skin in the workplace. Orloff suggests that the best way to deal with alphas in the office is to stroke their ego and frame every situation in such a way that it serves them.

We think the best advice is to be aware of their habits, and closely monitor their work to ensure they’re genuinely performing when you strip away the exhibitionism.

Sound familiar? If not, don’t worry – we continuing breaking down characteristics of workers on the next page.

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