The 9 Most Difficult Personalities to Manage
Companies hire workers but have to manage people. No two are alike.
Success occurs seemingly effortlessly when we work well with others. It is crucial that we are able to peacefully coexist in a positive team environment where cooperation and collaboration are the hallmark.
Most people do what they can to be pleasant, to get along, to work hard to get things done, and prefer not be viewed as difficult in the eyes of their peers or superiors. Personality type is a huge predictor of both success and failure. Optimistic, well-liked, hard-working, light-hearted personalities are the easiest to manage, work and get along with. Yet, the majority of us have experienced the one or two personalities in our work environment who are nearly impossible.
1. The Almost Genius.
This is a person who has the potential to be great. They are able to achieve a decent amount of success at almost anything that holds their interest. They are friendly, humble, outgoing and potential superstars in every ounce of the way -- until they get bored and lose interest. Once this type of personality loses interest, they fail to follow tasks through to completion. This is exactly what makes them infuriating. Their lack of follow through means we cannot count on their performance with any sense of consistency.
The best way to manage this type of person is to avoid giving them tasks that are routine and bogged down with mindless detail. These personalities thrive in more creative positions where they can generate new ideas, lead others and interact closely with people.
Related: 8 Ways Smart People Act Stupid
2. The Anarchist.
This rebellious personality type is perhaps one of the most exasperating to manage. These types enjoy behaving recklessly and acting out in ways others find off-putting, uncomfortable or even obscene.
This type of person has a difficult time socializing with others and are quick to boredom. When they are bored they intentionally create problems just to stir the pot, as a way to generate some excitement. The most effective way to manage this personality is to put them in their own office away from others or allow them to work from home. Being around others, especially in close proximity, causes these types a tremendous amount of internal chaos and irritation. The least amount of in-person interaction this type of personality gets, the easier they are to manage and the more effectively they perform in their role.
3. The Dramatic.
Most of us prefer to have as little drama in our lives as possible -- then there are those who crave, create and thrive on drama.
These are the types of people who always have to be in the spotlight and feel slighted if and when they are not. To make sure they regain the attention they want, they act out in some form, whether that be through pouting, onset of sudden illness, becoming loud and obnoxious or they start crying. They are easily influenced by those around them, and totally reliant upon the approval and validation of others.
These types of personalities drain, not only their managers, but all of their coworkers and customers. Their overly emotional personality ranks them as among the most hated to work with. The best way to manage these types is to stay calm, set limits around your time, refrain from rolling your eyes, and use encouragement as much as possible.
4. The Blow Torch.
The blow torch is the person whose emotional states goes from zero to sixty in a nanosecond when things don't go their way. These types of personalities are nearly impossible to deal with. Their moods change dramatically, suddenly and without warning. It takes very little to provoke them into a rage, as they are owned by their impulses and operate solely on irrational thinking.
Taking a minute to think things through is non-existent. These types require too much soothing and babysitting from their managers and all others. Most people, when around this type of personality, cope by allowing this person to have their way, just to abate further and unnecessary conflict. These types of personalities show high turnover from one company to the next. They not only burn bridges between themselves and their coworkers but also between themselves and their customers. It ends up being easier to get rid of them than to continue trying to work with them.
5. The Narcissist.
Narcissists are walking billboards. They hold up and promote a completely false image of who they are They constantly rely on the compliments, appreciation and acknowledgment of friends, coworkers, and family. They expect everyone around them, especially those closest, to be looking for and anticipating their every whim and need.
Narcissists literally cannot understand why others won't bend the world on its axis to make them happy when they demand it. They are deeply insecure and plagued by jealousy. They live their lives in an unspoken competition with everyone they meet. They are big "name droppers," braggers who constantly put down others down to position themselves as better. They manipulate and charm to get ahead, and use excessive amounts of self-promotion, via social media and in person, to show their value.
This is another personality type with high turnover. The best way to manage the narcissist is to focus on what they're doing right and keep them in a space of wanting to impress and gain your approval.
Related: How to Work With a Narcissist
6. The Controller.
Controlling personality types cannot function unless they keep everyone and everything in perfect order. They live under the fear that if they are not in control that something disastrous is bound to happen. They cannot function in the grey or unpredictable areas of life.
This personality type worries excessively and has the habit of setting unrealistic goals for themselves and others. They are the quintessential "control freaks." Others experience them as overbearing, invasive and annoying to the point that others will do just about anything to avoid interacting with them.
The best way to manage this personality, knowing they are not team-oriented, is to allow them to work within their comfort zone where they can control tasks that are in front of them, rather than the people around them.
7. The Avoider.
This type of personality is more on the introverted side of life, but they are not friendly introverts. They come off cold, blunt and rude. They tend to avoid all work-related activities, preferring to live more isolated, private and secluded lives.
Deep down these people are afraid of rejection. They are hypersensitive to criticism or disapproval. They worry too much about things that most people would consider unimportant. They are terrified to say too much for the fear of embarrassing themselves.
These traits make it very difficult for others to connect with them in any deep or meaningful way. The best way to manage these types is not to force too many social events on them, and to give all feedback to them one-on-one if at all possible, rather than in front of the entire team.
8. The Serious.
Nothing is worse than having to spend time around a person who has no sense of humor or who has not an ounce of lightheartedness. Sometimes this personality type comes off as perfect and intelligent, which can benefit them work-wise; however, people tend to dislike those who never laugh, who are always uptight and who cannot joke around and have fun.
Humor always makes people more likeable and easier to work with. Humor, on the whole, enhances the morale of the work environment making it a more enjoyable place to be. The best way to manage these types is not to change your own lightheartedness in their presence, as it may just help them to take a load off.
9. The Needy.
Needy people are experienced as whiney and bothersome. People view them as weak and less intelligent. They are clingy, not just in their intimate relationships, but also in their work lives, as they constantly turn their faces to others for help.
Dependent people who always need somebody by their side are painfully off-putting. They are challenging to work with because it is nearly impossible to gauge who they really are, or what their actual skill set is. The best way to manage someone like this is to place them in positions that are routine, regimented and simplistic. This is another personality type who will want to please, so praising them can bring some relief from their needy nature.
Sherrie Campbell is a psychologist in Yorba Linda, Calif., with two decades of clinical training and experience in providing counseling and psychotherapy services. She is the author of Loving Yourself: The Mastery of Being Your Own Person. Her new book, Success Equations: A Path to an Emotionally Wealthy Life, is available for pre-order.