Getting the right people working for your business can be critical to your success. If each member of your team isn’t chosen carefully, you could end up wasting most of your time sorting out petty disputes and trying to undo damage to your business reputation. Adding the wrong personality to the mix can create chaos, and it could potentially ruin your company.
It is to be expected that you choose people to work for you on the basis of their skills, knowledge, and experience, but it is also important to take into account how they are going to fit in with your existing team. The personality of the candidate is extremely important because it only takes one bad apple to spoil the whole crate. Even if you manage to acquire the most talented people in your industry, it’s no good if the behavior of these individuals begins to harm your company.
It is often only after people have been hired that the negative aspects of their personality become apparent. The first sign of trouble can be a change in how the team is functioning – maybe there is a drop in productivity, or sudden disharmony. It’s to be expected that adding a new member is going to cause a few ripples initially, but serious disruption may indicate that this person just isn’t fitting in well. If this is the case, you may need to provide additional support to the new employee, but if this person is toxic to the team, you might be better off removing him.
There are certain types of personality that are known to be particularly dangerous in the workplace. If you want to avoid headaches in the future, you probably want to weed out this type of person before they can do damage to your business. Here are the five personality types you need to be most careful about hiring:
Narcissists can be a danger to your business because they are likely over-confident, power-hungry, and unwilling to admit mistakes. Some qualities of the narcissist make them appear like a good choice at interviews, but these people are usually more trouble than they are worth.
Narcissists can come across as charming when things are going well, but they are also arrogant, self-obsessed, vindictive, and manipulative. The narcissist will probably much prefer to watch your business fail than to admit to their own mistakes, and this person is going to happily stab you in the back if this can help them get ahead.
The other members of your team may find it difficult to deal with the narcissist – especially if you allow this person to become a leader or have any type of power. If you have a narcissist working for you, it is recommended that you watch your back and keep an eye out for signs that this person is mistreating others.
The Office Bully
An office bully can harass other people on your team physically, verbally, or emotionally. This person can make life hell for the other people, but they can do it in such a way that the victims feel powerless to do anything. Women are more likely to be targeted than men, and the bully may focus on just one or two victims at a time.
It only takes one person behaving this way to turn your office into a hostile environment – it is not only damaging for your business, but it can also lead to long-term psychological damage to the victim. It can be difficult to legally fire somebody for bullying behavior unless you have proof, but you can create an environment where all your employees feel comfortable about reporting problems to you. Always take complaints seriously and document everything.
The Drama Queen
A ‘drama queen’ is the type of person who always needs to be in the middle of a storm. If there isn’t an actual crisis to focus on, the drama queen will go create one. This individual is highly skilled at creating mountains out of molehills, and if you have someone like this on your team, it can lead to a great deal of unnecessary stress. The term ‘drama queen’ might suggest that this is a behavior associated most with females, but this is not really the case – there are plenty of male drama queens as well.
This type of employee can become extremely defensive if you provide any type of criticism, so it is usually necessary to sandwich negative feedback between compliments. It is best to always give this person clear goals with definite deadlines, and recognize achievement of goals with praise. If this person is going to remain with your company, you might want to minimize contact, just so you are not put in the position of having to sort out unnecessary drama. You might also want to give this individual their own space away from the rest of the team.
The Constant Complainer
It can be a real challenge to work with people who constantly complain. This person is highly skilled at stirring up trouble and causing bad feelings. If you have somebody like this on your team, it can lead to a noticeable drop in overall energy and enthusiasm. The constant complainer is likely to bad-mouth you behind your back – possibly to your customers as well as other members of the team. This type of person revels in Schadenfruede, and she may actually enjoy a real sense of satisfaction when your business fails (I told you so).
Chronic complainers are usually just venting because deep down they are not happy with their life. They also may have no idea just how their negativity is impacting other people. The complaints are an attempt to seek validation – ‘look at how tough my life is’. The best way to deal with this person as a manger is to listen to the complaint and acknowledge that you have heard it. If the complaint is unjustified, you can explain why, but this individual is likely to feel better about things just because you were willing to listen.
The Bad Influence
The bad influence can be a very charismatic individual who everyone in the office likes. This person usually doesn’t set out to cause problem for your business, but they likely have a habit of leading other people astray. This could include getting other members of the team to stay out drinking late into the night, or causing distraction in the work place by playing pranks or just wasting time gossiping. The bad behavior can spread like a flu virus. The personality of this type of individual can be so strong that it can have a serious negative impact on the effectiveness of your whole team.
The bad influence can be like a poison to your business, and sometimes the only option is to get rid of this person. This type of individual may respond to criticism by temporarily improving their behavior, but it can be difficult to maintain this improvement long-term. If you feel this person could be a real asset to your team, it is probably going to be worth nurturing them – but you’ll want to provide clear rules for behavior and expectations.