Many of us have been in a situation where one person with a very difficult personality can create a very unpleasant work environment. Sometimes a person may just have a strong, overbearing personality, while others might be introverted and unwilling to help carry a conversation. Your personality, though, is extremely important in the workplace because it is the foundation on which you build relationships.
Showing your personality in the workplace is an essential part of your everyday interactions, but there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. Depending on your company’s culture, some things may be more appropriate than others. Just remember that your behavior is the biggest indicator of your personality, so follow some of these guidelines to be professional but still let others start to see the real you.
1. Don’t try to be someone you’re not.
While it is important to be professional with all your interactions at work, you shouldn’t try to be someone you’re not. You will usually just come across as the person who is “trying too hard.” Be yourself and don’t try to pretend you have a personality that’s really not there. On the other hand, you should be willing to play to your strengths.
2. Stand out but don’t act out.
There’s nothing wrong with attracting some attention in the work place. Everyone wants to be noticed. However, it’s more important to be noticed for your job performance rather than being “the funny guy” or the person who always adds an opinion to a conversation (whether it was asked for or not).
3. Show your drive and motivation by helping to improve others.
Many people believe that the only way to show that they are “driven” or aggressively motivated is to throw themselves into their work and leave all others in the dust. This kind of personality, though, is not what one might call a team player. An energetic personality can be infectious, so you can easily be yourself while still pulling the rest of the team up with you.
4. Comedy is all about the timing.
Every office has seen its share of jokesters and funny guys/girls. This is completely fine because we all need a good laugh every now and then. However, it all goes wrong when that person just doesn’t seem to know when enough is enough. There’s a time and a place for a good joke. If you get it right, you’re a hero. If you don’t, you will still leave an impression – it just won’t be a good one.
5. Live up to all your commitments
If behavior is the biggest indicator of personality, then living up to all your promises and following through on the things you say you will do will show the company that your are trustworthy and dedicated. This is the kind of person any company will want to keep around.
6. Feedback is a good thing.
But complaints get really old, really fast. If all you have to offer is a criticism of every idea, your contributions will soon go unappreciated. On the other hand, if you can give constructive feedback, offer alternatives, and point out the good things as much as the bad, you will be seen as a more valuable resource – someone who is a thinker and has valuable input to share.
7. Be a listener.
Showing your personality at work will be highly dependent on the kind of people you work with and the corporate culture that has developed over the years. The only way to learn about others and start finding the personality traits that match yours is to be a real listener. If you’re only concerned with yourself, and never hear what someone else has to say, you only have misunderstandings and personality clashes to look forward to. If you are willing to listen and learn, however, you will be able to discover what is considered professional and what is not.