Professional Development Work Relationships

Are You One of These 4 Toxic Workplace Personalities?

Written by Peter Jones

There are a million ways to screw up at work, and we like to think we avoid most of the obvious pitfalls. But here are a few work types you might not realize you resemble from time to time.

1. The Minimalist

You know who you are. Someone asks you for a status update on a project and you answer, “I did my part,” without following through. How much longer would it take you to trace that project through the chain and give a more comprehensive answer? To take responsibility for the task, not just your fraction of a task? You won’t be able to do this every time you’re asked, so why not take the initiative when you can and go the extra mile?

2. The Negative Nelly

You might think you’re an upbeat, positive person. But it’s possible you’re the workplace downer. Do you groan at each new daunting project? Weigh the cons before the pros? Complain about the extra work and hours, rather than get psyched about that new high-profile project? Make sure you keep the glass half full and distinguish yourself as a leader among your colleagues.

3. The Disappointment

You think you’re a hero because you take on so much more than everybody else—but that’s also more than can be reasonably expected. Overcommitting can sometimes lead to underperforming, missed deadlines, monster to-do lists, and disappointment. You certainly don’t want to be guilty of the opposite (never taking extra work on), but if you do step in to pinch hit, remember to make sure you have your stance in order.

4. The Shocker

You’ve taken on a bit more than you can chew, and things have been going in a disastrous direction. But you haven’t let your boss in on the details, and as the big presentation rolls around, you have to drop a bomb. If only you’d shared the difficulties as they popped up along the way—your colleagues could have helped out before the situation deteriorated. But you didn’t. And now… disaster.

These workplace traits turn up in every office. There’s always someone guilty of these office faux pas, and—if you aren’t careful—it could be you!

Are You a Boss Botherer? Be Sure to Avoid This Workplace Behavior

About the author

Peter Jones