Have you encountered any inappropriate workplace personality types?

Have you encountered any inappropriate workplace personality types?

We always hear stories from our friends about that time they saw their boss unfairly discipline a colleague. But sometimes it’s easy to forget that in actual fact these are types of inappropriate work place behaviour. Some of us unlucky souls have to work to make a living, and if someone is directly impacting the way that you’re working you have a right to bring it up with your boss, or take matters (lightly) into your own hands. With that in mind, I have compiled a list of the character traits you’re sure to be unfortunate enough encounter in the workplace. And for those of you at your wits ends, I’ve also added what to do with them:

The Blasé Boss

This guy is a great boss until you tell them that you’re going to take a week holiday that you’ve worked hard to get. Obviously on the surface they’ll process it like any other holiday but you should expect a double in work load in the week leading up to your time off.

What can you do:

Situations like this require a firm grip like with your own child. Usually these people are great at dodging confrontation. If you just ask them up front and try to negotiate a date so that there’s no loss of pace or efficiency, that should ease it up. Giving them peace of mind ahead of you leaving means that they won’t worry and everyone ends up on the same page.

The Gossip

If you’re the one telling the gossip you should probably reconsider what you say. If you’re hearing it at the water cooler, then you should probably make sure you don’t go too far. Excessive gossiping is one of the biggest problems within any workplace. Although a study from the Netherlands shows just a few minutes a day gossiping decreases stress within the work place. Hummm…

What can you do:

If you feel someone has overstepped the boundaries of someone else’s privacy, most people would think to tell HR or management. One piece of advice given by Alison Green, founding member of AskAManager.com was to just cut the conversation short. Tattling to a high authority can upset more than just the party involved and can affect the whole work place. A simple “Wow, I shouldn’t know that” should be sufficient to move the conversation along. As a rule of thumb – “if you wouldn’t like what you hear to be said about you, then it shouldn’t be said at all”.

The Jerk

He’s the guy everyone has to put up with because he’s good, and he knows he’s good, but boy doesn’t he want everyone to know. He is obnoxious and doesn’t allow anybody to get a point across and can just sometimes be unbelievably rude.

What can you do:

Best course of action? Take a stand. Make sure he understands the word “No”. Make sure that he knows what type of affect his attitude is having on the company and the work place subtly. No need to go in all guns blazing- just make sure that you’re polite but forceful. Use examples of times it’s affected the team to back up your case.

The Slacker

Was the last time you saw this guy work back when he first started two years ago? Is he so laid back he’s horizontal? This guy probably lacks objectives and a mission, and probably doesn’t expect to be here for too long. You have to pick up his slack because he is too lazy to do it.

What can you do:

It depends on your position as to what you can do. Management can set daily goals and check in every day in the morning to make sure they’re on task. Failing that, you could look to warnings/suspension or dismissal completely. If you’re outranked by him, a study shows just imagining you’ve got a better job than him will make you feel better about them straight away. So get imagining that you’re an astronaut compared to his rubbish collector.

The Creep

This could be anybody from Tech support to the boss, they can’t help but make the risqué comments you wouldn’t hear from your other half… and it makes you uncomfortable. They’ll talk to you about another colleague as if they’re a piece of meat and you can’t confirm or deny whether you agree for the sake of being sane.

What can you do:

This requires delicacy and is dependent on the severity. Simple inappropriate jokes require you to tell them to stop, firmly. You shouldn’t be rude, just make sure they know. If it’s escalated to inappropriate propositions or brushing up against you unnecessarily you can take it up with management and make sure they take it as seriously as they should.

Alongside this foul language, shouting, targeted mockery and brushing up against your colleague inappropriately are all key elements of inappropriate behaviour in the work place. It’s just courteous to think of your fellow colleagues but sadly, (personal experiences notwithstanding) people sometimes forget. You’ll meet all of these characters at one time or another and there’s many ways to deal with it. You could even direct them to Coursevine.org where there are cheap courses on behavioural, workplace and leadership training. Either way the workplace is a minefield and hopefully Coursevine will leave you better equipped to brave it.