Posted by Robert Half on 12 December 2014
Are you the Grinch or Frosty at your workplace? Read on to find out what work personality types are present in your office.
Are you channelling one of these famous – or infamous – yuletide individuals in the workplace?
Over the years, Christmas has come to embody some of our favourite stories and characters that speak to some of the fundamentals of human nature. Many Christmas characters are somewhat idealised examples of what psychologists call the Big Five personality traits. Find out what work personality types are present in your office.
Santa is the ultimate example of agreeableness – the personality trait that helps us connect and collaborate with other people. He is friendly, compassionate, helpful, generous and kind. Every workplace has their Santa Claus types – those who go out of their way to help others.
Dr. Seuss’s immortal creation is an archetype also found in Charles Dickens’s Ebenezer Scrooge, who embodies neuroticism. Neuroticism reflects a tendency towards anger, anxiety and negativity. Most workplaces have these people as well, who you’ll find grumbling and complaining about workplace conditions, colleagues and workload.
Frosty the Snowman
Frosty first came to life as a song written by Walter Rollins and Steve Nelson. He represents the trait of openness, a willingness to plunge into life without caution or care. Frosty knew the sun would melt him away, but his love of play and excitement made that eventuality worthwhile. These are the people who believe you must live life to the full, despite the risks. They make the workplace a fun place to be, and they are good at maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Santa’s elves exemplify conscientiousness as they diligently work away in the North Pole to prepare all the presents for Christmas. They are organised, disciplined and dutiful, and every workplace needs its share of elfish types.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Next to Santa, Rudolph is probably the world’s most-beloved Christmas character. He symbolises the quality of the introvert, which falls at one end of the extraversion spectrum. He’s the one who gets rejected for being different, but whose difference contains within it a special ability or talent just waiting to be recognised. There are many people in the typical workplace who patiently and politely wait for their moment to shine.
Which Christmas character are you? What about your colleagues? In looking at these classic models, you may gain some insight into who you – and they – really are.