Building Good Work Relationships: How to Read Your Colleague’s Personalities

Don’t let your dream job suck because of office politics. Here’s how you can create a great work culture for the job you are passionate about.

You’ve landed the dream job – One that you are passionate about and don’t mind the occasional OT for. But there’s just one problem; office politics between colleagues who enjoy the sabo game and superiors you just don’t understand.

In this article, we take the advice of New York Times #1 Best Selling author, Gary Chapman, to identify colleagues (and bosses!) by their love language at the workplace. This important skill will help you create the perfect work culture for you to focus on your dream job.

Bonus: You may even become the most influential employee in the process!

The FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) One

What’s Important to Them: Quality Time

Be it sharing about your weekend adventures, catching them up on the new sport you’re trying out, or the new baby in the family – we all have that FOMO colleague who loves being kept in the loop about anything and everything that goes on in your life.

Colleagues who identify with this love language are all about your undivided attention. Have quality conversations with them about things unrelated to work; be it over lunch, or even during the short walk to the pantry for your kopi break. By inviting them into your personal life, you may just successfully turn them into office friends instead of merely colleagues.

The Sticky One

What’s Important to Them: Physical Touch

Colleagues and bosses belonging to this category engage in the most direct way to communicate love. They simply enjoy giving out handshakes, hugs, pats on the back and high-fives when in the workplace.

The sticky ones are the easiest to handle! Be intentional about finding out the most appropriate ways to engage them in physical touch – giving them high-fives when the team has accomplished a milestone together, coming up with secret handshakes that act as a fun twist to (good ol’ fashioned) corporate handshakes, and a pat on their backs to show your appreciation for their hard work.

Read Also: 6 Ways to Survive a Toxic Workplace

The Receiver

What’s Important to Them: Gift Giving

We all have that one colleague (or even boss) whose frown is easily turned upside down when bestowed with gifts. Now, don’t go all crazy on splurging on presents – receivers often enjoy the love they receive because of the thought that goes into the gift instead of the gift itself. They appreciate it when people think about them!

“Every employee is incentivised in a different way, so we have different ways of incentivising, from money to gift cards to extra time off to short vacations” – Georgette Blau, President, On Location Tours

From physical gifts like coffee mugs, cute llama pens (aww!) and notebooks to things like poems made out of their initials, sweet post-it notes, relatable office memes and inspirational quotes via text/email; start building great relationships by charming the Receivers.

The Un-validated One

What’s Important to Them: Words of Affirmation

This one is simple. The colleague who posts things like “my boss said good job to me today!” or “appreciation is so hard to come by these days” on their Instagram Stories, or whose face lights up when being praised at the workplace – does anyone come to mind?

The #1 company to work for based on Fortune’s 2019 ranking, Hilton, has implemented peer recognition initiatives like “Email High Fives” for employees to offer encouraging and affirming messages to each other.

If encouraging words are all it takes to make your colleague feel better about their work, don’t be stingy with your compliments. Let kind phrases like “Thank you” and “I appreciate it” start rolling off your tongue.

The Extra One

What’s Important to Them: Acts of Service

Imagine this: You sit down on the toilet seat and are all ready to expunge the heavy lunch you just had. You look to the right and you face your biggest nightmare – someone didn’t refill the toilet paper!

Don’t you wish colleagues went the extra mile to put in fresh rolls of toilet paper?

For the bosses and colleagues who enjoy people going the extra mile for them; be it offering to buy lunch, pick up extra stationery or putting additional toilet rolls in the toilet – think of the additional things you can do for them to ease up their burden at the workplace.

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