Some employees have challenging employee personalities. In general, people have many different personality traits. Some trait examples include: compassion, caring, agreeableness, spontaneity, and so on. The traits that a person has can sometimes block the person from advancing, can make it difficult for one to associate with others, and can even lead to harm. The traits can sometimes be very intense and extreme, and under these kinds of conditions, the word personality disorder sometimes comes up.
The behaviour exhibited by these individuals can cause problems for the individuals themselves and for others around them. Despite some dysfunctional behaviour, these individuals can work and are often selected for work, due to the strength of their other positive qualities. An important point to remember is that, when people look for jobs, it is not just about whether their experience and qualifications is a match for the position, but whether or not their personalities are a match. Good managers will take into consideration not just the issue an employee faces, but realize that at times an issue could be linked to an underlying cause that could be out of the employee’s full control. Good managers know how to deal with different types of people, and this may require some knowledge on dealing with people with personality disorders. The main types of challenging follower personalities are listed next:
Paranoid Employees – Paranoid personality disorder features paranoia, cautiousness, suspiciousness and distrust. They look for signs or clues that corroborate the opinion that they are in danger, all the while ignoring other evidence that things are ok. Though they are quite perceptive, the perception may be biased toward the negative. On the positive side, their energy and attentiveness make them good in many types of roles.
Passive-Aggressive Employees – Individuals with passive-aggressive personality disorder seem to be indecisive, unpredictable, and argumentative. Although, they desire to assert themselves, inside they have poor self-confidence. In many cases, others react to them in a hostile way. Another way to look at it, is that the term passive-aggressive comes from the idea of appearing to do well, while actually doing bad.
Schizoid Employees – Schizoid personalities show features such as; abnormalities in thought and perception, lack of interest in social relationships and a tendency towards being secret. On the positive side, they may demonstrate a strong creative capacity, especially in the fields of writing and visual arts. There are advantages that are not immediately obvious, such as the strength of an employee, which doesn’t socialize, could be that they work continually at a computer.
Borderline Employees – Borderline personalities show features such as a lack of stability in relationships, lack of stability in behaviours, and lack of stability in self-image. Also, there may be depression, anger, and strong emotional swings. A part of the problem lies with their belief structure. It’s not that they are dishonest, but they can believe different things at different times. Offering them an atmosphere of truth will create trust and stability.
Narcissistic Employees – Narcissistic personality disorder is a personality disorder where the person is constantly preoccupied with vanity, power and influence. They seek admiration. At the same time, they can lack empathy and are uninterested in the feelings of others. If you are working with this type of person, it is helpful to pay special attention to this type of person when you need to criticize their work. This is because they can become vengeful at the fact that they were criticized.
Avoidant Employees – Avoidant personality disorder is a personality disorder where people display feelings of inferiority, feelings of inadequacy, social inhibition, and sensitivity to criticism. Rather than being authoritative, taking a counseling and constructive mentorship approach works well. If criticism is necessary, attempt to use constructive criticism.
Dependent Employees – Dependent personality disorder is a personality disorder that can be described as a psychological dependence on other people. At work, they expect to have input from other people. In absence of this input, they feel feelings of fear, as decision-making will then be required. However, this is not to say that they are not good at their job. In fact, they are dedicated. They are especially effective when there are others around which they can rely on.
Histrionic Employees – Histrionic personality disorder is a personality disorder featuring too many attention-seeking emotions and actions. They are energetic, dramatic, excited, and flirtatious. They prefer adventure to calm. Organizations, however, are designed with logic, discipline, and sometimes-mundane processes in mind. As such, it can sometimes be hard for histrionic personalities to succeed in the organization.
Antisocial Employees – Antisocial personality disorder is characterized by a pattern of disregard for the rights of others or a violation of the rights of others. These individuals are not considerate of the thoughts and feelings of others. They are also either not considerate of rules or regulations, or they disregard them completely. A good strategy is to keep an eye on the work that is done, track the performance, and keep accurate records of activities and problems.
Obsessive Compulsive Employee – Obsessive–compulsive personality disorder is characterized by concern with perfectionism, too much attention to detail, control and organization. These concerns are often at the expense of efficiency. They may see themselves as always short on the time they need to perform their activities. An employee who is excessively paying attention to the details may be able to meet exact specification requirements, but at the same time, they may take so long to do their work that the work may end up being done late.
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