- Late (duh)
- Doesn't follow deadlines
- Full of excuses
- Shifts blame
- Busy body
How to deal with a latebird: A key point in working with latebirds is keeping expectations and communication clear. One strategy is also to ask the individual how long each task will take before setting the deadline, to make sure you're on the same page. Sure, they'll probably pad it a little, but if it fits into your time frame as well, then you may be in luck when it's actually done. It's also a good idea to follow up with latebirds as deadlines approach, but be careful not to micromanage. Open communication throughout a project helps, too.
What if you are a latebird? Be honest with expectations and timelines when starting a project. Don't procrastinate...tackle a little at a time if possible. Don't make frivolous excuses, and be honest about your workload. As for punctuality, if the office start time just isn't working out, try talking to your supervisor about adjusted hours...if the flexibility isn't there, it's still your responsibility to be present, so do what you have to (12 alarms, 3 double espressos, etc.). A little extra productivity won't kill you.
- Overly obsessed with something...anything
- Rambles on about their obsession of choice to anyone
- Has trouble concentrating on something other than their obsession
- A little quirky
How to deal with an oddball: Oddballs, in my opinion, are rather endearing. If it's not interfering with work, listen to them as long as you can stand, or try to engage them in your hobbies. They're usually pretty interested in anything of the hobby sort, since it shows that you're passionate about something, too (even if it's not the same thing they're into).
What if you are an oddball? Be aware of when folks get shifty-eyed and ready to leave your cube. If people are interested, they'll ask questions. Don't be afraid to show your hobbies, just be sensitive to others work schedules and interest levels...if it's interfering with productivity at all, you should avoid it.
Now I want to know...
Which type of coworker annoys you most and how do you deal with it? Do you have any tried-and-true advice for dealing with difficult people?
Feel free to use any of the personalities I've profiled or another type I haven't covered. I'll pull together your responses in a round-up post next week!