The 8 types of people you’ll find in every office
31 May 2019
Leader, Innovator, Team Player — which one are you?
Successful teams are a bit like a jigsaw. Different-shaped pieces fit together to make a close-to-perfect finished article; productive individuals working in harmony, all with a shared goal.
In the cut and thrust of everyday office life and the ever-changing technological landscape, it’s easy to lose sight of your true strengths, and a challenge to find the right team fit. You don’t want to be that stray piece of a Flying Scotsman puzzle in an eight-piece Peppa Pig box.
With that in mind, and with the help of Rob Williams, a specialist in psychometric designs, we’ve put together a guide to the different types of people you can expect to find in every office. All of them help drive business goals in their own way, and one of them is most likely you…
The Team Player
Strengths Always puts people first, be that their colleagues or a client. In battle, they’d be riddled with war wounds from taking bullets for the team. Luckily it’s an office, and it’s more likely they’ll be lending a highly competent hand on your latest project deck.
Where you’ll find them In the kitchen doing an ever-so-conscientious tea round for the team. This person knows, without asking, who takes almond milk and who keeps it firmly soya, and will even do a heart-shaped dusting of cocoa on your cappuccino if you ask them nicely.
Rob says “Research on high-performing teams supports the idea that anyone who works in a group needs some of the team player’s positive behavioural characteristics.”
Famous team players David Beckham, Captain Scott, Dr Watson.
Strengths A motivated, goal-focused and dynamic decision maker. What would the business world be like without women and men like this? A little more relaxed but probably still using Blackberries, adding people on Friends Reunited and waiting in the rain for taxis.
Where you’ll find them Giving a well-deserved pat on the back to the team, a welcome spot of gentle encouragement, or taking a commanding overview to deliver constantly brilliant decisions day after day. Also occasionally found firing off terrifying single-character question mark emails in the style of Jeff Bezos.
Rob says “There’s much debate about whether leaders are created or made. HR’s position is usually that leaders can be developed.”
Famous leaders Queen Victoria, Gandhi, Winston Churchill.
Strengths Opinionated, expressive and a master at the art of persuasion, this socially sophisticated dynamo can hold a room, influence clients and have us all eating out of the palm of their influential hands if they want us to.
Where you’ll find them Who puts the lube in relationships? The Influencer of course (metaphorically speaking), and you’ll regularly find them making introductions, bringing people together and ultimately getting everyone to come round to their way of thinking.
Rob says “Being able to influence clients, as well as internal senior business leaders, is a vital component of successful performance in any senior client-facing role.”
Famous influencers Martin Luther King, Oprah Winfrey, Shakespeare.
Strengths Deep thinking partnered with a critical, logical approach makes this person a must in any tech business. The analyst has gone inside the machine and come back stronger and more skilled (they probably even have a pair of ’90s wraparound shades at home for good measure).
Where you’ll find them Surrounded by multiple screens in their state-of-the-art workstation where they assess, evaluate and interpret data, like a maestro conducting a 100-piece orchestra. (You’ve always wanted to ask them what that third screen down, the green one with cascading numbers is for, but never quite dared ask.)
Rob says “A typical ‘analyst’ prefers to think logically and enjoys critical analysis.
When combined with a preference for analysing complex issues, they can identify which system improvements are most likely to work.”
Famous analysts Isaac Newton, Bill Gates, Confucius.
Strengths Where others get sidetracked by the minutia, the Innovator sees it all, like some creative all-seeing overlord with the ability to generate solutions to business challenges you didn’t even know you had.
Where you’ll find them Looking thoughtfully into the distance, while inside their grey matter a creative spark gets ready to ignite, delivering an explosion of ideas and inspiration you need for your next big product launch, campaign or app.
Rob says “For mainly procedural roles, such as call centres and compliance — where the onus is on following the rules — it can be disruptive to have such creatives in these working environments.”
Famous innovators Einstein, Tim Berners-Lee, Pharrell Williams.
Strengths Always learning, often working firmly and successfully out of their comfort zone, the entrepreneur has a vision where others have plain old ideas. Able to take a calculated risk, shrewd with numbers and focused on results, people gravitate to this ambitious thinker like goths to Camden Market.
Where you’ll find them Straight from their 4am run, cocooned in a cryo-freeze chamber (a business they happen to have an investment in on the side) in another bid to 10x their productivity.
Rob says “The entrepreneurial mindset is suited to working with their own ideas and is stifled by having to report to more senior managers. Start-ups and self-employment provide the freedom in which entrepreneurs thrive best.”
Famous entrepreneurs Richard Branson, Jay-Z, Thomas Edison.
The Practical One
Strengths Need a competent pair of hands to execute a plan? These here mitts will have your team better synchronised than an expensive Swiss watch, and making more money by the second than it costs to buy one.
Where you’ll find them Glued to their laptop, jumping between Trello boards, Basecamp schedules and multiple Slack channels. This level-headed deadline-driven superhuman lives and breathes organisation (you’re pretty sure their bookshelf at home is alphabetically ordered).
Rob says “This is the team member who is most focused on scheduling, organising resources and managing deliverables. In other words, this is the typical project manager role.”
Famous practical ones Jeff Bezos, Napoleon, Will Smith.
The Adaptable One
Strengths Cool, calm and collected, this agile individual brings a fresh perspective to any team. While the others are struggling to think outside of the box, the adaptable one takes the box, applies the best ideas, takes a collaborative approach and comes up with an unboxing viral hit for YouTube.
Where you’ll find them Popping up anywhere across the business with their unflappable can-do attitude the moment heads begin to dip or doubt creeps in.
Rob says “This resilient team member is calm under pressure, flexible and open to change.”
Famous adaptable ones Van Gogh, JK Rowling, Rosa Parks.
Want a little more science in finding where your strengths lie and the dream roles to match them? Try our online psychometric test on Insightful, the culture-matching platform. A series of specialist questions sort users into eight key archetypes and suggests the positions most likely to fit you like an especially snug glove.