A few types to watch for in the workplace:
- The Supportive. These people pitch in without being asked. They rarely complain and are highly cooperative. They care deeply about the mission, meet deadlines, and don't badmouth co-workers or gossip.
- The Present. This group shows up but takes no initiative and offers no ideas. They will do the minimal amount needed to justify their presence and sometimes far beneath that.
- The Grumpy. These individuals will almost always find something objectionable. Their work may be technically acceptable but they fall short in terms of cooperation and attitude. People try to work around them. They drag down the team.
- The Withholding. This group requires a special invitation or a magic word before it springs into action. The quality of their work may be very high, but they demand a special request.
- The Toxic. These people are poisonous. They intend to be disruptive and negative. They are saboteurs. Why are they still around? As soon as possible, get rid of them.
- The Brilliant. A group that can have three times as many good ideas as anyone else, The Brilliant need direction and boundaries or they will get little done. They often thrive on recognition.
- The Politicians. These operators have a separate personal agenda. Their strategy is passive-aggressive but they also have a major vulnerability: They want to avoid embarrassment lest it harm their promotion chances.
- The Academics. Chores that would bore the other groups may please The Academics who prefer research, analysis, and conversations with their own kind. They regard ideas as products. Sometimes, they are.