Personality Style at Work, Book Review

Sunday, May 3, 2020


This book was near the bottom of my library stack, and thank goodness, the libraries are going to start opening for pickups in a few days!
When I grabbed it from the shelf, I thought it had a lot of promise. I love personality style and I liked the way the author, Kate Ward, used examples of people and personality rather than a checklist (though a quiz might have been nice). Reading it I could see where I might fall in, and I could see how it would be helpful to understand the type of person you are working with in order to improve communication and head off misunderstandings. The book also gave examples of what to do if you found yourself embroiled in a problem or even attacked (not physically, of course) by one of the types.

Again, while this book is a helpful guide-it isn't a holy grail. Who presents just one type? I don't know about you, but with paperwork, I am very systematic-quiet and serious about getting it done. However, if I enjoy someone's company, I will happily put the paperwork aside for a good discussion. Also systematic people supposedly are extremely detail oriented and slow. That isn't really me. I don't want to make mistakes, but I am not overly worried about perfection. There is more to my job than paperwork. My desk area, with its quotes and family pictures, would suggest I was more the considerate type-but I am not. I don't want to quietly listen (once I am comfortable with my group). If it is an area of interest I want to ask direct questions, get to the point, and get to work. So I found myself straddling the area between systematic and direct. Spirited is another area I dip my feet in, but it is usually an anomaly-something has grabbed my interested and tickled my toes, or I am under an unusual amount of stress. Or faking it, because women are expected to be outwardly emotional. Except for crying. I  cry easily, much to my chagrin. However, I generally prefer to keep my emotions calm if I can.

In spite of that, I think it is likely this book would be helpful for someone struggling to understand that difficult coworker and what motivates them. It is probably for the younger reader, as I can't imagine making it to middle age without figuring people types out yet.

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