The three main working types: Which are you?

Our quick quiz could boost your efficiency in the workplace, writes Diane Gallacher

We’ve all got a colleague who doesn’t know how to use the photocopier, or a manager doing trainee-level work. Failing to work at the right level has a profound impact on your efficiency, and blocks the progression of others. The first step towards changing this is to understand which “type” you are when it comes to delegation and work style. Here are some pointers.

The Control Freak feels a compulsive need to do things themselves. They are good at delivering tasks quickly, but cause considerable stress. If these statements are familiar, this could be you.

It’s quicker if I do it myself, and I do a better job.
The customer expects me to do it myself – they trust me.
Nobody else has any time.
I can’t understand why I’m always working evenings and weekends.

Your inability to delegate can leave junior colleagues feeling demotivated about their development and promotion prospects. Peers may not ask you for support because you are always so busy that they fear you won’t deliver. And your bosses may be frustrated because you continue to do the same tasks you’ve been doing for years.

Reluctant to use technology, but accepting that they can’t do without it, the Luddite will go to considerable lengths to get around everyday issues. If you commonly say the following, it could be you.

I can’t access the company system from my laptop. I’ll just ask my personal assistant to email the document to me.
The printer doesn’t seem to be set up on my computer.
I wish they wouldn’t keep introducing new versions of Office.
What is Microsoft Office?

You may think that you keep your attitude to technology well hidden, but this is unlikely. Those around you probably tolerate your behaviour with good humour – depending on how much extra work it means for them. Investing time now in understanding technology will increase your efficiency in the long term, as well as showing that you are moving with the times.

Egotists have an inflated view of themselves. They are acutely self-conscious, but give the impression that they believe they are superior. If you agree with the statements below, this is likely to be you.

I mustn’t do menial tasks, it undermines my credibility.
Much better to leave organising things to the junior team members.
My time is far too valuable to spend buying my own lunch.
I need to keep my distance to concentrate on the critical issues.

As with all the types, the chances are that your colleagues are more aware of your type than you realise. Although your intention is to increase their respect for you, ironically, they will respect you less for your inability to roll your sleeves up and get involved when the pressure is on. Showing more willingness to be part of the team could have a very positive impact on your colleagues’ morale – and your own.

Diane Gallacher is a chartered occupational psychologist and a partner at Kiddy & Partners.

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