The 7 Personalities Who Never Succeed at Work

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Strong soft skills and emotional intelligence are more necessary now than ever before. And as managerial relationships become more collaborative and workplaces become more focused on creating positive cultures, professional personalities are only growing more important.

It can be hard to determine what your professional personality is. And without knowing it, those who are on the low end of the EQ spectrum may be touting a personality that isn’t conducive to business success. However, these personas aren’t permanent. With increased self-awareness, any bad habits in the professional sphere can be changed. 

These are the seven professional personalities that never succeed at work and their tell-tale signs. Are you on the list?

1. The gossip

The gossip is constantly seeking out information on their colleagues' personal and professional lives — then sharing that information with the office. These personalities spend a majority of their time talking about the politics of the office rather than actively engaging in their work, and tend to carry a less-than-professional reputation. Team members struggle to trust this person and their often skeptical view of the workplace, and may stray from partnering with them or promoting them. 

2. The pushover

The pushover is the ultimate yes-man. They struggle to say no to new tasks, to bad ideas and to disrespectful coworkers. While their tendency to stray from opinionating may be masked as kindness, their lack of input is inherently damaging to their team for several reasons. They tend to struggle with managing priorities, often causing them to fall behind. They aren’t a functional set of second eyes, or a solid ideation partner. Plus, they can garner the bad reputation of being a suck up to senior employees. 

3. The stick in the mud

Quite the opposite of the pushover, the stick in the mud is resistant to the ideas of others. They like the processes that they are used to and actively work to keep them in place — often at the cost of progress. Sticks in the mud spend a lot of time enforcing guidelines and struggle to trust their team members and direct reports, keeping them from producing the best possible work. They are the definition of micromanagement. 

4. The victim

No matter the victim's role, they see everything that happens to them in the professional realm as absolutely not their fault. They have a difficult time taking responsibility for missed deadlines or professional mistakes, and they have a bad habit of passing the blame to other members of the office. They think the rules do not apply to them and usually lose the trust of their team — fast. 

5. The smartypants

The smartypants thinks — no, knows — that they’re the most intelligent person in the room. For the smartypants, it’s their way or the highway. If something is done wrong, it’s because the team didn’t stick to their plan. And if something is done right, it’s because of their stroke of genius. The smartypants is quick to write others off and can act arrogant in meetings and interpersonal relationships, making it difficult for them to gain the trust of others or implement their brilliant ideas. But they tend to not realize that; they see themselves as charming and use that charm to excuse their condescension. 

6. The hothead

The hothead could be sixty years old and still not understand how to control their temper. This person is prone to volatile behavior in the office when something doesn’t go their way, and they have a difficult time properly managing office relationships with those around them. The hothead manifests their emotions through temper tantrums, screaming matches or tears. As a manager, the hothead rules with terror, often stopping up their team’s best work. 

7. The politicker

While ambition (and a plan to manifest that ambition) is important to any career, the politicker takes this ambition to another level. For them, the entirety of their career is about climbing to the top, and they will do so by whatever means necessary. They are prone to claiming credit for ideas that aren’t theirs, repeating information in meetings to look good in front of stakeholders, throwing others under the bus and refusing to help others to inflate the appearance of their performance. People remember the politicker’s antics — and they always catch up to them.