Are you the mischievous office monkey or the demanding office dragon? With the Chinese New Year recently passed and as we celebrate the year of the Sheep, we take a slightly different look at the Chinese zodiac and how the different personality traits can create a winning team in the workplace. The Chinese believe that people born in a particular year take on the characteristics of the animal associated with that year.
An effective team requires balance and therefore needs an effective mix of people, skills and abilities.
So for a bit of fun we’ve categorised a number of worker ‘types’, which, once recognised, can help when it comes to appreciating the ranges of skills and experiences present in a team.
Your working environment is made up of all nature of characters. Being able to recognise, understand and respond to the different personality types found in the workplace helps you to connect and build great relationships with your co-workers.
Forming stronger working relationships helps lead to increased job satisfaction, more recognition and an even greater chance of progression. It can also help you develop your talents in different areas by learning from the accomplishments, and mistakes, of others.
Here’s our take on the Chinese zodiac and the different personality traits to look out for in the workplace.
Do you recognise yourself or any of your colleagues?
Rats make excellent bosses. The rat tends to take charge in group situations and is good at organising colleagues and delegating tasks. There is an unspoken agreement between colleagues with regard to the rat’s importance and they behave accordingly. Invaluable in team tasks, this worker type thrives in people-oriented activities but is equally productive when left to his or her own devices.
This worker type is used to making all the decisions, mediating conflicts, determining the movements of the group, leading the others and taking responsibility for the safety and well-being of the troop. Oxen possess a keen eye for detail and an admirable work ethic. They are more productive when allowed to work alone. As you’d expect this character is likely to be a positive influence in the workplace – until his authority is threatened that is.
Tigers have a continual need to be challenged in the workplace, they can be a liability as they may well choose to ignore tasks that are not to their liking and will not respond well to pressure. Tigers are smart and are quick to master new skills.
Rabbits are quite the perfectionist, everything has to be arranged as they wish; they are articulate and good communicators. They like to work at their own pace and don’t adapt well to competitive or aggressive office environments. They are very helpful and take care of their employees and fellow colleagues.
Dragons like to lead rather than to be led. They are proactive and courageous; the decision-making worker type wastes no time in getting things done and is not afraid to take responsibility for his or her own actions. While this is generally a good thing, be aware of those decision makers who rush a process simply to get it out of the way, as hurried tasks can cause problems at a later stage.
Snakes work very hard, but their somewhat laid-back attitude causes them to be mistakenly categorised as slackers, but nothing could be further from the truth. Snakes like to express their creativity, they thrive under pressure and they’re excellent problem-solvers.
Horses enjoy interacting with others, they’re effective communicators and they enjoy power. They aren’t fond of taking orders however they’re able to grasp new subjects with ease making them capable of handling most any job. If they are not given enough challenging tasks they can display a tendency towards neurotic or destructive behavior.
The sheep prefers to be part of a team. Power and status aren’t important to the sheep, they will only assume leadership roles when asked directly and they’ll never volunteer.
The monkey will use any means at its disposal to get its own way – for this tenacious worker the end really does justify the means. They’re very intelligent and like to get things done.
This staff member definitely works best on their own and the rest of the team know to avoid him at all costs. He is highly motivated and hard working, but has a reputation for a fiery temper and his keen memory means that he isn’t one to let go of a grudge.
The team player is an invaluable link in the chain of any organisation and can be relied upon to rally round and muck in when the going gets tough. Hard working, co-operative and compromising, the team player often ends up being everyone’s best friend. This worker type can find decision making difficult.
With an unrivalled commitment to their tasks, Pig’s are the most motivated and dedicated members in the team, regularly working after hours to get the job done. This worker type excels when surrounded by workers of a similar commitment level but is less productive when working alone.
An effective team requires balance and therefore needs an effective mix of people, skills and abilities. A good team leader knows their team and the skills set within it and being aware of these, recognises that each person has a unique contribution to make.
You never know, being able to utilise the strengths of the different types of ‘Chinese zodiac’ in the team may just be the key to success.