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Tolu’lope Omoyeni: 5 Types of Colleagues Who Will Make Your Workplace Heaven or Hell

Beside good and bad colleagues, the workplace is a community of individuals from diverse backgrounds and with unique perspectives of life. With some of these individuals, you will make lifelong friends, gain mentors and proteges, and make archenemies. Others will push your buttons and leave you daily questioning their sanity and, many times, yours.

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The workplace is a community every learned adult will find themselves in. Fancy it or not, your workplace contributes largely to shaping you, especially as it concerns your interactions with colleagues, customers and by extension, friends and family.

Think about it. One bad colleague has the power to ruin your mood, your day, the entirety of your stay at a particular company, even your career. But only if you give them the power. On the other hand, that good colleague who has your best interest at heart can be the ladder to your success, career advancement and all-round happiness.

Beside good and bad colleagues, the workplace is a community of individuals from diverse backgrounds and with unique perspectives of life. With some of these individuals, you will make lifelong friends, gain mentors and proteges, and make archenemies. Others will push your buttons and leave you daily questioning their sanity and, many times, yours.

Here are five types of colleagues, each with peculiarities that we all may have learned to understand and manage over the years (or not):

This one is highly skilled with years of experience to back it up
The type you want to admire, but her constant bickering about how your company does not deserve her is a pain in everyone’s butts. He/she is not on your level and will remind you of this, every chance he/she gets. Their previous remuneration package will pay at least five of their current colleagues, and they genuinely are not pleased with how life has dumped them amid ‘losers’ like the rest of you. They will ensure you all pay for their lot in life, every day.

This one simply wants to do his job and go home at the stipulated closing time
Zero hassles, zero confrontations, and to be honest, sometimes zero positive vibes. They say yes to nearly everything and hardly contests anything. It is easy on the rest of us, but sometimes, we want a good challenge. As one who leads a team of people, you cannot afford to be so laidback that your subordinates almost climb over you. This one is good to work with, but on the long run, you find they may not have added much value to you or anyone.

This is the almighty office irritant
This one prowls the office space seeking whom to fling beneath the bus. They will go any length to ‘get the job done’ and won’t care who gets burned in the process. They are arrogant and will not admit if they have made any mistakes, but will be quick to heap the blame on any colleague who is unfortunate to be on the receiving end. This is the one with whom you will argue, cuss and fight, then realise you may be losing your mind if you don’t take caution. They have got nothing to lose.

Now, this colleague is the most pleasant type
Good looking, attractive, mostly dressed to kill. When they walk in, their smile lights up the room; they come bearing gist. They are mostly seen in the company of middle-level staff like you, but is also comfortable in the company of the senior staff. They return with information you’d never be privy to if we were to judge by your pay grade. They talks down on the boss(es), and in your naivety, you chime in on the conversation. Barely a week after, the boss(es) in question meet you in the hallway and casually ask, “So you think I’m uptight?” Then it hits you.

These ones know their onions
They are  the smartest kid in the room, but is very unassuming. They carry no chip on their shoulder, are  approachable and willing to help. They will not be caught in a room full of staff chattering loudly. Their eyes are on the prize, and they get the work done. Boss’ favourite? Not quite. They leave no room for unwholesome relationships or favouritism. Those who are privileged to be close to them know that beneath the calm demeanour lies the life of the party. These ones are the ones you want to court outside the office.

Tolu'lope Omoyeni currently works in Corporate Communications and writes in her free time. She hopes to produce a web-based show, in coming months, on a theme she is still trying to figure out. You will find more of her articles on her blog, www.toluomoyeni.wordpress.com and on www.theseptemberstandard.comwhere she used to function as an editor.

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