The last business personality I’m going to discuss is the Loner. The loner isn’t a problem person but he or she is probably the most misunderstood person in an office. The vast majority of people are social. They like going out and being around other people. They just don’t understand someone who is perfectly happy to stay home with a good book or whatever their personal hobby may be. Social people are always trying to ‘help’ loners to have more friends and to have more of a social life. This is very stressful for loners. They don’t want to offend others but they also don’t want to go to social events not even things as mild as joining others for a drink.
Loners feel a great weight lift off their shoulders when they walk in their front door. They are happy to be in their own place with walls to keep others out. There’s nothing wrong with that but it’s not something that social people understand. The loner is a good worker and can work well with others but does not want to become entangled in other people’s lives. They are a little on the uncomfortable side when others start sharing their personal problems with them.
The best way to deal with a loner is to go ahead and casually invite him to join the group for drinks after work or whatever social event is planned. When the loner declines or says we’ll see, tell the loner that he will be welcomed if he decides to come, then drop it. Don’t keep pushing at the loner to come. And don’t say anything the next day about him not coming. Just let it go. What this does is let the loner know he is thought of and is welcomed in the group but doesn’t force him out of his comfort zone.
Can a loner ever be a good boss? Just like any of the personalities there are different degrees to which people are into those personalities. Some loners are mildly into the loner personality and others are mid-range. They can be good bosses. They can do what they need to, to talk to their employees and to help them with their problems. Loners who are very deep into the loner personality probably should not ever be promoted to a leadership position. They just aren’t capable of interacting with their employees.
I’m sure it’s been obvious by now that the personalities I’ve listed our my own versions based on what I’ve dealt with. If you want a more official version of business personality types I recommend the book The Platinum Rule by Tony Alessandra and Michael J. O’Connor. It’s a very interesting book that will help you to understand people. It also includes a personality test that tells you what your business personality is.