Recognising Toxic Traits & Types

Posted on 12th April 2022

It’s difficult to discuss progress without straying into an analysis of personality types and traits to be aware of to know how to manage  if you want to stay on the right path to grow your business. Here are 8 of the most common types.

1.     The prophets of doom

We all know these types; they have an unwavering knack of foreseeing every disaster that looms. Their prophetic ‘insights’ do not extend to the things that might work out well, it’s the looming potential disasters that excite them and they’re only too happy to share.

2.     The ghost of past mistakes

Like the ‘prophets of doom’, the ‘ghost of past mistakes’ are drawn to the negative, they enjoy remining you of past failures and make it clear that these can and will be repeated.

3.     The perpetually negative naysayer

Another companion to the first 2, the ‘perpetually negative naysayer’, sees problem everywhere. The inability to see the positive in any situation, is draining and unproductive but they wear negativity rather tightly around their entire personae. They tend to be very vocal with their negativity, which is helpful so you either avoid or minimise contact when dealing with discussions that require positivity and leaps of faith

4.     The perfectionist commentator

The ‘perfectionist  commentator’ is easily the most undercover of the toxic personality types. Initially the focus on what is good and ideal is appealing. The problem is they see anything less than perfection as a stumbling block, or unworthy and will question and cast doubt on any action which seems intuitive if they do not deem it to be the embodiment of perfection.  

5.     The fantasy charger

The ‘fantasy charger’ has massive appeal to many entrepreneurs and business leaders. Why? They are huge action takers with charisma and confidence which can be great particularly in a sales role. The problem with the ‘fantasy charger’ is they like to charge in with bold steps and they exude such confidence, people tend to initially fall for this confidence. Unfortunately, they despise, facts, research, and evidence so they can quickly lead you to chaos, litigation, or disaster.

6.     The detailed delayer

The ‘detailed delayer’ can well manged be an asset, the obsession with detail is great for research. The problem is the focus on detail at the expense of the big picture. Deadlines, business imperatives, time bound opportunities are irrelevant if a particular detail hasn’t been addressed. The detailed delayer can be a perfect foil to the fantasy charger because they obsess about details the fantasy charger despises – unfortunately, they cannot bear the disregard for their obsession so the working relationship can be fraught if not well managed.

7.     The stress addict

The ‘stress addict’, is usually charismatic, energetic, and frustrating.  It can be very difficult to spot this a toxic type. The key aspect of this personality type is they hate routine and doing things as they fall due. However as soon as a deadline looms or there is external stress they leap into action with focus and energy and are astonished when others have run out of steam. Stress addicts are toxic as they run on adrenalin, quite effectively – but they expect others to do the same.

8.     The people pleaser

The most accommodating of personalities to work with are the ‘people pleasers’. They have an easy going personality and by definition are keen to please. The problem can be with getting an honest opinion as they don’t like to offend. It’s also difficult to have them deal with suppliers or tricky customers are they don’t like to be assertive. They may frown at disagreements and struggle with energetic debates. The up side is that with clear feedback this type of personality can be more assertive and a real asset because of their objectivity and calmness.

Naturally most people have a mixture of attributes, but many will recognise a predominant type. Having identified types of personalities to avoid it might be interesting to note which of these personality traits  you recognise in yourself!

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