Personality in the  Workplace

by Abeer Naseem

Personality is that element of human nature that cannot be disregarded at any place and time. The human personality is what makes one likeable or unlikeable to work with.

We shall understand that we are not only known by the clothes we wear, and the cars we drive rather we are known by the aura and personality we carry. Our personality is what makes us.

As personality is our unique identity outside work, it is the most essential part of us at work too.

How people communicate with us, and how we reciprocate our professional relationships are all a product of the kind of personality we have.

When the importance of one’s personality cannot be undermined, how can mental factors leading to that personality be kept aside?

One’s mental state also makes ones personality, and it is as important for an individual to keep their mental well-being a priority. This brings us to the problem of maintaining a healthy personal/work life balance.

People who are unable to maintain this balance effectively, usually end up in frustrations, fights and ultimately disrupting their professional and personal relationships.

Mental health has a direct impact on one’s personality and it needs as much attention as one’s appearance. To our surprise, our personality can be shaped into the goods and the bads, depending on how we want it to be.

Today, a well-groomed person is what institutes and organizations look for because each employee is an ambassador of the place and no company can bring down its image.

Therefore, in their selection, they are very careful and do not want to compromise, and so, one shall not over or underdo components of their personality.

An individual shall carry a firm yet supportive personality at the workplace. They should be easy to approach and welcoming, but obviously nobody wants to become a doormat.

Therefore, keeping their integrity intact the most important asset they should have is, that of being “assertive”.

Assertiveness is crucial in the work environment because it brings harmony as well as credibility to the workplace in general and the employee in particular. To understand what assertiveness is, consider the following example:

Haleema’s patience is beginning to wear thin with her colleague Reyan. A few days earlier he had humiliated her yet again, and this time in front of other colleagues during the weekly presentation.

So finally today, she decided to tell him how miserable he made her feel all this time. Just as she was about to approach him, she lost her nerve and couldn’t do it. Once again, Haleema felt frustrated and angry at his inability to see the effect that his comments had on her.

Despite this, she still couldn’t bring herself to speak to him about it. She feels cross with herself, and finally resigned to the situation.

Does the situation sound familiar? It is possible that you have been in a situation like Haleema’s, and like her, you might have felt unable to do anything about it?

This shall not continue to be the case, because by learning how to be assertive, you can stand for yourself and become a strong confident communicator. Assertiveness is the ability to say no without being rude, and without feeling guilty about it.

It requires the courage to speak your mind, yet remain cool about it. It is an effective way of communicating, without being bossy or a pushover.

An assertive personality can mostly be confused with an aggressive one as there is a thin line differentiating the two.  So here is the one identifying factor that differentiates aggression from assertion:

Assertiveness is based on mutual respect – one communicates their wants and needs fairly, firmly and with empathy. It maintains a balance and harmony as the individual keeps under consideration the other person’s rights and respects their wants, whereas, aggressive behavior is based on just one individual.

You do only what is appealing to you and what you want to do regardless of who suffers from that act.

Therefore, a boss who leaves a pile of work on your desk to be completed in a time duration of a few hours is being aggressive, not assertive.

Keeping in mind how much time is needed, and giving work accordingly is what an assertive boss would do.

Speaking your mind out to a colleague that clearly hurts them is selfishness, keeping composed and communicating the same thoughts in a more appropriate and respectable manner will be assertive behavior.


Being assertive is not easy but can be learnt and made part of one’s personality. It has a lot to offer once it is executed.

Benefits of being Assertive

One of the main benefits of being assertive is that it can help you to become more self-confident. As you gain a better understanding of who you are and the value that you offer. Some other benefits include:

  • Reciprocation of respect and fairness
  • People want to work more with assertive people
  • It brings win-win situation for all parties involved
  • Values and beliefs of self and others are recognized
  • Assertive approach helps an individual to be less anxious and stressed.
  • Better and more practical solutions to problems can be worked out

In order to remain self-assured and confident, one needs to work through assertiveness. Tasks dealt by assertiveness is a task done well.

For you to maintain a healthy work relationship with your colleagues, being assertive is the key to it.

We shall all learn the art of assertiveness in order to bring more composure, positive and tolerance in ourselves. Assertive people feel less threatened and victimized and have more self-belief. Which helps them gain more command on their expert skills.


Now its your turn! Give us feedback about personality in the workplace.