5 Ways to Handle the “Big Personality” at Work

Employees with Big Egos Can Also Be Big Headaches If Left Unchecked

Big Potential, Big Problems

The “big personality” at work can be extremely beneficial to business in the right circumstances, but he/she can also present challenges to an employer and to colleagues. These tips offer advice for key ways to deal with a work personality that can’t be contained by cubicle walls.

5. Lower the Volume

Lower your voice and personality accordingly. People generally will speak in the tone in which they are spoken to. Try keeping your voice low and your comments rare and this will help the colleague reduce his/her tone without even realizing it. A big personality might require a lot of redirection, but helping to instill this as part of a pattern can be extremely helpful.

4. Document Everything

If a big personality is causing genuine problems and other more traditional solutions have failed, document everything. Keeping a private journal, printing out emails, and keeping records of the issues you’ve had will be to your benefit if any of the conflicts come to a head. Keep a detailed history of the positive attributes, events, and achievements as well. You never know if you’ll need it down the road.

3. Play to His/Her Strengths

Channel the positive energy into something work-related. If your employee is a talker, assign him/her to an upcoming public speaking project. If the employee really enjoys delving into the details, tap him/her to “head” the initiative to complete an upcoming research project.

Big personalities respond well to their talents being recognized. Capitalize on their strengths. Also, sometimes people with a big personality need a change of tasks or work in order to make the most of their skills. For example, a big personality who enjoys connecting with others might be a star in customer service or marketing, but might not fit well into group environments. Think about whether your employee might be a better fit in a different department.

2. Set Boundaries

Don’t be afraid to address major issues. For many outgoing people, they learn quickly whether their behavior is acceptable simply by gauging your initial reaction.  Perhaps they enjoy telling stories while drinking their coffee, but it helps to remind them some people work best in quiet and to respect the atmosphere for their colleagues. Many people often need this simple reminder to keep their personality in check. Same goes for the big personality piping up during meetings. Constant interruptions can be addressed with “Thanks for your comments, but let’s hold any other questions or comments until the end.”

1. Don’t Overlook Other Employees

Other employees are often made to feel like they aren’t as valued simply because the big personality speaks up more, therefore garnering more of a response. Take the opportunity to praise your other employees, too, even if their work is more “behind the scenes.”


Hiring the big personality as a top performer is a good thing and your company will undoubtedly be better for it. But the thing to remember is that person will not only negotiate top dollar up front, he/she will want ongoing raises and constant performance reviews at which salary will be negotiated.


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