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Classroom Management Strategies for Workplace Triumph


Understanding (and honoring) the why of everyone’s behavior can significantly enhance our interactions in the workplace. As a manager, you can lean into the strengths of your team to help them grow, or as a non-manager, you can gain a better understanding of your behavior and that of your colleagues.

Here are some common ‘classroom’ or workplace personas, and how to work with the needs of these archetypes to support their development.

The Office/Class Clown

  • Creates a fun and lively environment
  • Promotes team bonding
  • Can be disruptive
  • Could be perceived as unprofessional

How to work with the ‘Office/Class Clown’ to support their needs:

  • Foster a culture that appreciates humor and positivity, whilst emphasizing the importance of professionality
  • Allow for creativity and humor in presentations
  • Involve them in social committees and event planning

The Know-It-All

  • Wealth of knowledge and expertise
  • Problem-solver and detail orientated
  • May struggle with collaborations
  • May discourage others from sharing ideas

How to work with the ‘Know-It-All’ to support their needs

  • Provide advanced learning opportunities, like seminars, training or workshops that match their knowledge level.
  • Encourage them to share knowledge in constructive ways e.g training sessions, presentations, mentoring
  • Challenge them with complex tasks or projects where knowledge is put to good use.

The Quiet One

  • Good listener and thoughtful
  • May provide valuable insights
  • May struggle with communication or visibility
  • Others may perceive them as disinterested or uninvolved

How to work with the ‘Quiet One’ to support their needs:

  • Provide clear written expectations and opportunities for private feedback or questions
  • Offer various modes of communication such as digital to reduce the pressure of public speaking
  • Asign the individual tasks that can be done independently or in smaller groups

The Rebel

  • Brings fresh ideas and challenges the status quo
  • Can drive innovation and change
  • May clash with authority or coworkers
  • Could create conflict or struggle to conform to necessary procedures

How to work with ‘The Rebel’:

  • Ensure policies and procedures are transparent and open for discussion
  • Provide platforms for them to voice their opinions such as team meetings, suggestion boxes and one-to-one meetings
  • Involve them in problem-solving and improvement activities

The Social Butterfly

  • Excellent at networking
  • Promotes team cohesion and can boost morale
  • Can become distracted from work tasks
  • Could struggle with setting boundaries

How to work with the ‘Social Butterfly’ to support their needs:

  • Regularly communicate about social events and group projects
  • Encourage them to build networks within the workplace, such as through a social committee role
  • Involve them in team-based tasks and social events to make use of social skills and enthusiasm

Key Takeaways

  • People have core needs that must be met for them to grow
  • Behavior has a function connected to those needs
  • Creating experiences that meet people where they are can help them progress toward their goals
  • Be kind to yourself, and others, as that progression occurs and learn to recognize and communicate what you need to thrive