PARADE'S What People Earn: What's Your Office Personality?

By Anne Kreamer forPARADE

There's never been a more confusing time to be a working American, and not just because of the economy. People are letting it all hang out on the job -- look at teary-eyed Speaker of the House John Boehner or angry flight attendant Steven Slater. That's why it can pay off to know how to navigate today's expressive work environments. If you understand your colleagues' emotional styles, and your own, you can dodge dust-ups, increase your effectiveness, and boost the overall mood of the office.

For my new book, 'It's Always Personal,' I partnered with ad giant JWT to survey 1,239 Americans, from managers to entry-level folks. From the data, we identified four types: Solvers, Accepters, Believers, and Spouters. Solvers had the highest average income, $80,000, versus $59,253 for Spouters, $65,674 for Accepters, and $62,738 for Believers. More of the Solvers were CEOs and business owners than people in the other groups.


Pros: The rarest type, they work best under stress. Generally content, they possess a solid sense of inner strength.

Cons: Because they're so decisive, they may shut down discussions before other people feel they have a chance to be heard. They can be seen as aloof.

Best advice: Solvers should always share the thinking behind their choices with colleagues.


Pros: They're detail-oriented and diplomatic. (More people fall into this group than any other.)

Cons: Pessimists and procrastinators, they keep their emotions hidden and tend to feel unappreciated.

Best advice: Accepters do need some emotional outlet, so they should write down their feelings or find a trusted friend to confide in.


Pros: Typically satisfied with their lives, they find meaning in things outside themselves: faith, country, organizations, etc.

Cons: While they're OK with others expressing emotion, they aren't comfortable doing so themselves. They're cautious.

Best advice: Believers can help resolve conflicts at work by stepping in and reminding colleagues of their shared goals and beliefs.


Pros: Charismatic and exciting, they embrace all public displays of emotion, including tears.

Cons: The most anxious type, they talk more than they listen. When things go wrong, they often blame colleagues.

Best advice: Spouters work -- and play -- hard, so engaging in physical activities like yoga or running can help them deal with stress and prevent outbursts.

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