There are, I have heard, four personality types. They are based on introvert/extrovert, and action-oriented/analysis-oriented (and where you fall on those scales). It is interesting to think about, and it can be good to think about what you are. By thinking about that you are aware of how you communicate, and how other people around you communicate (and, if you’re so kind and wise, you’ll adapt and cater to their style).
I like to go into meetings, have an agenda, and get to work. That’s very analysis and introvert of me. Someone I work with regularly likes to chit chat about the weekend before getting to work. That’s fine.
It’s interesting to think of these personality types when you go onto forums or message boards online. Take the site stackoverflow.com, for example. This site is up there with Google when it comes to a programmers favorite tools.
Two guys I used to work with, L and J, never wanted to post to the site though. They were afraid that if they posted to the site, their question would be belittled or mocked. There is a definite risk of this happening. Like most online comments, you can get bashed for what in person would only earn you a questioning eyebrow.
Showing that you have done your due diligence (you didn’t just try and fail, you tried, failed, tried a bunch more, looked up stuff online, and still failed) AND formatting your question properly are important.
Even with these things, you will still get some asinine responses though. Which is why I think, in a community’s forum you can see a good representation of your co-workers (i.e. not YouTube comments or the comments after a deliberately comment-inducing story … a lot of those comments are the dredges of humanity).
- The person who actually answers your question.
- The “professor” person – the one who points you to some reading material to find the answer on your own.
- The person who thinks they are being helpful but is just confusing you by saying too much. (Not to be confused with …)
- The person who has no idea what they are talking about … So they just throw a lot of information out there and hope you get what you need (or maybe they think they are being helpful? It’s hard to tell sometimes.)
- The person who uses your question as an opportunity to show how smart they are.
- The person who you can just picture rolling their eyes as they typed their response … they may mock you for asking a bad or “simple” (in their view) question.
- The person who just wants to argue.
What types did I miss? Feel free to comment … Heck, start a flame war. Is Google better than Apple? Is Apple better than Banana? Heyooo!
If you want to see some impressive nerdiness, check out this post on Stackoverflow … The topic is: “How to pair socks from a pile efficiently?” And you would not below how much thought goes into the responses, and just how many responses there are.