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Do you ever get frustrated with a certain person at work whose working style is the complete opposite to yours? 


That person who you feel is chalk when you’re cheese. When you want to move quickly they want to move slowly. When you’re looking at the bigger picture they’re looking at the finer details. Or perhaps it’s the other way round?


If only you could learn ways to come together and understand their way of thinking, then you’d be much more productive (and less stressed).


Fortunately, there is a simple system to enable you to be more patient with your coworkers, understand their strengths and weaknesses based on their personality types and delegate the right tasks to the right people based on these traits.


Nigel Risner’s ‘It’s A Zoo Around Here‘ quiz determines your office personality based on four different animals and is designed to help you increase workplace productivity.


Take the test below to find out which animal you are. The color you choose the most corresponds with your animal working style. Animal working styles are explained below the test.


1. What keeps you engaged in a presentation?

Clarity, sold, well-researched data and depth of information.

Visual representation of data, graphics and amusing anecdotes.

Lots of real-life examples – the closer to home, the better.

A brisk, logical presentation leading quickly to a conclusion.


2. How do you influence people to do what you’d like them to do?

Be honest and straightforward – state what you want and what you’re prepared to give in return.

Give them the information that shows the benefits of your course of action.

Persuade charm, maybe flatter a little and talk them round to your point of view.

Use empathy and sensitivity and be generous with concessions.


3. What kind of positive feedback makes you feel most valued?

Warm friendly comments – maybe some physical contact too.

Public praise and celebration.

Brief, sincere, and to the point – no fuss.

Detailed comments one exactly what was done well and how it’s made a difference.


4. A colleague shows you the birthday present he’s bought for his wife and asks your opinion; you think it’s awful. How do you handle it?

Make a jokey comment.

Come straight out with your opinion – say it like it is.

Bend over backwards to be tactful.

Be completely stuck for what to say and end up being non- committal.


5. And finally, pick 3 or 4 traits from the list below that you think best describes you. To help you be objective, imagine what a friend would say if they were asked about you.

Good listener




Lacking assertiveness

Sensible and reliable

Fussy about details

Energetic and enthusiastic


Gets bored easily

A good laugh



Hides feelings




Which Animal Are You?


increase workplace productivity

Mostly Orange: The Lion


Lions are born leaders. They’re tenacious and purposeful. They’re often ruthless and love being in charge.


However, they are often perceived as heartless and have a ‘my way or the highway’ attitude.


You’ll often find Lions in the board room, making cut-throat decisions.


You don’t want to be on the wrong side of a Lion. They will eat you up in no time.


When talking with Lions be brief and focus on the task at hand. Time is at the essence so avoid flowery language and make a point of honoring all agreements.


increase workplace productivity

Mostly purple: The Monkey


Monkeys are the creative types. They bounce around everywhere, flinging ideas across the room and are bursting with inspiration.


They are energetic and have a great sense of humor, injecting life into the dullest situations.


However, it can be hard to pin a monkey down. They’re often bubbling with so many ideas they may appear a little all over the place.


Monkeys may need someone to slow things down a little and do the grind work — the less glamorous tasks that require careful consideration and a high-level of concentration. They tend to have trouble with timekeeping.


Increase workplace productivity by being enthusiastic and ready to explore and engage with a monkey’s ideas. Also, try to give them the space and flexibility to change their minds.


increase workplace productivity

Mostly Green: The Elephant


Elephants are often very detail orientated. They are capable, analytical ‘doers’ that value clarity, gentleness and quiet.


Some can get frustrated with Elephants as they tend to move a little slower than the other personality types.


However, if you need a task done with care and precision the Elephant is your go-to guy.


When talking with an Elephant, be very clear about the task in hand and be prepared for lots of questions regarding detail.


increase workplace productivity

Mostly Blue: The Dolphin


Dolphins are very caring and perceptive of people’s emotions. They manage feelings.


They are excellent at building rapport with team members and are often also skilled in handling detail.


On the flip side, people can perceive them as weak or a little too emotional.


When talking with Dolphins, focus on social and personal aspects such as teamwork, feelings and personal goals.


Try to remember that Dolphins find change unsettling, so soft skills are necessary.


increase workplace productivity

Increase Workplace Productivity


Naturally, the ferocious Lion may intimidate the emotional Dolphin. If you’re a lion, try to be a little more patient and tactful.


Equally, if you’re a Dolphin be as direct as you can with a Lion. You may be tempted to bring out the soft side of the Lion but this may aggravate them.


If you’re a Monkey, you may clash with an Elephant. You may want things done quickly and see them as overly fastidious.


To increase workplace productivity, remember with an Elephant you’re best approaching them once you have a clear vision of what you want done. You can them set specific guidelines and give them the level of detail they require. Taking the time to be a little more thorough will save you time having to answer a multitude of questions later.


increase workplace productivity

Be Mindful Of Your Coworkers’ Personality Types


The next time you get frustrated with a colleague, hit the breaks and remember which type you’re dealing with.


You’ll be a lot more forgiving and less stressed and it will enable you to bring out the best in others.


And don’t forget to check out my other productivity articles to enable you to live a calmer, happier and more fulfilled life.

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