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Understand Colleagues by Their Photos in the Office

return to the office

After two long years, it is slowly time for us to return to the office. That means it is time to take parts of your home that provided comfort to you during the pandemic and strategically put it around your office.
By doing so, you will show your coworkers or employees what kind of personality is yours. This works in another way as well. Maybe you have someone new in the team who joined the company during the pandemic, and you are unsure of their personality in real life. Look at their office or cubicle, and you will get your answers.

Note that office décor can tell you a lot about someone, even if your company doesn’t allow many decorations or changes to the workspace. Seeing a spotless desk or piles of papers will show you the difference between D and S. This will allow you to adapt your communication with that person and avoid conflicts at the workplace and missed deadlines due to miscommunication.

What to look for?

Even though we are talking about mysteries office décor can reveal about a team member, it is crucial not to snoop. These are hints about what you can notice while passing someone’s cubicle or while stopping by for a friendly chat.

What you can notice is:

  • is the workspace nice and tidy, or you are struggling to see the person behind stacks of paper
  • are there any pictures of family, friends, or pets
  • did the person bring any plants to their desk
  • can you notice any diplomas or certificates standing proudly on the wall
Source: giphy.com

Signs of success and sticking with the classic look

Imagine a traditional corporate lawyer office: big mahogany desk, leather chair, plaques, and awards all around. That is a typical High D office. These people tend to have an ego on the bigger side, and they love to win.
So it is no wonder they like to show their signs of success. Any award they won (especially connected to work) will be framed and will find its place on their office wall. While the walls will be neatly arranged with framed certificates and bookshelves, you will see a completely different image if you look down at the desk.
The desk of a High D is usually filled with different documents and papers, and it might even look a bit messy. However, rest assured that this person knows exactly where is which form. They might have to shuffle through their stacks, but they will find what they’re looking for in a matter of seconds.
Once you see this classic, formal office look in front of you, find the tips on successfully communicating with a  D personality here.

Colorful sticky notes and search for…anything

Have you noticed some awards on the walls of someone’s office or cubicle? This person could also be a High I. They will put up some awards, but it will most likely be the Employee of the month kind of thing.
What will separate them from others is personality. They want to make their space their own, so you can easily spot monogrammed Tervis cups, for instance. But an essential part of the workspace of a High I is the one that signals they are not most detail-oriented. That’s why there will be sticky notes on top of sticky notes, with the whole desk being on the messy side. They will often go through everything on their table to find something and keep bumping into things they were looking for just yesterday and couldn’t find it. And it was under their nose all that time.
Putting things in a specific place not to lose it, then lose it anyway, find it by accident and then remember why it was set at that place in the first place is a classic I characteristic.
They are people that are all about fun, so here is how you can communicate with High I in the most effective way.

Source: giphy.com

Warm and cozy space

While we all enjoy having a piece of home with us in the office, High Ss are the ultimate champions of this sport. They are all about making their space warm and cozy, a space that will give them a homey feeling. This is not a surprise as High Ss dislike conflict and enjoy having peace surround them. So they try to achieve exactly that in their office. They might not be excited about coming to the office every day, but they want to create space to make them feel safe about coming in every day.
Look for family pictures from a trip to Disneyland they took, or even notes from their children. It might easily be World’s best mom or dad award if you see any awards around. The space will tell you a lot about their family, while it might not tell you a lot about the person behind the desk.
The desk will tell you about their process of work. One side will have a stack of inbound emails and documents that are yet to be handled, while another pile will have everything that’s outgoing from them. Daily routine: starting from A and finishing with Z is evident on a High S desk. Please make sure not to disturb the peace and routine they cherish so much by following tips on communicating with a High S here.

File folders in alphabetical order

A desk filled with file folders and trays that are color-coded and alphabetized will, without a mistake, be a desk of a High C person.
They are hyper-organized and functional. These people can always find what they are looking for since they have logic behind everything on their desks. They’ve got those 42 tasks they’ve got to get done today. Everything in their destiny needs to be created and set up to be the most efficient way to get those 42 things done.
They actually think about the most efficient way to set documents, pens, and papers around the table. This will go as far as thinking that if they are right-handed, anything incoming document should be placed on their left side. In contrast, right-hand side piles will be divided into done, for now, to be forwarded and done. Think: super organization, and you will see a High C desk.
Another tell they have is that instead of having awards and plaques on their walls, High Cs will most likely have a set of graphs all around.
An important thing to remember is not to mess up the system, while the other tactics for good communication with a High C can be found here.

Source: giphy.com

Check out what Liz Parker, a certified behavioral and strategic growth consultant has to say about office decor: