I have a friend who is really bad at  email.

When you send him a message, you can expect to receive a reply in about a week, which is totally frustrating. You send an email, then decide to pick up the phone because you know he will answer. Part of the reason is that he doesn't like computers, but he's also not proficient on them, either. When I finally do get a reply, he usually apologizes profusely. "I saw your email but forgot..."

Do you know anyone like that? There are folks at work who seem to fall into some well-established categories. Sometimes, identifying them can help with coaching, which is exactly what the company Vitalyst has done with a recent infographic. These five tech personalities are fairly common; I've included some of my own comments for each one. Do you match any of the descriptions?

1. The Apologizer

My friend fits in this category. Vitalyst notes how much this person tends to do "incomplete, unformatted, and incorrect" work, which is a sign that there's some training issues. What I've seen in many businesses is that we put up with this person in hopes that he or she will eventually figure out how to flag important emails or avoid sites that distribute malware. They rarely do.

2. The Interruptor

Ah, yes. This is the person at work who always seems to have an issue. Vitalyst makes an interesting point about this personality. When someone who is not proficient with tech interrupts you, two employees lose any momentum on projects (you and that person). The issues they face are typically inconsequential, though. The printer loses the Wi-Fi connection or a keyboard stops working. This person tends to have a hard time with basic tech problem-solving.

3. The Delegator

We sometimes delegate tasks we don't like and don't know how to do. It's a good personality type to identify because there is almost always a training and coaching issue, but there is also a workflow problem. The person might need to realize the act of delegation is slowing down productivity for everyone. It's a task he or she needs to do, not the person who knows how to use Microsoft Word.

4. The Quitter

There's a gaping hole of productivity with this tech personality. Instead of delegating or learning a new task, this person just gives up. He or she is constantly facing tech challenges like Bluetooth connection issues or a flickering monitor. The reaction is always to abandon the task. It's a sign of a deeper problem that this individual is refusing to learn new ideas and lacks perseverance.

5. The Exploder

We all know this personality type. When a tech problem arises, this is the person who gets angry and explodes. Tech is the enemy or something to fear instead of a tool to get the job done. There's always some crisis that is causing a meltdown in behavior. Training can help, but it's mostly an attitude adjustment. This personality type is creating a dark cloud in the office. Tech is just a reason to get angry.

Published on: Feb 18, 2016
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