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The 25 Species of Coworkers

Alice Handley and Kayla Baxter

The Shrinking Violet


What they do:

You’re pretty sure The Shrinking Violet works with you … but you can’t remember ever seeing them in meetings, and you definitely haven’t seen them at work-sponsored parties. That’s what The Shrinking Violet does best – disappear. You have the hardest time trying to get this person to talk, and you dread the day you’re actually assigned to work on a project with them because their communication skills are … well… nonexistent at best.

How to deal:

It’s easy to label The Shrinking Violet as antisocial, unproductive, shy, or not a team player; however, it’s much, much more likely that The Shrinking Violet is simply introverted. Sure, The Shrinking Violet may not have ideas to share until after a meeting is over, but those ideas will invariably be well-thought-out and thorough. If they weren’t, The Shrinking Violet wouldn’t bother sharing them in the first place. There are many things you can learn from The Shrinking Violet — mostly to think before you speak, or before you judge.

Are you a shrinking violet? Take the quiz!

Next: The Sensitive Thespian →