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5 Tips When Working with Different Personalities

Posted on 02/15/22 By Guest Contributor


Everyone is different, which can have its benefits. Diversity in the workforce improves the quality of work thanks to the variety of perspectives and expertise. Sometimes, it can also mean personality clashes.

Different personality types require different leadership styles and communication if a cohesive working environment is to be achieved. Read on to learn how you can work more effectively with other personality types.

5 Tips When Working with Different Personalities

Working with different personalities can be hard, but it’s not impossible. The key is being strategic in the way you think and communicate.

  1. Know people's differences and avoid negative labeling

Behavioral differences sometimes lead to conflict, but they also commonly generate more creative ideas and higher quality projects. Managers and employees can strategically tap into the strengths of different personalities to help achieve organizational goals.

It’s important not to label someone based on what you might see as a negative trait. This oversimplifies and defines them solely based on what you don’t like. Negative labeling can lead to exclusion and greater conflict.

  1. Build common goals

Sometimes it’s worth repeating that you’re all on the same team. Everyone wants what’s best for the company, even if they have different visions on how to achieve corporate goals. Refocusing on the mission can take individuals out of a contentious choice and help them regain lost productivity.

  1. Communicate

Effective communication is essential for an organization's optimal performance. It incorporates the use of the most appropriate communications channel, the presentation of information to the target audience, and the skill to understand responses received from others.  In addition, self-development, interpersonal skills, mutual understanding, cooperation, and trust are essential to setting up an utterly compelling communication channel.

  1. Give a feedback sandwich

Although it is essential to speak your mind, some may not like to hear what you say. Most employees have a hard time internalizing negative feedback, even from people they relate well with. To make things easy, normalize the feedback sandwich. This entails beginning with a positive note, then continuing with the abrasive feedback, and ending on a positive note. This technique makes it easier for employees to receive and internalize feedback.

  1. Share the working preferences

Different people have different working styles. Discussing preferences up front can prevent tension and the hostilities that sometimes linger.

Different personalities to be aware of

Different people display varied communicative behaviors by expressing their needs, thoughts, and feelings as a substitute for more open communication. More insights into the different personalities based on communicative behavior are as below:

  • Passive-aggressive

A passive-aggressive personality acts aggressively but often in subtle ways. These people frequently resist requests and often procrastinate, express resentment, or act stubbornly.

The challenges with passive-aggressive workers are that they constantly claim they often misrepresent their feelings when asked directly. They shut down communication and refuse to discuss their issues.

  • Non- assertive

These personalities are often taken advantage of and are left feeling helpless. They assume everyone's problems and say yes to inappropriate requests and demands. They often experience low self-esteem and may encourage others to treat them in the same way.

These personalities can potentially cause harm to other people, especially when angered. They can either verbally or physically abuse others in the workplace. They tend to be hostile when talking or speaking and can even raise their voices or make threats.

Different personalities can’t be avoided. You must learn to work with everyone to promote a healthy work environment.

Fortunately, collaboration can be learned and refined. We offer several courses by experts on collaboration strategies. Check out our series on working with different personalities.

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