Guest Contributor

Improving Communication: How To Get Different Personalities To Work Together

By | Charlie Fletcher

Diversity is essential in the workplace. It’s important to have an employee base that is just as diverse as your customer base so your employees can better understand and relate to your customers. But it’s also important to have diverse staff to bring together varying perspectives and ways of thinking, as this aids in creative, innovative thinking that can help your business tackle challenges and grow.

However, while employing a staff of people with diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and personalities can benefit your company, it can also lead to more conflict. Understandably, when you put a bunch of people with different personalities and ideas in the same room, there will be some clashing.

So, how can you overcome this potential challenge? How can employers champion differences in the workplace and get different personalities to work together to improve productivity and engagement as opposed to hinder it?

1. Understand Different Personality Types

First, before you can figure out a way to bring different personalities together, you must first understand the various personality types and how they generally operate. In the work setting, there are typically ten workplace personality types:

  1. The analyst;
  2. The climber;
  3. The illusionist;
  4. The individualist;
  5. The motivator;
  6. The perfectionist;
  7. The people-pleaser;
  8. The performer;
  9. The worrier;
  10. The upward worker.

Each of these personality types has their own way of doing things that helps them achieve their underlying goal. If you have these two personality types working together, it’s important to understand their different motivations to help them avoid conflict. And the same goes for any other of the listed personality types that might clash. Understanding all of these different types can help you find ways to bring these employees together that will help them be more productive and less conflictual.

2. Emphasize Common Goals

When you have many different conflicting personalities in the workplace, it can be helpful to regularly remind everyone of the overall shared goal. When tensions run high, it’s not uncommon for people to start turning inward and focusing more on their own selfish needs as opposed to the needs of the group or the collective.

When this starts happening, everyone starts working on their own individual goals and ignoring the big picture, which can hinder productivity and results.

Thus, it’s crucial to often remind employees of the common or collective goal to help them stay focused and work as a team rather than as an individual. When you regularly emphasize the common goal, it reminds everyone that their colleagues are their support system — not their enemy — and that you are all on the same team.

3. Be Mindful of Highly Sensitive Personalities

While it’s important to be considerate of all the varying personalities of your staff, those with highly sensitive personalities can struggle more than others. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t just as good of a worker; they simply have different needs.

Employees with highly sensitive personalities are actually known to have more depth of processing, meaning they pay closer attention to details that others might miss. However, the downside is that they can more easily become overstimulated, and when that happens, they might have a harder time dealing with other less sensitive and empathetic personality types.

So, if you have some employees with highly sensitive personalities, it can help to reduce exposure to things that might trigger or overstimulate them, such as loud noises, bright lights, clutter, and disorganization.

4. Ensure Management Is Available to Mediate

One of the best ways to avoid a full-blown conflict is to step in before things spiral out of control. If your managers are avoidant and tend to sit back and hope the conflict will solve itself, this is likely only making things worse.

Instead, make sure your managers are present and regularly check in with employees and teams to see how they are doing. This way, if they notice conflict brewing, they can shut it down and offer solutions before it becomes a problem.

This is also a good way to build trust with your employees. It shows that your management cares about them and wants to help them succeed, which means your employees are also more likely to come to them when they have a problem and need help.

5. Improve the Overall Employee Experience

Often conflict in the workplace has less to do with clashing personalities and more to do with an overall negative workplace culture and poor employee experiences. If your employees feel undervalued, underappreciated, and aren’t having their needs met, it can create tension in the workplace that leads to conflict.

So, it’s important for employers to promote a more positive workplace culture to improve employee experiences. When your employees are happy, healthy, and satisfied with their job, they are more likely to come to work ready to be productive and be good team players.

One way to do this is to ensure your employees’ health and wellness needs are being met, and this includes both physical and mental health needs in the workplace. Provide them with good benefits packages, allow for time off, encourage healthy habits, and maybe even offer flexible working schedules.

You can also organize events and get-togethers for your employees, like outdoor dinner parties or mixers. Events are a great way to not only show your appreciation for your employees but they provide ways for your staff to socialize and connect so they can build better relationships that help them avoid conflict in the workplace.

Wrapping Up

Conflict is going to happen in the workplace; this is normal. However, you can take steps to improve the communication and relationships between employees and teams to reduce conflict as much as possible. The more you work to understand your employees and their different personality types and needs, the more you can build a more positive workplace culture and connection that allows for better communication and productivity.

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