It could just be personality conflicts, behavior preferences or both!

Have you ever been caught in the middle of an unpleasant situation between two co-workers who just can’t get along? Even worse, do you have a nemesis at work-that person you just can’t work with no matter how hard you try?

Being a witness or a part of personality conflicts on a daily basis is toxic. The situation arises more than we’d like to admit. 

Personality conflicts at work are prime contributors to increased stress and lower productivity. Sometimes though, it’s not just about having a different personality type, it also involves having different behavioral preferences.

Learning how to read your co-workers better can help you avoid these pesky conflicts and the resulting impact on our productivity (and sanity) when they erupt.

What’s the difference?

If it comes down to a fight of which one is bigger, then personality wins since our behavior is part of what makes up our personality along with things like how we think and feel.

It can be hard to read someone’s personality even if you know their Myer’s Brigg results because you don’t really have a window into how they are thinking and feeling.

The good news is that there is a way to get insight into our coworkers’ behavioral preferences. Behavior involves the way we act. It’s about the things we do that others can observe. What we can observe with consistency, we can likely predict.

What’s the point Nicole?

Conflicts with others at work or struggles to come together as a team can be helped in part when we have a better understanding of how each person approaches things like problem solving, working with rules or changes in the pace and workload.

Different styles are better suited to different environments. Sometimes there are clashes if we’re unaware of how teammates might respond to external pressures.

If we can predict when a situation might create stress, we can take action or change our approach to better manage the fallout.

Diversity is a good thing

A healthy team is made up of members with different thinking styles, skill sets and experiences. Productive collaborations leverage the unique contributions of each team member, working to individual strengths and filling in the gaps.

Unfortunately, there are times when strong personalities clash and team work suffers. Our natural personality and tendencies come out when we are stressed. Avoiding the elephant in the room when there is a clash won’t make it go away–things usually get worse if unchecked.

Personal awareness, good mentors and constructive feedback can help diffuse the battle zone. Teaching effective coping skills and strategies for working together is a must for long term improvement.

Tools Rule

My favorite tool for discovering our individual styles is the DISC Behavioral Assessment. As a Certified Professional Behavior Analyst, I often use the DISC assessment to help clients understand strengths and opportunities for improvement.

In a nutshell, DISC measures how active you are in problem-solving (Dominance), how much you like to interact with others (Influence), how you react to changes of pace or variety in the workload (Steadiness) and how you approach rules (Compliance).

Knowing DISC style preferences also help you understand your communication and time management preferences.

I love that moment when someone sits down to read the report. It’s like getting your own personal user manual. Better yet, when we do a team reveal, the lightbulb goes on and folks realize that their “nemesis” just has a different style.

Are you ready to DISCover Your Style?

The assessment only takes about fifteen minutes to complete, but the results will save you loads of time, energy and frustration. Request your DISCover Your Style Strategy session with yours truly, or ask how you can bring DISC to your team.

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