Whether you are a business owner, a manager, or a team leader, you will be facing various different personalities in your workplace on a daily basis.
What you need to keep in mind is that workplaces are made up of people from different cultural backgrounds and from all parts of society. There is sure to be varying values, opposing opinions, and different ways of doing things.
Statistics show that 89% of employees have experienced conflict management in the workplace, with 29% saying that it happens on a continuous basis. 49% of these say that it is due to different personalities and warring egos more than stress and overload of work.
This is a substantial amount that could be greatly reduced with the right leadership and management.
So, if you are experiencing this in your organization and are not too sure how to handle the personality clashes and differing views, we thought we would help you out.
Establish the Different Personality Types in a Team
In order to effectively manage anything in life, you need to have some knowledge and background before tackling it. This is why something like a personality test is very important when managing groups of people. Not only can you manage conflict when it arises effectively, but you also have an insight into each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.
One of the most popular tests is the Myers Briggs Test due to its comprehensive assessment of personalities. The test breaks people down into 16 different personality types, classifying them according to four different categories:
- Extroverted or introverted;
- Sensing or intuitive;
- Thinking or feeling;
- Judging or perceiving.
You will therefore get personalities that look like ISTJ or ENFP which will give you a good idea about that person’s personality.
With this, you will be able to understand how the person deals with other people, conflict, pressurized situations, and how they respond to communication.
Make Use of Team Building and Bonding Time
This is incredibly important in companies and within teams. Not only does it allow the employees to step away from the day-to-day stress of the working environment, but they will get to know their colleagues on a more personal level.
Bonding time, even like having drinks after work encourages employees to connect organically and on a personal level and break down the walls built in the pressurized work environment. In most cases, people will be able to identify with the other person and gain more knowledge into their behaviors and reactions.
Regular team-building exercises are important for dynamic teams and teams who deal with highly pressurized environments. They break down the hierarchical structures which are found in the workplace and allow employees to work through activities on the same level, allowing for unique and insightful communication and engagement.
Create a Space for Criticism and Opportunity for Praise
One of the most fundamental lessons of managing people is to never publicly criticize or discipline employees. One of the biggest demotivators for employees is public humiliation and criticism. There are thousands of stories of hard-working, engaged employees who face public shaming and quit within a few months.
Should an employee need to be disciplined, it is more advisable to conduct this discussion in a private safe space. You should also approach the matter delicately and determine a step-by-step framework on how to overcome the challenges.
Statistics show just how important a valued employee is. 70% of employees say that some kind of recognition and praise would help them be more engaged at work and feel more valued. Undervalued and unrecognized employees usually leave the workplace in under a year.
Be The Leader
There is that famous saying “lead by example” and when you are managing a group of people, you should absolutely take heed of this.
There are thousands of guides and resources for you to read which delve into the manager vs. leader concept. If you are in a management position, or about to take up a management position, it is highly recommended that you read as much as possible, and attend training and seminars.
People are inspired to work hard when they see their leaders working hard and positively. If you have a group of people who you are leading on a project, take the reigns and forge the path for everyone else to follow. Showing negativity to hard work or to superiors will simply create a knock-on effect. An inspired team is a hard-working team.
Allow for Flexibility
You need to keep in mind that not everyone’s the same on the team. Some have small children at home, some are looking after loved ones, some may be battling with an illness or sickness. Whatever the case, you simply cannot have a one-size-fits-all approach with your team.
COVID-19 has proven to most organizations globally that it is possible for employees to work from home and that they can operate productively away from the confines of the office. The world is moving away from the strict 9-5 restrictions which bred an entire generation of clock-watchers.
In order to get the most out of people, allow for flexibility. Empower them to be able to work and grow and thrive in a safe space. It has gone overlooked for decades that some people thrive in the mornings, while others find inspiration in the afternoon. Forcing people to work out of their comfort zone is thoroughly counterproductive and simply hurts your organization.
The main thing that you need to remember when managing people is that you cannot take things too personally. When you are all encountering a stressful situation, tempers will flare and conflict will take place. As a leader, it is important for you to keep as calm as possible, close yourself off to personal attacks and diffuse the situation.
Consider what the other people are experiencing in the team, both at work and at home. Remember that they could be dealing with undisclosed issues and a highly pressurized situation. So, remain calm, fair and understanding as much as you can.
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