Teaming through Personality Differences

Let’s face it.  Every one of us has worked with people we don’t like, and, believe it or not, you may not be liked by some people. It’s really hard when the person we don’t like is on our team, and we have to work together on a project.  What can we do, in those situations, to continue to perform at our best?

  1. Learn to value people

All of us have value.  When we look around at a co-worker that we believe is not pulling their weight, we tend to dismiss everything they do as unimportant. Further, our feelings are exacerbated because we feed on our self-justification and dislike of the person to continue to tear down everything they do.   The hard reality is that they, too, have gifts and talents that are every bit as important to the company or projects as yours.  When we can truly find some value that they add, we can begin to look at them differently.

  1. Learn from them

Yes, you heard me.  They have something to offer – some skill that they do well where we lack.  First, learn to recognize it (go back to step 1 if you cannot recognize their strengths).  Once we can recognize and acknowledge their strengths, sit back for a moment or two and think about what you might be able to learn from them.  Often we get so caught up in being angry that they are not all we want them to be for us that we fail to see that we can actually learn from them.  Open your eyes and your mind.  The leader who is always learning from others, even from those who may frustrate them.  I challenge you to find at least one thing you might learn from them.

  1. Embrace Humility

It’s maddening to me that every time I strongly believe someone else needs to change all of the things that they are doing wrong, when I get to the place where I can truly look objectively at the situation, I often find that I’m the one who needed to make an adjustment.  I can honestly say, in hindsight of course, that this was the single largest realization that helped me in situations where I once was confident I couldn’t get along with someone because of the way they are.  It takes years to perfect this, and it certainly isn’t easy, but when we can make incremental improvements toward our goal, we become better people, better teammates, and ultimately better leaders.

  1. Learn to leverage the differences

You may have heard it said that if someone always has the same opinion as you, one of you isn’t needed.  Indeed it is true.  In my career, I have found that the most effective teams are not the ones where everyone agrees with the leader of the group, but the ones who are able to debate in a healthy way to arrive at the best solution for the situation.  When I’ve had the opportunity to build a team, I deliberately looked to fill the team with a blend of personality types across the Myers-Briggs spectrum.   In cases where we work with teams built by others, take the time to discover and consider how the differences in personality type can work together for the greater good of the organization.

Building a high potential team is fun and takes time and work. Don’t give up the dream of having an awesome team.

Copyright 2018 Journey For Life. All rights reserved

Author: Journey-For-Life

I am a musician, an engineer, a mentor; my desire is to leave things better than I found them; I am a sister, daughter, wife, mother, aunt, friend. Suicide breaks my heart; Cancer breaks my heart; Human trafficking breaks my heart; Seeing people make bad life decisions breaks my heart. I am thankful for the One True and Living God who saved me from myself and, through His Son Jesus Christ, has saved from my sins; I am confidently persistent, passionately determined and boldly creative so that I may inspire others to live a life that ultimately matters.

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