World Friendship Day, also known as International Day of Friendship, takes place on July 30, 2019. To commemorate the special celebration, we want to focus on bringing different personalities together, particularly how to overcome personality clashes in the workplace.
Let’s face it – we won’t always get along with or like people. At some point in our professional lives, we’ll encounter a clash of personalities. But how can you overcome personality clashes at work? Are there ways to manage personality differences?
People have different personalities and sometimes, personality clashes can escalate to conflict. It could stem from a variety of differences whether it may be work styles, backgrounds, attitudes or competitiveness. But no matter the reason, it’s important to know how to handle conflict and use your employees’ unique personalities in a positive way.
In fact, if left un- managed, personality clashes can cause a great deal of tension and anxiety in the workplace. High levels of tension and anxiety can lead to physical and mental strain, affecting your employees’ wellbeing. Personality clashes can also drain energy and lower productivity, affecting projects and cooperation.
However, personality clashes aren’t always a bad thing. Healthy and constructive conflict is a component of high-functioning teams. When workers with varying personalities, experiences, skills and opinions are tasked with a project, the combined effort can lead to unique solutions and achievements. It’s also an opportunity to better understand your team members’ traits, values, and how they function in the workplace.
So, effectively managing personality clashes and conflict in the workplace is a vital way to maintain high-functioning teams.
That’s why, as your friends in keeping a healthy and happy workplace, we bring you three steps to help resolve personality clashes:
Understand the situation
It’s important to clarify your employees’ positions. Whether there are various views and opinions, each position needs to be clearly identified. Consider breaking the parties involved into smaller groups or separate people. Analyse and listen to each person’s position, the facts, assumptions and beliefs. Take care to remain open, rather than criticise or judge.
Prepare for resolution
All parties involved must agree to cooperate to resolve the conflict. It’s important to put the team first and set aside your opinions or ideas for the time being. Make sure to keep communications open and discuss the impact the conflict is having on your team and everyone’s performance.
Reach an agreement
Once all parties’ positions have been clarified, you must decide what course of action to take. If further evaluation is required, set what needs to be done, by when and by whom, and reach an agreement within a particular timescale. Consider utilising methods such as Win-Win Negotiation or Multi-Voting to find a solution that everyone is happy with.
It’s important that when personality clashes are resolved, take time to celebrate and acknowledge everyone’s contributions in reaching a solution. This can build team cohesion, confidence, and empathy, and can help reduce personality clashes in the workplace.
Don’t let personality clashes and destructive work relationships disrupt your workplace. Understand the situation, prepare for a resolution, and reach an agreement, then watch your teams work better together.