Disaster can be avoided! When a company evaluates team player's personalities, encourages the strengths of the player and teaches them how to handle their weaknesses, then everyone wins! The employer, the employee, and the bottom line!
Now that we looked at each personality type, it is time to figure out how to get them to all work together well.
Looking at the personality types below, evaluate each personality type and their relation to each other. i. e. A Rational is goal-oriented vs an Idealist who is people-oriented.
Value to Team: Goal-oriented
Decision Making: Decides with goals in mind
Emotional Response: Independent
Stress Behavior: Dominates when stressed
Value to Team: People-oriented
Decision Making: Decides quickly
Emotional Response: Excitable
Stress Behavior: Attacks when stressed
Value to Team: Relationship-oriented
Decision Making: Decides after input from others
Emotional Response: Warm and friendly
Stress Behavior: Gives in to stressor
Value to Team: Detail-oriented
Decision Making: Decides reluctantly
Emotional Response: Careful, measured
Stress Behavior: Avoids stressor
Let’s look at the thoughts of each personality as they work together on a project:
The Rational thinks:
I've got to complete this project. I wish the Idealist would stop talking and listen. They always try to grab attention when I am trying to get something done. Why does it matter what everybody thinks? I have the only correct solution. No, Guardian you don't need all that information to make a decision, just make it will you?! Where are you going now? Come back here, I will tone it down. That Artisan is really good with people, wish I could be. But I can't stand it when I have to stop to hear what everybody thinks, doesn't he know I have the correct answer? He will side with me anyway; he always does.
The Idealist thinks:
Who is this guy? This Rational thinks he knows everything! Who decided he was in charge? He is so pushy, I don't think I can handle this guy much more. He thinks I am stupid, never waits for me to finish my sentence, like what I have to say doesn't matter. I think I will complain to the boss. That Guardian sure is quiet. I like him, he listens to me. I just wish he would make up his mind, we don't have that much time to finish this! Oh the Artisan sure is nice and she always agrees with me, isn't that great? She gets along with everybody.
The Artisan thinks:
I wish I could figure that Rational out. He is always right, but I hate the way he tells us that. Why can't he find a better way to say things, then everyone won't get upset. I wish I could draw out the Guardian, he is always so quiet and careful. I know he really wants to be a part of things. I will have to think of some way to get him involved. Oh my, the Idealist is getting excited again. I wish she would think before she speaks, then we would have less upset in this group.
The Guardian thinks:
Where is all the data? I can't decide without it. Why does that Rational always try to push me into a decision when I don't have all the facts? I hope he doesn't start yelling again in this meeting. That Artisan is so nice. I wish I knew what she wanted from me. She makes me feel like important, but she seems to expect more from me. Oh no, here comes that Idealist, she gives me a headache. Way too excited and she doesn't even know why. Just starts talking and moving around. She distracts from everything, why can't she sit down and shut up?
Are you on the way to understanding the different perspectives? If so then you can begin the process of teaching each of these personality types to appreciate each other's strengths and help them to overcome their weaknesses.
Appreciating Strengths and Overcoming Weaknesses
First, identify the personality types on the team. Have each member of the team take a personality test. It is important that those taking the test recognize that this is important to their ability to work with others. The Keirsey Temperament test is here.
Second reinforce the strengths of each team member. Do this through discussion, role playing, and using opportunities to teach them about their own personality. Point out each person's strengths, or asking each member to describe their role within the team and why. These are good first meeting exercises.
Last, invest in training to further employee and management's knowledge of themselves and each other. This will positively impact the bottom line. Projects deadlines get met, members gain an appreciation of each other, and personnel headaches disappear.
Chrome Zebra, Inc.
Helping Employers Prevent Employee Lawsuits
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Rhonda Goetz is the owner and CEO of Chrome Zebra, an online human resource training company. She also is an authorized harassment and discrimination trainer and online instructional designer.
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