In the workplace, it can be difficult to deal with the various personalities that we face on a day-to-day basis. Naturally, each of us finds affinities with certain people, aversion towards some people and neutrality towards the rest. Most people get along just fine with most other people in the work environment. Most people, but not all people.
It can happen that personalities clash: either because they are too different – such as an introvert facing an extravert – or sometimes, because they are too similar – like two stubborn people butting heads. Sometimes, we cannot even explain why we dislike someone – we are animals after all, with certain instincts that sometimes cannot always be expressed with words. And sometimes, individual values are at the heart of tensions.
It can be very interesting to actually understand our own personality, that of other people, and the reasons why there is an affinity or a dislike. In the workplace, it is even more interesting to understand how various personality types can work effectively with one another.
The Myers-Briggs 16 Personalities can be an amazing tool to explore your own personality and to reveal what your work interfaces are made of. All you have to do to get started is to take the Myers-Briggs personality test (link: https://www.16personalities.com/personality-types).
You can ask your work interfaces to take the test and, thereafter, you can discuss the results and how your personality types impact your work relationships.
In many organisations actually, whether people are aware of it or not, members of the management team take part in Myers-Briggs workshops to optimise the effectiveness of their collaboration. It helps reveal personality aspects that require a bit more work when it comes to interacting with certain personality types.
For example, many organisation leaders are of the ENTJ personality type (dubbed “The Commander”), which makes them great at leading and at setting a direction for the whole organisation; however, one of their downsides is that they often lack awareness of how they might unintentionally hurt the feelings of some people with their forthright and sometimes abrupt approach. Therefore, when they interact with someone of the ISFP, ISFJ, INFP, and ESFP personality types, they might want to be more cautious of how they communicate and how they approach problems and solution development so as not to unbalance the working relationship.
Overall, the key to smooth relationships at work starts with the understanding that we are not all the same in terms of personality, and that each of us represents a complex combination of traits which others need to learn to deal with us.
After all, getting to know someone and developing a good work relationship with them feels a bit like taking a course, doesn’t it?