3 steps to wrangling the personalities in your team

If you have a dynamic team, you’ll be no stranger to dynamic personalities. When there are so many personalities floating around in the one area, there are bound to be disagreements and times when the differences start to impact on the team. These conflicts aren’t something to obsessively worry about; conflict is natural and it would be more of a concern if there was no conflict at all. All the same, it’s important to know how to handle your team when personalities clash:

Know what makes your team tick

Understanding your team means that you know them as well as you can within a team setting. Get to know what frustrates them, what they’re passionate about and even some of their habits – both the helpful and the annoying ones. Knowing your team on this level means that you can help to minimise conflict from the get-go.

There are plenty of quizzes online – some well-known ones are DISC and Myers-Briggs – that can help you to determine where your team members’ personalities fit.

It’s not just about avoiding conflict, either. Knowing your team inside and out means that when conflict does arise you can know, as a leader, how to tailor your approach to ensure all team members involved respond effectively. It is also extremely handy when it comes to getting down to the (often unspoken) root of the problem.

Help your team understand each other

You are a leader of an organisation, not a babysitter. Your job is not to be prising apart team members every time there is a little disagreement. The best thing for any leader to do for their team is to help them understand each other, to have empathy for one another and to consider other perspectives, even in the midst of conflict.

Team building activities, team offsites, even eating lunch regularly together can help team members to get to know one another better. Aside from the obvious social benefits, it’s extremely beneficial in helping your team understand each other. Being open, taking a vulnerability-approach to trust, allows your team to see each other a little clearer. It’s not a magic bullet, conflicts will still arise, but this approach can see your team diffusing conflicts quickly themselves.

Don’t ignore the tension

Ever been in a small room with two people who clearly aren’t getting along? It can be uncomfortable for everyone. Walking on eggshells around each other is not a healthy way to be operating for any team and, ultimately, it will halt any cohesiveness and productivity.

If you’ve found yourself in a position of leadership, it’s not the time to be worrying about popularity. Avoiding confronting the tension so as not to offend anyone will just make things worse in the long run as small issues are left to fester into insurmountable conflicts. Give your team ample time to sort things out on their own and then step in to address any conflict before it escalates.

Are you ready to help your dynamic team thrive? People Make the Difference can help. To find out more, visit www.pmtd.com.au or call us on 0412 333 415. Try our online leadership training videos – $99 for complete access. Great value if you’re committed to growing your leadership potential.