4 Ways to Deal with Diverse Personalities on Your Team
The facilitation and interaction of diverse personalities on strong teams are critical to success. Even leaders with the best intentions are sometimes guilty of wanting their team members to do or act like they do. Working in a team with diverse personalities requires flexibility, patience, and open-mindedness. When you embrace your team members’ diverse personalities, you enable your team to reach its fullest potential.
1. Celebrate diversity:
Although it seems easier, most people would be bored working with a team whose members all had the same personalities. Team interaction is much more stimulating and interesting when the team has a variety of personal styles and characteristics. By celebrating differences, you acknowledge that all of us are enriched by our opportunity to work together.
2. Open lines of communication:
Team members tend to avoid other team members with different personalities and to form informal alliances with similar members. If team leaders allow these tendencies to go on indefinitely, team sub-groups become cliques with insiders and outsiders and the lines of communication within the team are blocked.
3. Build bridges, not walls:
Leaders of strong teams learn to facilitate connections between diverse styles. Look for ways to make it easier for team members to form alliances, increase mutual understanding, and break down perceived barriers in the way they approach the work.
4. Manage results, not tasks:
Ultimately, what matters is each team member’s contribution to the team’s goals and mission. Leaders who are adept at facilitating strong teams with diverse personalities have learned to focus on the results each team member achieves, rather than on trying to make them achieve the results in a certain way. This allows the individuals to express their personalities through their work and still contribute significantly to the team effort.