How Conflicting Work Personalities Drive Team Success
A successful team requires diverse personalities. 190,000 Deloitte employees were surveyed on their workplaces. The study, published by Harvard Business Review, determined four main personality types found in the workplace. Conflicting personalities can cause tension that even the most accommodating manager can’t deal with, and it isn’t always easy to create a cohesive work environment with a variety of characters. It is possible though, and understanding these personality types and how to deal with them will help to keep your team intact as you start up your business.
The Four Personality Types
The Driver – Like their names, the drivers push, push, push. These people are results-oriented, and thrive on meeting and exceeding goals. They are often competitive, overwhelming softer personality types.
The Guardian – The guardians lay the foundations for success. They’re all about data and analysis, organization and order. They steer clear of risks, and look at past successes to determine the best way forward. Their analytical skills and ability to sort data make them a strong asset to the driver.
The Integrator – The integrator can be considered the most relaxed in the office. Not too concerned with data, results or deadlines, this person prefers building relationships with others. They value emotional connection and intelligence. They’re likable people, but their preference for bonds confuses the goal-oriented driver.
The Pioneer – Pioneers are the innovators. They’re abstract thinkers; risk-takers; entrepreneurs. Their imagination and intuition encourage them to move forward with ideas. They can cause great anxiety for the guardian.
As a leader, it’s important to learn your own personality type, and then determine the different personalities of each of your employees to achieve success. Knowing that the guardian is easily overwhelmed by the pioneer can help you to understand the need for the integrator to be the voice of reason between the two to help mediate conflicting ideas. The driver and the guardian work extremely well together. While one draws up and analyzes reports, the other is busy implementing the pioneer’s forward-thinking initiatives.
Arranging The Office To Maximize Strengths
“The strategy and design act as an enabler, but collaboration is also about people and their mentality,” says design expert Simon Pole of Unispace. Creating synergy in the office doesn’t only manifest mentally. A customized office space for every employee needs to be arranged so that every member can produce work at their highest potential; it needs to accommodate each personality type so they can excel.
Pole recommends an Activity Based Working (ABW) environment over an open plan workspace. This way, employees have access to various workspaces depending on the job that needs to be done. If the guardian is preparing a report, they can work in a quiet cubicle, while the pioneer and the integrator bounce ideas off one another in an open lounge.
One of the biggest challenges for the manager of a start-up is having a team of talented individuals who can’t seem to work together. Knowing the kind of employees you have on your team and getting them properly situated in a balanced work environment can lessen that burden. When personalities are matched with the right job titles and learn to work with one another, the result is a successful team.
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