Getting Past Conflict

As a business owner or manager, you’ll often find yourself confronted by a staff conflict which dominos into entire team productivity problems. Or, there will be that co-worker who is very valuable, but has a work style that is frustrating. When I have a client that comes to me with these problems, I frequently recommend having every team member take what I refer to as a “personality insight test.”

I was first introduced to the Kolbe (kolbe.com) “assessment instrument” while participating in an entrepreneurial coaching program. I was hooked the first time I took the test. Not only did I gain tremendous insights about how I accomplished my work but more importantly, it enabled me to make great strides as a leader, manager and team member.

The Meyers-Briggs (meyersbriggs.org) and StrengthFinders (strengthfinders.com) “tests” are similar and equally well-respected resources. The goal of these tests is to identify and describe distinctive personality types. The idea being that if you know a person’s personality type, you’ll be better able to understand them whether you are in a professional or personal relationship.

I’ve often seen people avoid these tests out of fear that they are a disguised IQ test or personality disorder assessment tool. In reality, you’ll find you’ve received an inventory of your instinctive strengths. You’ll also uncover insights about your working “modus operandi.” You’ll recognize how you problem solve not only on a professional level but a personal level as well. Armed with this information about yourself and your co-workers, both individual and group productivity increase. You’ll recognize that your co-worker (or husband, wife or child) isn’t trying to drive you nuts or be difficult. You’ll realize – it’s just the way they get things done!

Tests like Strengthfinders can foster understanding by highlighting and explaining how different personality types work; what motivates or triggers them. These tests are inexpensive, strategic tools that enable you to make better hiring and management decisions. You are more likely to select the right candidate when filling a role that requires certain personality attributes. When it comes to building a team, knowing the instinctive talents of each individual ensures you are combining people likely to be productive as a group.

Know and share with your team that with all these “tests” all personality types are equal. The goal is to understand and appreciate differences between people. As all types are equal, there is no best type.

A free test similar to Myers-Briggs can be found at: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp