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4 Personality Traits that Create Conflicts in The Workplace

4 Personality Traits that Create Conflicts in The Workplace

No matter how careful you are, difficult situations in the workplace are going to happen. They are unavoidable. Unlike your friends, you can’t choose who you work with. Unlike your family, you won’t have the same experiences or share similar values with your co-workers.

People from all different backgrounds are being asked to work together. There will be differences and there will be conflicts from time to time. For many of us, we will spend more time with our coworkers than anyone else. That’s 8+ hours per day, 5 days a week, over and over again. You are stuck together, you have to work together, and you will not always see eye to eye on everything.

In our social lives, we can simply distance ourselves from those that are creating friction in our lives. Friends, acquaintances or strangers that cause more problems than they are worth can be removed from the complicated equation that we call life. At the workplace, however, it is not that easy. When you are working with difficult people in the workplace, you are stuck with them. You can either ignore it or take it on face to face.

To add further complications to the situation, the environment that you are in expects you to be able to maintain a professional demeanor, regardless of how unprofessional your coworker may be acting.

Employers Trending Towards Team Project Implementation

There has been a growing trend among employers assigning teams to projects as opposed to individuals. The idea is that a group of people will be able to specialize in the areas of the project that best fit their skill sets, allowing other members to work on portions of the project that they themselves may not excel at. This, in theory, will lead to better results for the employer and project.

team in the workplace

    The downside to the growing trend of teams in the workplace is that it places certain personalities together that may not be compatible. This leads to conflicts in the workplace within the team which can hinder efficiency and slow down progress.

    It’s hard to tell who will thrive in a team environment and who will struggle. Often, it will come down to the personality traits of each member and how well those traits complement (or clash) with each other.

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    Personality Types in the Workplace that Clash

    There are four main personality traits that show themselves in a group setting. These main traits are impulsiveness, skepticism, willingness to accept others and their ideas, and their systematic approach to the task at hand.

    Most team members will demonstrate the traits of two of these personality types:

    1. Dominant Personalities: Skeptical and Impulsive

    People with a dominant personality are direct and confrontational. They will address an issue head on, sometimes too quickly. They are impulsive and will have a tendency to go “all-in” with something they feel strongly about.

    They are skeptical people. If they do not see eye to eye on something, they are going to be hard to convince. They don’t have a lot of patience, but they will keep the group pushing forward.

    Dominant Personalities – Skeptical and Impulsive

      2. Conscientious Personalities – Skeptical and Methodical

      People with a conscientious personality are just as skeptical as those with dominant personality traits. They are set in their ways and difficult to convince otherwise. Conscientious people take a systematic approach to everything they do.

      They are more patient, sometimes a fault. They are detail oriented and very logical thinkers. They are less likely to rush things or leave any mistakes, but they can really drag down the timeline of a project within a team environment.

      3. Influential Personalities – Accepting and Impulsive

      People with an influential personality will feel at home in a team environment. They work well with others and show enthusiasm for group settings.

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      They act impulsively. They are quick to take an idea and run with it. They will have some trouble turning down conflicting ideas, often leading to difficulties when those ideas clash. They are great support members within a team, but they will often lack in the leadership department.

      4. Steady Personalities – Accepting and Methodical

      People with a steady personality are consistent and predictable. They will not cause distractions within a group atmosphere. They prioritize group harmony above all else.

      Much like influential personalities, they are great team members but lack leadership skills. They don’t push projects along very effectively, but they don’t create distractions or issues that could slow progress down.

      Why these Personality Profiles can Clash

      Between these four personality types, the conflict will often arise in group settings between the opposite types.

      Steady personalities will not respond will those with dominant traits and vice versa. Steady personalities will be more passive-aggressive while dominant personalities will be more assertive and aggressive.

      Likewise, conscientious people will not always work well with influential people. Influential personalities are too impulsive. This will not sit well with a detail oriented conscientious person.

      On the other hand, a conscientious person may nit-pick at things that aren’t needed, sometimes slowing the project down to a halt. This conflict in the pace of the project will create friction between the two sides.

      These Personality Traits Clash on Two Levels:

      Impulsive and methodical approaches do not alight with each other. This will often create conflict with the speed vs. attention to detail that the group is applying as they progress through the project.

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      Skepticism and acceptance will have contradictory effects. While skeptical people will be hesitant to accept new or alternative ideas until they are thoroughly convinced, more accepting team members will be eager to implement new ideas as they come.

      Dealing with Personality

        Dealing with Personality Differences as an Employee

        Understanding these personality types will help you handle conflicts more effectively. By knowing what to expect, you will be less likely to be caught off guard when there is a conflict and you will be better equipped to diffuse the situation and work in harmony with one another.

        This works in two ways:

        • Understanding the personality types of your group members

        Think about the traits that your coworkers have displayed in the past. How do they handle conflict? How do they express themselves? You can profile their personality traits based their past behavior. Expect them to exhibit the same traits going forward.

        • Understanding your own personality traits

        Are you an assertive person, or more passive? If things aren’t going the way you want them to go, will you speak out or will you let it fester? When an idea that you know is wrong is brought up, is your first instinct to try and figure out how you can implement it, or will you shoot it down quickly? Think about these questions and try to figure out what traits you display in a group setting.

        Be critical of yourself when you are doing this. It’s easy to give yourself the benefit of the doubt and place yourself above all of these categories. Of course, most people will fall somewhere in the middle of all of these traits, but chances are, your personality will skew more one way or the other.

        If you are truly stumped, think about the personality traits of the people you don’t get along with. You are probably the opposite of them.

        How to Manage These Personality Conflicts

        • Accepting that Conflicts Will Happen

        The first step in managing these conflicts is to accept that they will occur. Even if you’ve never had an issue with a team member in the past, it is always better to err on the side of caution and assume they will occur eventually.

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        Best case, no conflict occurs at all. Worst case, your personalities clash and you will know what is happening. Either way, it’s better to be prepared than unprepared.

        managing conflict at the workplace
          • It’s Not Their Fault

          Understand that it is not anyone’s fault. No one can change their personality. When personalities clash, it’s usually not a matter of who is right or wrong. Instead, it’s a simple fact that your natural personality traits will clash in a team setting.

          If you look at it that way, it’s no one’s fault. If you are caught up in a conflict with one of your coworkers, don’t focus on defending your actions or criticizing them. Instead, recognize that it is simply a matter of your opposing personality traits clashing and focus your energy on finding a middle ground that you can both use to move forward with the work.

          • Focus on Letting It Go

          After establishing why these conflicts occur, don’t spend your energy trying to change them. It won’t work. The natural response is to battle it out; defend your actions and criticize theirs. This will never lead to a long-term solution.

          The best way to handle conflicts like this is to understand that people make mistakes and everyone won’t always get along perfectly. It may be due to poor communication, confusion, or it could simply be that one of you has misinterpreted the other. In any case, conflicts will often stem from a place where neither party is completely at fault.

          Focus on finding a way to move past the problem and prevent it from affecting the project. Don’t take it personally because it is not an intentional attack towards you.

          More by this author

          Anand Mishra

          Information Technology

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          Last Updated on April 23, 2019

          13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently

          13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently

          Let me begin by being 100% frank with you – everyone is capable of happiness.

          Happiness is first a choice but it also takes persistence to maintain. Happiness is our birth right and my mission is to help as many people as I can live their happiest life.

          My mission is to spread the message that everyone deserves happiness.

          To live a happy life; however, you must do the work, gain the necessary knowledge, and increase your awareness.

          You must fully embody this state and begin to think and feel happiness on every level of your being.

          Often times, excuses present themselves and our mind gives us the reasons why we can’t be happy:

          “I am too busy right now to focus on happiness”

          “I will be happy when I finish school, when I have the money, when I am in the right relationship, when I have kids, when my children are older….”

          “I would have had a happy life if this traumatic event had never happened”

          “I don’t deserve happiness”

          EVERYONE deserves happiness. The reason that you are here right now is because you have a purpose and you are on the earth to enjoy your journey.

          Think BIGGER than your excuses. Push FARTHER than your complaints.

          Don’t be pulled away from greatness. Get uncomfortable. At least these are what happy and successful people do on a daily basis.

          This article highlights the top 13 tips and tricks of how happy people think and feel.

          If you would like to begin embodying this life-changing state, then… Here are the 13 ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently:

          1. Happy People Put Happiness First

          Happy people have made the decision that their end goal is happiness.

          Every situation, event, bad day ultimately ends with happiness.

          To them, happiness is equivalent to sleep and water – it is a necessity to their life. To live an unhappy life is to have never lived at all.

          The happy person asks,

          “What would be the point of living if every day and moment were filled with negativity?”

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          “Why would I deplete my energy on negativity when I expend less to be positive?”

          They make happy-based decisions which means in EVERY MOMENT they choose happiness.

          If their circumstances can’t change then they instead change their perspective, they look for the silver lining in the negative.

          Happy people don’t let negativity steal their moments away – a positive mindset always prevails.

          If you ask a happy person how their day was, they will always answer your question with a highlight or a lesson learned.

          2. Happy People Embrace Pain

          I know what you are thinking –

          “No one is ALWAYS happy”

          or …

          “Even happy people get in bad moods”

          and …

          These statements are absolutely accurate.

          Happy people aren’t always happy and they DO get into bad moods. They get overwhelmed, they feel defeated, and their feelings get hurt.

          Happy people aren’t invincible and they feel pain just like everyone else. The only difference between happy people and people who let negativity run their lives is that…

          Happy people quickly acknowledge their pain and they make a decision to find a way to transform their pain into something greater. They also use these 13 simple ways to shake off the sadness.

          Happy people admit the negativity they feel and they do what it takes to get back into their natural state: happiness.

          When your end goal is happiness, then you will find a way to achieve it no matter how much strength you have to muster.

          3. Happy People Have a Happy Self-Image

          We all have an image in our minds that we subconsciously live up to.

          The reason that change is so hard is because our subconscious mind is programmed to live by how we define ourselves.

          How are you currently defining yourself?

          For happy people, they see themselves with a smile, positive outlook, and/or a bounce in their step. When an event or situation arises that brings in a negative emotion, they quickly change their state to resemble their natural self-image.

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          When happy people are in a bad mood, it feels unusual to them because feeling negative isn’t aligned with how they see themselves.

          When they feel upset, they acknowledge the negativity and look for a solution to bring their emotions to the level of how they perceive themselves.

          Look at how you define yourself today – your mind and body are always trying to live up to the definition it is taught to believe.

          Your body’s job is to keep you in a “normal” state because this is where it feels most comfortable.

          If your self-image is happy, then your mind and body will naturally be brought back to where it feels at home. Your actions will be a clue to how you define yourself.

          4. Happy People Have a Strong Support System

          The happiest people know that it takes a village and they lean on others for support.

          Happy people feel comfortable reaching out for help when they feel that their resistances are overpowering them. They quickly sense their negativity and they tell somebody.

          Happy people ask for assistance when they can’t figure out a problem. Seeking help takes strength and it never gets in the way of their self-worth. Happy people appreciate the wisdom that their support system provides.

          They have strong connections with the people who are close to them. They never trudge through tough times alone because jeopardizing their happiness for too long would be detrimental to their well-being.

          5. Happy People Safeguard Their Minds from Negative Triggers

          Warding off negativity is almost impossible when we live in a society that lives by what went wrong and feeds off of what could go wrong. News travels instantaneously so it would be unrealistic to shut this out of your life completely.

          However, one strategy that happy people use to safeguard their minds is regulating their environment.

          We have a lot of control on how we allow our environments to affect us. We can control our social media feed, the television shows and movies we watch, the books that we read, the people that we spend our time with, and the places that we hang out.

          If happiness is your end goal, then take a good look at what is bringing you down. What triggers your unhappiness? See if there is anything in your environment that can be changed……

          What we listen to, read, and who we hang out with influence our mind, what we think about, what we worry about, our reactions, and behaviors.

          Happy people know what triggers a feeling of negativity and it feels out of alignment for them so they do what it takes to avoid it.

          They might regulate their social media news feed to reflect the information that brings them positive energy. They might regulate the people that they spend their time with. It is important to hang out with like-minded people.

          What are you triggers? How can you avoid the negativity in your environment?

          These are ways that happy people regulate their environment and safeguard their minds.

          6. Happy People Know When to Say “No”

          Happy people know when to sit one out and say “no.” They do this to protect their happiness and well-being.

          Life gets overwhelming – a lot of people need our attention and the to do list can seem never ending.

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          Happy people give themselves permission to take the day off and they feel comfortable with saying “no” when their stress levels begin to climb. They understand that those around them aren’t benefiting from someone who is frazzled, overwhelmed, and tired.

          A happy person identifies their negative emotion and then they quickly treat it to bring themselves back to their “normal” state, so that they can be at their best for not only themselves but for those around them, too.

          A simple “no” can ultimately mean many more “yes’s” in the future because happiness has a long battery life. You can take a look at Leo Babauta’s article The Gentle Art of Saying No and learn to say no.

          7. Happy People Are Good Evaluators

          Happy people can quickly sense when something is off with themselves or others. They are very intuitive to happiness levels. When someone isn’t quite right, they are the first ones to notice.

          Being able to evaluate happiness means that you can identify when negativity is lingering around for too long.

          We all have bad days; however, the happy person evaluates often and quickly intervenes.

          In other words, happy people frequently evaluate their state and immediately change when their pessimism is overshadowing their joy.

          8. Happy People Bring Other People Up

          What goes on inside of us is mirrored into our physical world.

          What we think about literally consumes our life and is displayed in our work, relationships, and attitude.

          Happy people naturally feel good inside and about themselves so they treat others the way that they treat themselves. It never feels forced to give a compliment or to help out a stranger.

          When we are truly happy with ourselves, everyone around us has a better experience. Happy people are kind to themselves and because of this, it feels natural to them to want to make others’ happy, too.

          9. Happy People Go After Their Dreams

          Happy people are always following the joyful path. They make happy-based decisions and because of this, they always end up where they want to be.

          It’s absolutely impossible to be happy by following an undesirable path, which is quite opposite for unhappy people.

          Most people journey through life on a path they think they are “supposed” to be own. Warning signs (negativity) are often ignored because they truly believe that these feelings are a normal part of life.

          Negativity is NOT normal.

          The happiest people investigate the negativity in their life and quickly analyze the results. This process allows them to get back on the joyful path which ends in a desirable outcome.

          Follow your happiness and your dreams will come true (If that isn’t motivation then I don’t know what is!)

          In addition to happiness, here are 14 amazing things that happen when you live your passion.

          10. Happy People Never Sweat the Small Stuff

          The only expectation that the happy person has is that they remain in a joyful state.

          They rarely have expectations for the events and people in their lives because they know that this is a sure way to get let down.

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          The happiest people take life as it comes – you could say that they roll with the punches. When you don’t have expectations, thenyoue can just sit back and watch how beautifully life unfolds.

          Happy people understand that bad things are inevitable, they are a part of life – The car will break, the kids will make mistakes, people will be late, and dinner will burn.

          If it’s not anything seriously affecting their lives, then they don’t give their energy to it.

          11. Happy People Rarely Have to Prove That They Are Right

          Happy people remember that it’s more important to live up to what they believe. When you live your life aligned with your belief system, then there is no need to explain or prove yourself to others.

          Differences in opinions are inevitable, but the happiest of people know it’s wasted energy to defend their position.

          It is more effective to simply show people, through actions, how you think, feel, and what you believe.

          Energy is saved, arguments are diminished, and credibility/respect are gained when we live by what we believe.

          12. Happy People Smile (Even When They Don’t Want To)

          Smiling is one of the healthiest things we can do; and happy people use this simple trick quite often.

          It has been proven that smiling has the ability to boost your immune system, decrease stress levels, and can even make you look younger. The benefits of smiling have even been backed up by science.[1]

          Better yet, smiling is contagious. When you engage in a quick smile, you are likely to brighten someone else’s day along with your own. It is no wonder why happy people smile often!

          13. Happy People Live Life in the Present Moment.

          When we are genuinely happy, we are living for the moment.

          Happy people let go of the past, enjoy the present, and look forward to the future. They take the moments for what they are worth – they only invest their energy in what feels right to them.

          Everyone is capable of living a happy-centered life. You deserve a life that you desire – your dream life. All you have to start doing is make happy-based decisions TODAY.

          In every moment, decide on what makes you happy – decide on what gets you excited. Stop doing what you don’t love, don’t listen to the people that you dislike.

          If you are engaging in something that isn’t bringing you joy, then quit doing it. Listen to your heart, stop ignoring the warning signs (negativity) because they are there for a reason.

          I have observed, studied, and interviewed some of the happiest and most successful people along with some of the most miserable and self-loathing.

          It starts with one decision – happiness.

          The happiest, most successful people choose happiness with EACH and EVERY decision. And you can start doing this today.

          Featured photo credit: Autumn Goodman via unsplash.com

          Reference

          [1] Harvard Business Review: The Science Behind the Smile

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