How to Work With People Who Have Different Personality Styles

by Nicole Vulcan, Demand Media Google
    Conflict is not exclusive to your workplace, but you can learn to manage it.

    Conflict is not exclusive to your workplace, but you can learn to manage it.

    Your mama may have told you to get along with everyone on the playground, but as adults, that "getting along" seems to get a whole lot more difficult. When you're stuck in an office full of people who clash, it may seem almost impossible to make nice. While you might wish to change the personalities of co-workers, the reality is, that's not going to happen. Much of the work of getting along has to do with how you view the situation.

    Step 1

    Look inward, advises "Psychology Today" in a 2006 article on personality conflict. Try to view your own strengths and weaknesses, and assess how those traits may be contributing to the conflict you are having. Accept that people are going to have different personalities and methods of engaging with the world, and try to see those differences as strengths that may help to complement your own personality and work style.

    Step 2

    Separate job performance problems from personality conflicts, advises Australia's "Better Health" channel. If you're really having issues with someone's personality, it may or may not reflect their work performance. Make a list of all the things you dislike about the person, and then try to decide whether each thing is affecting the productivity of the office, or whether it's simply a personality conflict. Try to think of each thing objectively, choosing a time to think about it when you're not upset about the happenings of the day.

    Step 3

    Find a time to talk with the person or people individually, and then ask them to change one thing about their work performance. You don't want to bombard your co-workers with a lot of issues all at once, so work on the thing that is most disruptive to your work first. Tell the person how their action is affecting your work, maintaining a positive attitude and not placing guilt or blame. Avoid talking with the person when you are very upset; instead, take time to think about your words and prepare what you'll say in a calm, positive manner.

    Step 4

    Talk with your manager or Human Resources department about making changes to your office setup. If you simply can't "live and let live," you may be able to cut down on the daily annoyance by moving to another part of the office or taking on different duties that will place you away from the source of your annoyance.

    About the Author

    Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997. She's covered parenting, careers, gardening, fitness and travel for "USA Today Travel Tips," "OregonLive," "China Daily" and "Black Hills Woman." Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.

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