Throughout life, there will always be moments when we’re forced to deal with people who we don’t like.
In our personal lives, it’s easy enough to avoid those people and any conflicts that may amount as a result.
In the professional world, employees with clashing personalities will still need to work together – no matter how much they dislike each other.
To some extent, business leaders can reduce the risk of personality clashes by thinking about the unique characters of each person they recruit into their team.
However, it’s impossible to prevent every single conflict in the workforce.
This means that managers and employers need to act fast if they want to avoid issues like reduced productivity, lower engagement, and stress in the workplace.
So, how can you deal with clashing personalities in your workplace?
#1 Get to the Root of the Problem
First, it’s important to ensure that you’re not making any assumptions about the nature of the conflict.
As a manager, it’s your job to understand what’s fueling any disagreements between your employees. For instance, you’ll need to be sure that you’re not dealing with an issue of discrimination or harassment in the workplace.
After ruling out any issues with DOLE (in the Philippines), you can think about the underlying circumstances that are causing the conflict. The people in your team might have clashing work styles, or they may be dealing with a very stressful environment caused by tight deadlines.
Perhaps the management style you’re using just isn’t working with your current team members. Understanding what’s going on will help you track down the right solution.
#2 Encourage Employees to Solve the Issue
As a leader in your business’ landscape, you need to be a motivator.
You need to encourage your employees to accomplish their own goals and follow their desired career path. This means that instead of just telling people what to do, you work on moving them in the right direction.
In the same way, when conflicts occur, it’s important to encourage your team members to find a solution for themselves.
While you can suggest ideas on how to bring the conflict to a close, like compromising on working styles, only your team members will know what will work best for them.
Be a guiding force in the problem resolution, but make sure that your team members are confident to pursue their own solutions.
Remember, you will need to use your best judgment to determine whether you need to play a more prominent role in addressing the conflict.
If a situation is emotionally charged, then it may require more of your input as a mediator. If your team members are just frustrated, but still able to communicate, then they’ll be more likely to overcome things on their own.
#3 Teach Problem Solving Skills
As a business leader or manager, it’s important to ensure that you’re always driving your team members to be their best.
One of the best ways to encourage growth and positive transformation in your staff members is to provide them with learning opportunities.
Remember, while hard skills are important in a workforce, it’s also crucial that your team members have soft skills, too, like the ability to communicate effectively with a wide variety of people.
Invest in group bonding activities that encourage more compassion and empathy between members of your staff.
You can also look into learning opportunities where experts can come and teach your team members about conflict resolution strategies.
Sometimes, even teaching your team members how to rectify the source of their problems can make a huge difference.
Try to identify sources of stress that your employees could tackle on their own. Encourage autonomy among your team and show that their initiative in solving problems is appreciated.
Don’t neglect the issues that revolve around the tools and tech that your team is using daily.
It’s a known fact that malfunctioning tech adds to stress and friction at the workplace. If there are minor maintenance problems that your team members can solve on their own in less time than creating a ticket for IT support, encourage them to do so.
This can help boost their confidence and reduce the pressure of missing deadlines or quotas.
Constant connection and availability via phone, email, Skype, or Slack messages also contribute to the so-called technostress.
If phones are ringing, messages keep coming in, and your workers feel like they’re on-call 24/7, it can drastically increase dissatisfaction at the workplace.
Try to establish clear guidelines for communication channels both in the office as well as outside working hours. Even better – see if your employees can establish those guidelines themselves in accordance with their working styles and needs.
#4 Record and Learn
Although writing down the details of every conflict or issue that happens in your workplace might be a frustrating and time-consuming process, it can also be beneficial in the long term.
Recording the events as they occur can help you monitor behavior over time and notice any trends that might be negatively impacting the office.
By documenting and handling incidents properly, you can also protect your business if a disgruntled employee attempts to take you to court over any issues that happen in the workplace.
Make a note of conflicts when they arise and ask your team members to sign off on them, so they confirm that they agree with your version of what happened.
The more information you have, the easier it will be to make a lasting change.
#5 Lead by Example
Remember that when it comes to conflict resolution, just like many other things in the workforce, your team members will be looking to you for guidance.
Focus on building a culture where people actively listen to other people and take their feelings into account.
Encouraging emotional intelligence in your workplace, where your staff members strive to understand how other people feel, and how their behavior affects others, can significantly reduce conflict.
To show your team members how valuable this culture of listening and understanding is, make sure you demonstrate both of those skills when your employees come to you. Make time to hear both sides of the story, and don’t jump to conclusions.
Overcoming Personality Conflicts
A diverse workforce is often a successful one, full of opportunities for creativity and growth. However, the more diverse your employee pool is, the more likely it is that you’ll encounter one or two personality conflicts.
These conflicts can be detrimental to your business, causing a loss of productivity and engagement. It’s crucial for you to learn how to deal with them effectively.
When conflicts happen, don’t let them destroy your workforce, address them, resolve them, and learn from them.