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Champion Leadership Blog

One Strategy to Overcome Co-Worker Personality Conflicts in a Small Business Workplace

Do you notice that many, if not most, conflicts in the workplace tend to be between people whose personalities don’t seem to be a match.

This often isn’t, or at least shouldn’t be, the case.

It only becomes a clash of personalities because there was some initial performance or behavior that was not addressed promptly, directly, and respectfully enough.

When these performance and behavior issues are left unaddressed co-workers often take matters into their own hands. Typically, they do it in a dis-empowering manner.

You’ve probably seen it.

A co-worker tries to address the problem by pointing fingers, blaming the other person, and worst of all, questioning the other person’s “intent.”

No wonder this person ends up with a bad attitude and difficult personality. I would too, if people were questioning my intent.

Often, people’s intent is good, but their ability or their approach isn’t at the level it needs to be.

One of the best ways to resolve “personality” differences that stem from co-workers just getting in each other’s way while doing their respective jobs is to separate the individual’s personality and intent, from the actual performance of the job or task.

Focus on whether the individual performed the job and achieved the desired results expected of them.

Take personality and intent out of it.

Assume positive intent. Assume they wanted to do a good job and just missed the mark.

It’s much easier to have a conversation around someone’s performance than someone’s personality.

Never question someone’s intent because then you are making assumptions and trying to be a mind-reader and come across as only looking to serve your own purposes.

What do you think? Leave a comment below to continue the discussion.

‘til next time, remember, Communicate With Power!

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There are 2 comments. Add yours.

  1. Clara Dodd

    Always “Assume positive intent. Assume they wanted to do a good job and just missed the mark.” The “Warby Parker Way”

  2. Hein

    Just had a personality clash- new manager and well respected experienced colleage.
    New manager did not want to give in on small issues- colleague resigned.

    Higher management not able/ willing to take steps to hold the colleague also he offered two options to stay.
    Sad to see the colleague leaving…

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