Maybe you are fed up with your colleague—he’s so rude! Or maybe you’re tired of dealing with Mr. or Ms. Sensitive. Either way, my bet is that you’re frustrated and wondering not just what’s wrong with your colleague, but what to do about it.
Don’t Worry, A Personality Transplant Isn’t Necessary!
You dread dealing with a colleague who is so very different from you. The truth is that, with a little understanding, you can greatly improve your collaboration and communication. Aren’t you relieved that neither of you need a personality transplant in order to work together more effectively and with less stress?
Five Simple Steps To Working With Different Personality Types
If you want to be more effective and less stressed, follow these five simple steps:
- Pause: Before rolling your eyes or reacting in some other clearly annoyed or annoying fashion, pause so that you don’t embarrass yourself or alienate your colleague. This will help you be present so that whatever you do next is a choice rather than a regrettable reaction.
- Understand: Ask yourself, why is your colleague behaving this way? It’s likely because the behavior is consequence of her or her hard wiring, stress reaction, or unmet need.
- Don’t Take It Personally: See #2 above, none of this is about you. Remember that!
- Stay Focused on the Problem, Not the Personality: You and your colleague are in the same boat for a while. And guess what… you don’t have to be “besties” to work effectively together. The fact that you are different is an advantage; you just have to get past any friction you experience in working together (see #3!!). Stay focused on what matters: the problem you need to resolve.
- Communicate Deliberately: Here’s where you have your big-person pants on and everyone will know it. You haven’t rolled your eyes or been snarky, and you’re not taking “it” personally so, instead of reacting out of frustration or anger, you are able to choose how you respond. This means using neutral language so that you don’t trigger defensiveness; making requests using the phrase “would you be willing to?”; and ensuring that you articulate your own and understand your colleague’s needs.
If you found this post useful, please share with your colleagues and friends and let us know what you’ve done to collaborate more effectively with colleagues! For more information about Type, please download the excerpt from my Personality Type workbook.
And, if you’d like help in understanding what’s wrong with your colleague, let’s talk! You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-449-9751.