What can you do when strong personalities affect the performance of your team?
Like many of us, I have been enjoying watching The Apprentice and seeing how different personalities affect the way a group works. Strong personality traits can be problematic in the work place as we have seen.
People with these traits can be very effective when working in isolation as they are often have focus and are more driven to achieve new heights however when working in a team these traits can overwhelm others and cause them to be pushed into the background and for their useful qualities to be overlooked, therefore the team can’t benefit from these qualities. In extreme circumstances these personality traits can dominate and bully others, arguments can be caused between the team member which is a disaster when a team is trying to function well.
What can you do when strong personalities affect the performance of your team? Our lead occupational psychologist Kris Bush says:
- Look to Yourself. Be self-aware – make sure that you are not the strong personality who is adversely affecting the performance of the team.
- Be Objective. Sit back and try to be unbiased. Ask yourself the question what is actually going on here? Look for evidence around you. Look for opinions other than your own to workout what is going on.
- Focus on Behaviour. Behaviour, not personality is what matters – behaviour not personality is what we can gather objective evidence on. Behaviour depends on circumstances and situation, as well as, intrinsic personality.
- Know the Rules. Make sure you understand any processes or rules in your organisation as they relate to managing people and their adverse behaviours. Get advice from professionals in the organisation such as Human Resources
- Have the Difficult Conversations. Focus on the behaviours, and have the evidence available. Raise awareness about the behaviours and the impact they are having on the team. Be clear on the actions and changes you agree to rectify the problems. And follow up – make sure the changes are made and the situation improves.