Resolving Employee Conflict with Personality Type25 July 2011 / By Truity Clinically Reviewed by Steven Melendy, PsyD. on July 25, 2011
Since personality typing is useful for self-knowledge, it follows that knowledge gained through taking the TypeFinder would assist with conflict resolution between employees. People who become more cognizant of their own personality traits and preferences can more easily view the traits and preferences of other people with increased understanding. Mutual understanding – that is, employees developing empathy for one another – is key to harmony in the workplace.
Knowledge Becomes Empowerment
When people cultivate a deeper understanding for one another, knowledge becomes empowerment. In the workplace, this empowerment translates into employees showing one another greater degrees of appreciation and mutual respect. People who respect one another find it easier not only to work together but to function as members of the same team. When respect is encouraged in the workplace, it works as a kind of autonomic conflict resolution – mutual respect tends to dissolve small conflicts before they can grow into big problems.
Better Understand Yourself and Others
Personality typing is an excellent tool to better understand yourself and others. In the workplace, people who have a deeper understanding of themselves and others are better able to see the unique strengths that everybody brings to the table. Furthermore, they see that a workplace can't function without a diversity of personal styles and preferences. Everybody is needed: analytical thinkers, creative thinkers, people who hone in on details and people who stand back to see the big picture. When different types of people truly comprehend that their differences need not lead to conflict but can function in a complementary way, the result is greater flexibility and tolerance.
Differences in Perception
Differences between people who vary in their personality types lead to differences in perception, not only of conflicts themselves but also how to resolve those conflicts. For example, what stresses out an INTJ might feel natural and acceptable to an ENFP, and vice versa. Part of the usefulness of personality typing for conflict resolution lies in its ability to help people understand why conflicts arise in the first place. And when people learn why conflicts arise, they become more willing to listen to other people's points of view. Listening helps facilitate conflict resolution as does accepting that people's perceptions of effective decision-making and communication will inevitably vary.
Learning to Adapt
An important part of resolving interpersonal conflict is learning to adapt. Sometimes, compromise is necessary. Other times, people must agree to disagree. At all times, no matter what the situation, mutual respect is the key. By encouraging mutual respect for differences in the workplace – and appreciation of how those differences can help an office function more efficiently – employees will increasingly adapt to one another's unique styles. Instead of causing conflict, differing communication and decision-making styles can encourage employees to ask one another for advice and for other perspectives, a mutually beneficial practice that helps people work together and enhances a workplace's functionality through diversity of its employees.
Conflict in the workplace tends to arise as a result of differences in people's personalities and approaches in how they prefer to solve problems and accomplish goals. The biggest step in conflict resolution between employees is to facilitate mutual understanding, thereby improving communication and overcoming obstacles. When people learn to become tolerant of one another's differences, they grow to understand that it's precisely the diversity of their styles that strengthens the whole team.