Working With Different Personalities

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You may work with a number of individuals that have different personalities. Understanding personality types can help you identify your preferences and the preferences of other people. Personality types are useful for recognizing how we lead, influence, communicate, collaborate, and manage stress. Understanding personality types can help you develop your leadership style, successfully resolve conflicts, communicate more effectively, understand how others make decisions, and coach others.

What’s Your Personality Type?

Understanding Personalities in Group Settings

  1. Emphasize a common goal
    • Throughout your term, you will work in a variety of groups, whether it be a District committee or your clubs’ officers. People on a team should work towards a collective, shared goal. However, when disagreements occur, that can be hard to remember. Different people may have different ways of completing the same task, which can be frustrating if their group members fail to recognize their methods as effective and useful.
    • By emphasizing a common goal, you can remind group members that they’re ultimately on the same team. Keep the larger picture in mind by reviewing the goals you set for the year, including committee directives. Then, if and when conflict occurs, it will be easier for everyone to step back and realize they’re all working towards the same outcome.
  2. Respect and celebrate expertise
    • It is important to remind those in a group setting that one individual should not do everything. Even on the same project or committee, people have areas of expertise, specialties, and unique interests that make them well-suited to do certain aspects of the project. When people feel valuable to a group effort, they’ll likely do better work.
  3. Understand their motivations
    • Knowing the difference between behavior styles is the best way to foster productive group work in the long run. While there are different methods of understanding personalities, the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (pictured above) is one method of how you may understand how both yourself and others function concerning your personalities. This questionnaire indicates differing psychological preferences in how people perceive the world around them and make decisions, giving group members a shared language to discuss their needs in a working environment and making collaboration easier.
  4. Be available to mediate
    • Sometimes an outside voice is the best way to engage in productive conflict when a disagreement escalates. Understanding which adults may be available to assist you, including your Area Administrator or another advisor, is a valuable way to remove some anxiety from the process.
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