Do personality conflicts limit your business?

Marcus Straub
Marcus Straub

Personality conflicts between team members are often the primary reason for a lack of collaboration within any given business or organization. These conflicts have a direct effect on business operations and almost always contribute to a decline in efficiency, productivity, retention, business growth and bottom-line profits. The degree to which your team doesn’t work together is, perhaps, one of the greatest obstacles to business success.

The smooth and effective flow of information is critical when working to meet the needs of clients, foreseeing challenges and overcoming obstacles. It’s also essential to the efficient production and delivery of quality goods and services. When communication is limited, or even impossible, due to personality conflicts, the business weakens from within and its effects are far-reaching.

It’s critically important for business owners and managers to remain aware of potential negative behaviors that are a result of personality conflicts and to nip them in the bud to keep communication and collaboration at consistently high levels.

Are any of these damaging behaviors hurting your business?

Verbal sabotage: Gossip and snide or edgy comments are common between individuals who don’t like each other. This type of negativity never leads to positive outcomes and can permanently damage the work environment. It has no place in a powerful business model.

Avoidance: Some people turn to avoidance to cope with personality conflicts. While this might offer a more quiet and discreet way of dealing with the situation, it’s not effective in fostering the high levels of collaboration necessary in fully functional businesses.

Resistance: When in resistance, individuals openly or overtly resist the suggestions, desires, directions and demands of the person with which they’re in conflict. They could even demonstrate intentional spiteful actions intended to get back at or push the other person’s buttons.

Arguing: This behavior is the antithesis of effective communication and doesn’t contribute to positive environments in which team members perform at peak levels. Arguments and aggressive disagreements disrupt operations, send negativity rippling throughout the business and distract team members from the work at hand.

If you recognize some or all of these behaviors in your team members, it’s important to realize the tremendous drag they’re having on the resources, operations and profitability of your company. Even top talent and customers can be lost as a result. Given the overwhelming downside personality struggles bring to a business, it’s imperative to discover, address and overcome them as quickly as possible.

Many of these personality conflicts arise out of the unconscious habits of team members. Sometimes these habits can easily be corrected by simply drawing attention to the damaging negative behaviors in which team members engage and making it clear their behaviors aren’t acceptable in the workplace.

Effective coaching or training can be successful in helping people become fully aware of the situation at hand and their role in it. By working with a qualified professional, you can help team members change their attitudes and corresponding behaviors to create a solution-oriented and positive work environment.

Another option for lowering the occurrence of personality conflicts is to proactively hire for both attitude and skills. A positive, supportive and collaborative attitude is a boon to any business. Through the use of highly accurate assessments that measure both the attitude and skills of the team member you bring into your business, personality conflicts can be diminished from the outset.

Occasionally, some team members insist on keeping conflict alive and refuse to resolve their differences. In these instances, the wisest choice is to let them go. Anytime you reduce negativity in the workplace, you improve the satisfaction level of the team and, in turn, customer service and profitability.

Teams operate at their highest levels when each individual member works together toward shared goals. Much like the different components of a clock work in unison to keep the correct time, it takes a well-designed team to deliver the best possible experience to your customer base.

It’s true that each of us is different, and we won’t always agree. However, when strategic investments are made in helping team members understand themselves and each other better, acceptance of differences becomes easier and collaboration becomes the norm.