We come in all shapes, sizes and personalities, so I think it’s important to understand how to work in harmony with your team members. First of all, it helps to know your own traits, work ethic and how you like to communicate. In my case, I’m a touchy, feely person. I respond best when someone says, “Hi Kim, can you do such and such?…” And, also I don’t like direct “in your face” communicating.
What types of personalities do I like working with?
I’ve worked with and still work with many different personality types and it’s really interesting to me how we all process information and communicate it back. These are types that are compatible with my own:
- Creative and innovative. I love working with other people who have creative ideas, especially in my field where I need to come up with web and tech solutions on my day job.
- Hard working. If you know me well, then you know I’m apt to stay up late finishing a deadline. So, working with someone who gets their hands dirty and works hard too is a plus for me.
- Easy going. As I mentioned, I’m a touchy feely person so I like when someone is personable and easy to joke and laugh with.
- Have passion for the project. If I work together with someone who believes as much in what we’re doing, it makes for a really good collaboration. And the final product or service will be that much better when everyone is excited and committed to make the end result successful.
- Communicative. I thrive on communication. Sometimes, there are tasks that each team member is responsible for. It’s helpful to get updates on where everyone is in the project, this keeps everything moving forward when everyone stays on the same plane, especially when there’s a deadline. I like to give weekly updates, discuss new ideas or to address any concerns. It’s really important for me to work with people who communicate often. Without it, it’s frustrating for the entire team.
What if I’m working with someone who doesn’t mesh well with my personality?
Great question. Throughout my career, I’ve worked with many types of people. While most were easy to get along with, some were not. What I found that helped me the most was first to discover what their characteristics were. Are they a direct, no-nonsense, get to the point kind of a person? If you’re dealing with someone that likes to get right down to business, then give them only the facts and then offer a few suggestions for them to consider. If you’re writing an idea, sales proposal or business presentation, bullet points are really good for them, because they can immediately see what they need to know.
Is the person a talker? Sometimes, you meet a person who loves to talk a long time, but you don’t always have time to listen. In this case, I take a few minutes to engage them, because I never want them to feel ignored. If the conversation is going too long, I will politely wait for an opening and then say something like, “well, I have to go because, I still have some things to do before the end of the day. It was nice talking with you.” Mosttimes, the person won’t feel offended if they don’t feel rushed.
Negativity. I’ve worked with people who weren’t nice at all. In that instance, I just try to be as kind as I can. It matters to me how I would like to be treated so I try hard to not mistreat another person. What I do is keep my conversations short with a person who’s hard to work with and again I give them only the information they ask without adding anything unless I’m asked. In this case, less is better. But, I do it kindly. Maybe they will see themselves and how they act and try to change it or maybe not. In any case, it’s my behavior and my conduct I’m more concerned with than theirs.
And sometimes you just have to PRAY HARD for anyone you have to work with especially if you’re in contact with them regularly. There are some personalities that are completely incompatible with yours and God has you around them for a purpose. It might be to pray for them or maybe some of your traits need to rub off on them so they become easier to get along with. Keep these verses in mind:
Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. – Romans 12:18 (NLT)
Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. – 1 Peter 3:8-10 (NIV)
These are just my tips, I can’t guarantee you’ll have success trying these, but I can say that knowing yours and others’ personalities does help in how you relate to them. And, if you don’t take their actions and reactions as personal attacks, you’ll be less frustrated as well.
The successful flow of any project, work assignment, volunteer or ministry depends heavily on everyone’s ability to get along and work well together.