Dear Geese: “I have an annoying coworker!”
One of my coworkers recently attended a Myers-Briggs workshop and has been extremely annoying ever since. Now she judges everyone, puts people in categories and uses a lot of 4-letter words. Get it, 4-letter words! But I digress. Can you come over here and make her stop! I don’t care about personality differences as long as people do their job!
-Poker Face Pete
Poker Face Pete,
Thanks for your question. I’d love to weigh in on this one with the annoying coworker.
First, I have to respectively disagree with your premise that personality differences don’t matter. They do. Not only that, they also influence productivity. Allow me to explain.
There are 2 key components to effective working relationships. There’s the WHAT (the actual work people do) and there’s the HOW (the collaboration of the work with others). Truth be told, the collaboration and the working relationships have a direct impact on the work results and influence morale, stress, communication, conflict, and motivation, and that’s just for starters. Companies that neglect the HOW will always pay the price on the WHAT.
Bottom line: Those silly team building exercises and personality assessments actually do play a significant role in the workplace. They enhance compassion and understanding of differences (not limited to personalities) and break down barriers between work groups and team members.
However, because these “soft skills” (and that’s essentially what they are) produce more intangible versus tangible results, you won’t necessarily be able to measure the value initially…but trust me, it will be there!
The key to all of this, however, is to proactively work on the HOW (i.e., team building, personal & professional development…including personality profiles, etc.) instead of waiting for a problem to occur that impacts the WHAT. This way you and your teammates can stay one step ahead of any potential problem that could hamper your team’s productivity.
And Poker Face Pete, try to take an active interest with your peers when they attend these personality style classes in the future. After all, not only will everybody benefit in one-way or another, but you might learn something as well.
P.S. And for the record, I prefer using a different personality styles tool that is simpler, more practical, and has incredible retention. But I’ll save that for a future blog.
Greg “Geese” Giesen
The Laughing Leader
To submit a question you’d like Geese to answer, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.