Understand Personality Differences to Help Avoid Conflict

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You likely have a variety of different personality types on your team. Some of your team members may be outgoing and bubbly, while others would rather keep to themselves and focus on completing their tasks. They all have different ways of approaching their roles and, unfortunately, that can lead to conflict.

Stephanie may think Karen is rude because she doesn’t say hi every morning, but Karen is just shy. Tony may think Erica is lazy because she’s always finishing her tasks at the very last second, when it’s simply just the way she prefers to work. Little differences like this can lead to annoyances that eventually develop into staff conflict.

That’s why it’s so important for your team members to understand how to work together, and to realize everyone has their own personality and their own way of approaching their jobs. No one way is right or wrong. Your team members have to learn how to communicate and work together, no matter how different their styles may be.

Think about having everyone on your team complete a personality temperament test (I recommend David Keirsey’s Temperament Type Test) and then take the time to learn about the different personality types. You can do that through my book, “Personality Types: How They Affect Your Practice Success.” It goes into great detail about personality types, and even tells you which ones excel in which positions.

Using this analysis tool will help you all understand each other better and will drastically improve communication in your practice, which in turn will help you reduce staff conflict. This test also will tell you if an employee just isn’t the right person for a particular job. A shy, timid person who hates asking people for money probably shouldn’t be the one in charge of collections. And if this type of person is in charge of collections, chances are the rest of the team notices when patient after patient leaves without paying, causing frustration and eventually leading to team conflict.

Ideally, you need to have the right people in the right roles from the beginning. Temperament testing will help you ensure that happens, as well as help your staff members understand how to communicate with each other and work together as a team. These are both huge benefits of temperament testing, benefits that will help keep staff conflict at bay.

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