20 Jan 2020

Three Tips for Managing Personality Challenges

Don’t let challenging personalities negatively impact your company’s culture.

People are all wired differently and, in many cases, that wiring makes people good at their particular jobs. So what do you do when the challenges of one of your employees starts to create rifts in the team? And how do you help those people – who are sometimes top performers – be successful without negatively impacting the other people who work for you? Here are three tips to get you started:

Stop, Look and Listen

As a business owner or a manager, it’s easy to feel like you know your team or to know you have the answers, but whether you’re caught up in the day-to-day operations of your company (time to call a Growth Coach!) or you’re out of the office helping your company grow, the world you live in as a company leader is often not the world your employees know. When your gut – or your team members – tells you something is wrong, it’s time to stop, look and listen. Is the issue with a person or something else, like an operational policy or a schedule? If the issue is a person, take the time to look at everyone involved in the issue, listen to the challenges they are facing and work to create a solution that works for all of their different personality types. Once a potential solution is in place, be sure to check back in intermittently to make sure things are still running smoothly, especially if it’s a personnel issue. Remember that your team is the face of your business!

Find the Hidden Need

Often the people who are the most challenging have needs that aren’t being met – it’s as true for kids in school as it is for members of your team. Is that difficult person not feeling challenged, or appreciated, or like they are doing their best work? Are they just not meshing with the team or are they struggling with the work? In other cases, it might be simpler – could a different piece of equipment or software help them to be successful in their individual job? Knowing you have a great employee who just needs something a little different, and then taking action to fix the issue, can help you retain talent and improve your company culture.

Don’t Feed the Beast

It’s easy for leaders to praise their top performers or to notice the people who boast about their accomplishments, but it’s important to make sure that their success isn’t built on the backs of an unappreciated team or that they aren’t the only ones being recognized. Those top performers, often because of their performance-drive personalities, can be the most challenging to work with and constant praise can make your team bitter. As a leader, it’s important for you – or at least your managers – to have a finger on the pulse of your team overall so you can give credit where credit is due and help those with difficult personalities be successful without having a negative impact on your company’s morale.

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