Working with Personalities, by Omagbitse Barrow

Working with Personalities, by Omagbitse Barrow

When working with people, you will no doubt find that sometimes you get along well with certain people, and not so well with others. Social psychologists believe that in most cases, it’s not about the people being “good” or “bad”, rather it is about how well you are able to cope with their personality – their preferences for communication and engagement that disposes them to react and respond in certain ways when interacting with you.

Emotionally intelligent people understand the importance of personalities, and apply the following to working with people based on their understanding of personalities:

  • There are different personality typologies or categorizations each with different classifications of personalities.
  • You can take a personality assessment to determine your dominant personality, and increase your level of self-awareness
  • It is advisable to share the report on your personality assessment with team members or others that you work with so that they too can get some insights into your style and preferences.
  • Your dominant personality is not static, as people learn more about themselves and are more in-tuned to the needs of others, they may start to make certain adjustments to their behaviours that may in some way change their dominant personality over time.
  • We may show some traits and behaviours associated with the other personality types – this is normal.
  • Your dominant personality disposes you to certain behaviours – some good, and others not so good, depending on who you are relating with. You should never use your personality type as an excuse for continued inappropriate behaviour.
  • You should also not try to force others to adopt your personality and behaviours. You should seek to understand others and help others to understand you. This can be achieved by sharing information from your personality assessments and having open conversations regarding your preferences and style.
  • Your goal should not be to change your personality because of others, rather it should be to adjust certain behaviours when dealing with others so that you can build a better relationship with them and get the results that you want from them.

Understanding your personality and preferences is the critical first step in emotional intelligence. Once you are clear about your personality, you can manage yourself, and then seek to understand the personalities of others and then manage your relationships with them. By applying these steps to working with personalities, you will achieve better results as a leader.

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