Personality differences in the workplace are a common source of conflict. People with very different personalities can, for a lack of better words, drive each other crazy. The funny thing is, this can happen even among people with very similar personalities. However, there is a lot of value to having “personality diversity” on a team. The best teams are composed of a variety of personality characteristics that work synergistically to enhance the team’s effectiveness. To reap the benefits of having a diverse team, you must learn to appreciate the value of the differences. Here are our top 5 benefits to having diverse personalities on a team:
- Strengths-based work: Each person can work around his or her strengths. Each personality brings different value to a team. If multiple personality styles are present, everyone can focus on the aspects of the work that is the best fit for his or her personality.
- Improved problem solving: Diverse perspectives are extremely valuable for problem solving and creating the best solutions. Each person has his or her point of view. When multiple personality types are represented, more solutions are possible that can ultimately lead to a better answer or approach to a problem.
- Better customer service: At first meeting, people connect with others who are most like themselves. Having a variety of personalities on your team affords you the opportunity to match clients and customers to team members with whom they will most likely connect.
- Opportunities to learn: Understanding and appreciating different personality styles takes time, energy, and effort. When you practice collaborating with diverse personalities within your own team–with people you know and trust–you learn skills you can apply quickly when you meet new people. This, in turn, can also foster better client relationships, networking, and marketing efforts.
- Balance: Diverse personalities keep projects in balance: one person provides the context, another provides the details; one pushes things forward, another slows things down to ensure all boxes are checked; one focuses on tasks, another focuses on people. You need this mix in your team to create opportunities and still complete the day-to-day work.
Rather than focusing on the negative aspects of each personality type, a healthy and productive team uses the strengths of each to create a collaborative environment that values each person’s contributions and moves the work of the whole team forward.