Varying personalities bring different ways of thinking and different ways of doing things to an organization. It can create a well-rounded team and it provides potential for great collaboration and innovation. But, if the varying personalities are not harnessed and if teams are not given the right tools and resources to be successful, there is a huge opportunity for disagreements and significant challenges in working together. Next time you or your team is struggling, try these four ways to make order of the varying personalities you encounter every day.

  1. Build relationships

Relationships are based on trust. Trust is based on transparency. If we can’t be honest and open teammates and coworkers, we cannot build lasting, trusting relationships. Be intentional about building relationships. At your next meeting, put your phone down. Ask the person next to you how their day is going. Ask them about that big deadline or their family. Be interested in their responses and remember what they tell you. Next time you see them and ask about that project or their family, they will be impressed that you remembered. That is how relationships start.

  1. Communicate clearly

We have all experienced situations that went badly because there was a miscommunication. But did you stop to ask why there was a miscommunication? Or did you just place the blame on the other person or persons? It takes two for there to be a miscommunication. To reduce the chances of a miscommunication, restate action items and who is responsible. Share meeting or conversation notes via email. Document processes. Ask questions if there is ANY uncertainty. Request specific systems if needed to manage your communications. And above all else, communicate, communicate and communicate more.

  1. Know what makes them tick

Everyone has different goals and ways they prefer to work. Know the goals of your teammates and coworkers and how they like to work. Does your coworker prefer face-to-face meetings? On a heads down kind of day, maybe they grab a conference room for peace and quiet. Do they have any pet peeves? Don’t be afraid to ask your coworkers these questions! Knowing these things, allows you to better partner together to complete your projects more successfully with fewer hiccups.

  1. Stay positive

Above all else, stay positive. No one likes a “Debbie Downer”. Positivity is contagious and people want to be around those who are positive. There is a silver lining in everything. Or, there is a glass half full in every situation. See the good in everyone and every situation.  Use that positivity to influence the situation and work through the challenges.

When you learn how to work with varying personalities, you will see an elevated level of success in all that do both in the office and even personally. It is a skill that takes time to master and yet it is a part of our everyday lives. So don’t waste a minute. Get started today!