Team dynamics: Working together through personality differences
By Marette Hahn
GCU Career IMPACT Center
We’ve all had them: coworkers, friends, family members and others who are drastically different than us and sometimes difficult for us to handle.
But what was it our wise mentors always used to say? “It takes all kinds to make the world go ’round.” In many ways, this old adage is true, and by understanding more about yourself and those around you, you really can make it easier to get along in the workplace (and produce results).
Could you imagine how ineffective a team would be if everyone on it thought the exact same way and had the exact same strengths? Nothing would get done! Therefore, it’s time to embrace those with whom you work, even if your personalities are vastly different and sometimes difficult to reconcile.
Invest in an opportunity to get to know yourself better. (Ask a trusted colleague or mentor, take a personality assessment, research personalities, work with a life/career coach, etc.). Then, consider what someone opposite of you might be like and what kinds of strengths they can bring to a team.
For example, you might be a fantastic visionary – a great idea person! But then there’s someone else on your team who has a difficult time seeing the vision and gets hung up on the details. Perhaps this is where the struggle festers. In this type of situation, take the time to step back and consider how this person can contribute to the team in a way you might not be able to – for example, taking the vision and breaking it down into actionable steps (the details).
Each person is unique and has great skills, insights and abilities to bring to a team environment. It sometimes might be difficult to communicate with certain people on your team, but that’s where getting to know yourself better and then considering how other people might function can really help you come together for a common cause and aid in your own personal development. As our Career IMPACT Center executive director, Jacqueline Smith, likes to say: “No one’s as smart as all of us!”
Remember, the GCU Career IMPACT Center is here for you! Stop by our office in Saguaro Hall or call (602) 639-6606 to connect. Or you can visit www.gcu.edu/careerservices to utilize any of our online tools to identify your career path, build your resume, research career options or apply to current job postings!