Working with Personality Preferences
In this Issue:
Personality, Preferences, and Actions
Imagine the Scenario
Our personality affects our behavior. Personality comes from characteristics inside of us; it is relatively stable over time and is essentially unique to the individual. Our personality preferences affect how we communicate with others, how we display leadership, the way we resolve conflict, respond to change, handle stress, and work in teams. How do your personality preferences influence the way you approach and manage work, such as a project?
People have different preferences for how they take in information, how they organize their lifestyle, make decisions, and become energized. There is not a correct way or a wrong way to go about these things. After all, we are not talking about an end result; what we are talking about are people's naturally preferred styles for functioning. The purpose here, is to increase our understanding and tolerance of others, so that we can work more collaboratively with them.
I propose an understanding all together different. By incorporating into your repertoire an awareness of your own personality preferences and the personality preferences of those around you, you are armed to have a completely different experience in a scenario like this. For the specific example above, you would know that you prefer communicating in a linear fashion and that your co-worker makes connections in an abstract fashion. Neither is right or wrong, they are just different!
So, with this new information, how might you handle things differently? Instead of feeling frustrated and thinking negatively (which can occur if we believe there is a right or a wrong) you can genuinely express your confusion and difficulty to your co-worker in an accepting and compassionate fashion, without blame. The point to this scenario is that with knowledge of personality preferences, a greater awareness of ourselves and others, the understanding and tolerance that follows leads to higher productivity and less conflict in groups.
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