We all have different personalities. Gilligan Sheppard have recently run a Belbin Team Role survey with our leadership team. My results indicated that I can be caring, territorial, helpful, encouraging of others, outgoing, enterprising, over-sensitive, and the list goes on. Others in our team have a different makeup of words. These individual traits are what makes us different from our team members. We all have strengths and weaknesses and sometimes we just need to accept them as simply being a reflection of who we are as human beings.
The strengths should be enhanced and used where possible to make work/life as good as it can be. Weaknesses are a different animal altogether and these may need to be worked on at times – although never to the extent that we lose focus on continuing to do what we do well. There are some weaknesses that are acceptable and may even complement our strengths, while others may exhibit behaviours that clearly break the acceptable boundary.
Everything we do should be to the best of our abilities to help enhance and grow our work place. We can’t allow an unacceptable weakness to take control of our behaviours, to the extent where they may destroy, hurt, manipulate or be condescending to others in our workplace. We need to discover what our weaknesses are – take part in some healthy self-reflection! This can be a very confronting exercise, particularly when relying on one’s peers to identify your perceived shortcomings. It is certainly easy to take offence and to become defensive (which I know is one of my unacceptable behaviours).
However, once you have completed your navel gazing and accepted what your weaknesses may be, the next step is to develop behavioural improvement strategies, particularly with respect to those identified unacceptable behavioural traits you may have been exhibiting to those around you. Either try to remove yourself from the situations that bring out the worst in you, or appreciate that sometimes you just need to take a deep breath and think before responding. Give yourself the space and time to think and reflect instead of immediately reacting.
Remember that you are only human, so if you do react on impulse with subsequent regret, simply learn from that experience, and if you can, make it right!
Different personalities are great for making effective and efficient teams. When trying to work on a project or push something forward, try to choose others that will do different tasks, have different strengths and different ways of working. Be mindful of the weaknesses and understand how to deal with them. Like I said above, it’s okay to be challenging, but this needs to be approached by keeping in mind other people’s personalities, respecting boundaries, and all for the common good of the workplace. These behaviours can stop progress and affect the whole team.
I know all the above is easier said than done, because it is difficult to adapt and be aware of behaviour and it is sometimes hard to change and grow. Some tips that may help that I use, are to think of your team in this regard…
- Am I affecting the other team members and the overall cohesion of the group?
- Am I the right fit for our workplace and culture?
At Gilligan Sheppard we try to recruit based on the biggest factor being a fit for culture. Sometimes the thought of not being the right fit is scarier than accepting that somewhere else might be a better option. That old adage, the devil you know is often better than the one you don’t!
If you are not adding enough to your workplace, it’s time for a discussion, see what resources are available to help change, and if that doesn’t work, reflect again, and sometimes for the betterment of all involved start to explore new opportunities outside of the workplace you are currently in.
I would like to think that with all our different personalities, strengths and weaknesses we are all working toward creating greater workplaces, greater work/life balance and all continuing to grow into better people. That’s one of my big life goals!