Have you ever had two employees who are constantly frustrated by one another?
The normal approach to resolve employees conflicting is to 'knock their heads together' and tell them to get on with it.
But have you considered a more probing approach? Have you considered tapping into the psychology of the two employees styles?
Luckily, you don't have to be a Chartered Psychologist to tap into your teams psyche and solve this common company culture issue.
How can you diagnose an employees' style?
There is a tool called the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI is easier to say!) that is designed to help identify an employees style.
This easy to use tool provides a description of how people not only operate in the working world but in every aspect of their lives.
The MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) is a personality test made up of 4 dimensions:
Now, let me level with you. There have been articles in the past claiming that the MBTI method does not work. The sources claim that the MBTI cannot forecast job perfomance or marriage happiness. BUT I am not suggesting that you use the MBTI for that, I am suggesting you use it to gain a basic understanding of what makes your employees 'tick'.
If you know, understand and can appreciate what 'type' of person your employee is, you will be able to tailor how you interact with that individual and maximise your working relationship.
Bringing opposite 'types' together
How can you really know someone's 'type'?
If you are new to the MBTI method, I would suggest getting your entire team to complete an online test, this way you can ensure that results are correct and fair.
Something I have found to be very effective is getting the entire team to share their results. From there, pair opposite 'types' into groups and get them to have a group discussion on how they work, why they behave in certain ways, what works well and what could be done better.
This should enable each 'type' to understand how the opposite works and how they can work together effectively.
By completing this exercise you should be able to understand why the two employees are not working well together. Do not reassign the employees but keep them on the same project as they will now be able to understand how one another works and compliment each others skill set.
After the project has been completed, get the employees in question to get together and share what they have learned from working with someone who is a different 'type'.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR EMPLOYEES
As previously mentioned the MBTI has four dimensions to it. By answering several questions each employee will be assigned a letter from each dimension and this will create a formula to help categorise the employees into one of the 16 'types'.
It's all well and good having your employees MBTI results but in order to utilise this information you need to understand what the results mean.
For a more detail description of each result, check out the official Myers-Briggs website: http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/the-16-mbti-types.htm
From just reading these 'types' you might already have some ideas as to why two people in your team are not operating effectively. Get them to take the online quiz to confirm your thoughts and also ask them to reflect on the results too.
So in conclusion, if you are having problems such as bickering staff, rather than 'knocking their heads together', perhaps try a more probing approach.
Having a real insight into an employees style can help you avoid and manage misunderstandings that derive from people's differences.
Check out this website where you and your team can take the test for free: http://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test
I'm an ENTJ. What are you?
Hi, I'm Chantelle Jones