Workplace diversity means a clash of personalities, work habits, opinions and ideas, and while a good business can harness differences, it requires strong leadership.
Managing different personalities in the workplace starts with the proper team-first mindset. Managers should also focus on listening to, learning from and responding to workers regarding their concerns and points of view. Leaders should also focus on maintaining a positive tone.
How Should I Lead Groups With Diverse Personalities?
1. Keep the Right Mindset
The right mindset is an essential foundation for trying to manage many different personalities. It is important to keep in mind that everyone in your organization should be on the same team.
Some people may not embrace this idea wholeheartedly, and some may even prefer to work separate from the rest of the team. A good leader will make sure that these “lone wolves” stay connected to the rest of the team by involving them in decision making and group projects.
It’s also important to remember every hostile or uncomfortable interaction isn’t always about the issue in dispute. Most people have their own personal issues to take care of, and our actions at work are often a reflection of something happening back at home.
Always offer to help those having trouble and avoid adding to a hostile atmosphere. Although it’s easier said than done, leaving your own personal issues at home is a good idea. Ruminating on personal problems can impact your performance and frame of mind toward your colleagues.
2. Handle Strong Egos with Care
Some people are constantly being a contrarian and dismissive of others. Workers like this don’t prefer to follow direction and they have a tendency to do things their own way. Those with strong egos generally don’t steer clear of a confrontation, so reading potentially-combustible situations is critical.
A good approach with many employees, particularly those with a strong ego, is telling them how their negative behavior is affecting the company and the performance of others. Interestingly, people with a strong ego are prone to doing well in positions of authority, if their worst instincts are kept under control. They understand control and power, and tend to take authority very seriously, often working hard in those positions.
3. Channel Gossip in a Positive Direction
Every place of business has some degree of gossiping. For leaders, the most important thing is to not get involved in it. Juicy gossip can be difficult to resist, but a manager indulging in workplace gossip can affect the sense that he or she is impartial. Even more difficult is to not try to find out what is being said about you.
Some good rules of thumb are to treat employees based on their performance, try to give benefit of the doubt whenever possible and focus on your performance, not reputation management.
Let Us Help You Build a Great Team
Good management starts with putting a good team in place and at Cornerstone, we specialize in helping business leaders do just that. Please contact us today to find out how we can help your team.