Best Ways to Resolve Personality Clashes Among Employees

February 14, 2022by Kent McGroarty

Personality clashes among employees are hardly unusual, even in the most harmonious work environment. Everyone on your team does not have to like each other, but they do need to be professional, civil, and dedicated to their work. To help you deal with such issues effectively, review the best ways to resolve personality clashes among employees. You might find new ways to maintain a peaceful, productive workplace.

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Understand What Causes the Clash

Sometimes, personality clashes are work rather than people-based. If your team is working on a significant project, for example, the stress they are under can make them more irritable or short-tempered than normal. They might clash over how to move forward with the project, what colors or designs to utilize, or when to present the final results, among other things. Personality issues can also be due to severe differences between the parties. For example, if one team member is conservative in all manner of things and another isn’t, their vastly-different perspectives can make conversing a challenge.

By knowing exactly what is causing the problem, you are eliminating gossip-related issues that can slow the conflict resolution process.

Speak With Your Fellow Managers

Before talking with the team members in question, have a meeting with your fellow manager(s). Singling out the employees in front of everyone is never a good idea, because it puts them on the spot and contributes to feelings of embarrassment and resentment. Schedule a meeting with the other managers to get their take on the issue and discuss ways to resolve it. They might provide insights you haven’t considered or know more about the situation than you realized. Once you have discussed the issue at length, request a meeting with the team members.

Listen to Both Parties 

Listening to both sides of the issue is key to resolving personality clashes among employees. It gives each party the chance to vent and feel heard, which can help quell angry or discontented feelings. If you think it is best, have meetings with the team members individually before engaging in a group discussion. This allows both parties to fully express their grievances instead of getting upset or heated about what the other one is saying. You’ll avoid further conflicts as a result.

Hearing both sides of the issue also helps you determine whether the problem is more than a personality clash. If one party is harassing or bullying the other, you need to know as soon as possible. Depending on the severity of the issue, your Human Resources department might need to step in. Additionally, the offending party might need to be let go, since harassment and bullying is unacceptable in the workplace and everywhere else.

Focus on the Each Party’s Positive Qualities

The two employees in conflict do not have to like each other, but that doesn’t mean they can’t appreciate each other’s good qualities. Emphasize these qualities as much as possible, such as how one party never misses a deadline and the other is a talented proofreader. Maybe one of the employees always arrives early and puts on a pot of coffee for everyone, or the other is always willing to take everyone’s recyclables to the recycling bin. By focusing on the “good stuff,” you are helping your team members develop a deeper appreciation for each other.

If you have exhausted other tactics and are still at an impasse, resolve personality conflicts among employees via professional help. Conflict resolution services from a professional mediator means an objective individual is there to listen and motivate your team to move forward. For help with your workplace conflicts, contact Pollack Peacebuilding today!

Kent McGroarty

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