When I was young teacher, I often found myself in the middle of student disputes. My response was always something along the lines of, “You need to learn how to solve your own problems.”
I was thinking I was doing them a service by empowering them grow up and solve problems on their own. In reality, I was avoiding drama myself, and being selfish. Leaders of organizations need to clean up spats between people.
It’s a copout to say, “People need to solve their own personality issues,” or “That’s just the way he is – nothing I can do to change him.”
These responses undermine the power of leadership. Also, you’ve missed an opportunity to improve the way your team works together.
If you have people in your organization who are too immature to solve their own drama, or their “personality conflicts”, then you have an opportunity to develop your people by teaching them how.
You also have a chance to demonstrate that you care, and that you’re interested in seeing their lives become better. This isn’t soft and flowery; this is practical stuff that will improve the effectiveness of your team, ensuring more work gets done better.
Effective leaders will become well-versed on personality styles and how to identify them. That’s not enough, though; it’s also necessary to know the steps needed to teach people to communicate and work in ways that connect with all other styles.
If you know me, you know that I love DiSC. I think it’s the easiest to grasp and put into practice right away.
There are other options, of course; I find the five factor model to be pretty attractive, but the point is to get yourself educated on personality styles, idiosyncrasies, and ways to resolve the inevitable misfires. Because that’s what usually is; a misfire of communication that leads to misunderstandings, that people inevitably chalk up to “personality conflicts”, or immaturity.
Regardless of what you call it, the effective leader will step in to solve internal feuds.