By Katherine Ryan

Recognising diverse working styles and how to manage them

03 Jun 2018

It’s a relevant metaphor for the modern-day workplace. We work with so many different people, all with different working styles and different ways to achieve a goal. Sometimes, these differences can be incredibly positive and other times they can cause frustration, anxiety and personality clashes.

Whatever you may be facing at work, there are ways to make our diverse working styles work harmoniously towards a shared goal.

Getting started…

Firstly, it’s important to establish and recognise what each team member’s working style is. There are plenty of ways to do this. Whether it’s through conversations with your team, observations of how each person works or personality quizzes and assessment, it’s your choice.

Here's one to get you started: What's Your Work Style? - Idealist Quiz

Now that you know which style you are, have a look at the existing styles that are on your team. Are there harmonies or personality clashes?

Become familiar with your team's strengths and challenges with this activity.

Have your team write down their strengths and challenges in a work context. Now, compare notes and see whether the results work well together in the broader team structure. By focusing on both the strengths of the team and the areas that require improvement, you can work together to improve your team’s productivity along with the overall confidence of the group.

Need a bit more help?

Here are three helpful mantras to remember when you are working with your colleagues:

  1. Try not to waste time doing something that doesn’t interest you. Ask your manager if you can give it to another team member who you know will enjoy it.
  2. Learn your strength and the strengths of your team members as well as the challenges you all face.
  3. Recognise, accept and value your team’s differences especially when you are working towards a shared goal.

The bottom line…

Whether we like it or not, we have to work together to achieve our shared goals and optimum productivity. To make it as pleasant and productive as possible, try and compromise on your differences and encourage each other’s strengths.

The potential of a well-balanced team is endless.

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