It is an ugly truth that we need to face...Conflict is inevitable.
Honestly, you can’t get along with everyone. (As much as you might like to.)
As I mentioned in my last email, we know that most conflicts (especially in the workplace) are a result of differing MBTI personality types. Think of an Extrovert working in a quiet work environment or a Thinker working in a group project. There are going to be some disagreements and conflicts because it is out of their comfort zone in relation to their personality type.
So yes, you will have to deal with conflict at some point in your life in the workplace.
But how do you deal with it?
Well, that's going to depend on your personality type too!
Just as with everything else, differing personality types really see the opposite sides of the actual conflict as well. Thinkers want to get to the facts of what is happening whereas Feelers tend to focus on the interpersonal relationship and how that affects the dynamic of the conflict.
Judgers focus on how the argument will impact the future and will be relieved when the conflict has ended. Perceivers value other’s input who are also involved in the conflict.
Each style of conflict resolution is unique to each personality type. It can even mean some types are more likely to speak up when there is a conflict, while other types like to remain more passive.
One of the most noticeable places conflict shows up in MBTI is between Thinking and Feeling types.
Thinkers feel rewarded when the job is well done; overall team "wellness" isn't top priority. The bottom line is really the biggest indicator of success for Thinkers. On the other hand, Feelers feel rewarded when everyone’s needs are met first and foremost.
As a very gross generalization, Thinkers may be more likely to speak up when there is conflict. Feelers will be drained of energy if there is conflict and will be less likely to bring attention to the issue.
I am not a fan of generalizations as everyone is different when it comes to their personality types and the impact that has on their overall experience. That's why I also look at someone's Enneagram type as a significant role in the way they deal with conflict.
Think of it this way...
Conflict is a stress point. No matter how we deal with the conflict, it causes some sort of stress for a person. So, dealing with conflict in the workplace has much more to do with your Enneagram and how it is nuanced by your MBTI type.
Your approach to handling conflict resolution in the workplace requires you to understand how the different types react to conflict.
Personally...as a Feeler, I notice when others I am working with aren’t as receptive to relationships and bonding beyond the work. I take note of that as something that can affect my work negatively. While it does not always necessarily mean that there will be a conflict, my productivity of work and ability to be creative may be lessened.
Another example in my distant past (I have gotten much better about this!) was when it was hard for me to tell people “no”.
If my friends invited me out to eat, I would have a hard time declining the offer when all I really wanted to do was go home and put on my fuzzy pajamas. Because I am really aware of how much my actions will affect other people, I like to "keep the peace" so to speak.
Feelers really tend to go against themselves to make sure that everyone is happy. (Raise your hand if you can relate...!)
So all in all, some personality types avoid conflict like the plague. Others are more open to addressing it.
The reality is that in the workplace conflict will need to be addressed sooner or later. It can't be avoided - no matter how hard we may try sometimes!
To do so, it's valuable to start recognizing how you typically deal with conflict.
Will your usual means of resolution be effective with an opposing personality type? If not, it might be time to dig deeper and learn how to handle conflict in the workplace through a place of understanding.
Learning more about personality types is a great place to start!
This is all about working with people in a way that suits each individual person's style!
Yours in Innovation,
Kate is an INFJ-3 on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Enneagram.