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Home Features Workplace conflict: how to defuse a battle of personalities
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At some point in any group or small team, there is the inevitable battle of personalities.
I have worked in numerous environments where this occurs, and most of the time, clashes boil down to differing priorities and ways of getting the work done.
Serious conflict, however, has potential to not only reduce workplace productivity and group morale — it can harm individuals’ emotional equilibrium, if not handled with care and alacrity.
Almost invariably you will have a clash e.g. between the methodical do-everything-by-the-book character and the spontaneous speedster who delivers in an ad hoc, undeniably effective (if not very accountable) way.
You need them both, but they loathe each other. You can appreciate each person’s perspective, but somehow it’s got to work, because you value them and know the success of what you’re offering relies on their contributions.
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Eve Ash is a psychologist, author, filmmaker, public speaker and entrepreneur. She runs Seven Dimensions, a company specialising in training resources for the workplace.
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