By now, you have identified that some of your business relationships are easier for you than others. Why is that? Why does one colleague completely annoy you while you can easily tolerate another’s quirks?
It boils down to personality. Your personality. Their personality. And even your company’s “personality.”
Most people enjoy/appreciate working with people who are like them. It’s the ego effect of business relationships. If you, your colleagues and your company are Type A, then you’re in luck! But what happens when you inject a non-Type A into the equation? 1 of 3 things tends to happen:
1) The first thing that can happen is that you ignore the “outsider” and treat her like she’s just not there. You hold your meetings as usual. You make decisions as usual. And that annoying little nuisance is disregarded, walked over or even trounced on. Admit it, you’ve seen it, you’ve done it or you may not even notice that you’re doing it. This is the passive form of business relationships.
2) The opposite of a passive relationship is an active business relationship. In this case, you get annoyed, frustrated and even hostile toward the “outsider.” This form of corporate bullying can be on par with some of the immature behavior observed in a middle school cafeteria. You talk behind the outsider’s back, you belittle her in front of other people and you do everything you can to let her know that she isn’t welcome.
3) While both of these types of relationships are alive and well in corporate environments, many of you are doing your best to include the “outsider.” You know you’re supposed to, you just don’t know how to do it effectively. As a Type A you probably haven’t had a lot of practice in successful interpersonal relationships. But as businesses continue to conduct management and leadership training, you and your fellow Type As are more aware that you are supposed to treat every individual well.
How do you create strong business relationships regardless of personality type? It starts with self-awareness. You must first and foremost get to know yourself. The best tool to use in a corporate setting to understand personality types is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. I know, I know, it’s not new and many people have a sour taste in their mouth regarding the MBTI. But, trust me. The MBTI is a very powerful tool when used appropriately.
The MBTI is comprised of four dichotomies: E/I, S/N, T/F, and J/P. Understanding your MBTI type in relationship to these four dichotomies is critical to your success in business relationships.
If you haven’t had an opportunity to take the MBTI assessment, stay tuned. Over the next few weeks, we will take a deep dive into each of the four dichotomies. If you’ve taken the MBTI in the past, it’s time to break it out and take a look at good look at yourself.